To be eligible for departmental honors students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.6 for courses in the major. Departmental honors will be conferred only on students who have submitted a superior senior thesis that clearly demonstrates originality and excellent scholarship. Please note that the senior thesis is not required for the major.
Majors interested in undertaking a senior thesis should identify in the spring of their junior year a faculty member who is willing to supervise their thesis work. The faculty member should be approached with a short proposal that describes the thesis project, upon which they will decide whether to undertake the supervision of the work. After securing an adviser, students should enroll in CPLS UN3995 Senior Thesis in Comparative Literature and Society, a year-long course in the fall and spring of their senior year. The thesis director is the person responsible for assigning a final grade for this course.
For more information on writing a senior thesis for ICLS, please see our guide. Departmental Honors will be granted to those students whose work is deemed deserving of honors by a committee of faculty members that will be constituted for that purpose. The thesis should be turned in on the due date to the DUS, who will forward it to the members of the faculty committee that will adjudicate on the awarding of honors. Students turning in their thesis after the deadline will forfeit their consideration for Departmental Honors.
Please keep in mind that, according to Columbia College rules, no more than 10% of the majors graduating in a department or program in a given year may be awarded Departmental Honors.