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Honors Program

If you are you interested in going beyond your major by exploring a topic in an in-depth way, then we invite you to join our Honors Program. The program encourages independent research under the guidance and supervision of our faculty. The thesis topic depends on the student’s interests but should be related to Hispanic studies. To apply for the honors program and/or ask questions regarding the program, please contact the department’s director of undergraduate studies.


  • Eligibility: junior status, 3.0 overall GPA, 3.25 GPA in Spanish courses
  • Course “enrichment.” This involves doing extra work in an advanced Spanish class. It usually involves extra reading and an essay of approximately 6-10 pages. The student and the instructor develop a plan as to what the enrichment will entail.

NOTE: Students who are College of Arts and Science Honors Scholars can usually count the enriched course as an honors point.

The honors thesis requires the following:

  • Choice of topic
  • Choice of director
  • 6 hours of credit for Span 4998-4999 Senior Honors Thesis (3 fall, 3 spring), in addition to the 30 hours for the standard major. Contact the department’s director of undergraduate studies about enrolling in these courses.
  • Topic and choice of director should ideally be determined by the end of the junior year. Outline, preliminary bibliography, general work schedule, and a general plan for consultation with the director must be turned in prior to the beginning of fall classes senior year.
  • The honors thesis may be written in Spanish or in English. The average length for a thesis in Spanish is 50-60 pages. For a thesis in English, 75-100 pages is ideal. The number of pages will depend on the particular topic and approach.
  • The honors thesis should follow a recognized style sheet, such as that of the Modern Language Association (MLA). Your director may choose to work with you on this, and can host a session on MLA style during the fall semester.
  • The thesis committee consists of the director and two other faculty members, one of whom can be from outside the department. The committee members read a version approved by the director and may offer comments and suggestions for revision.
  • The defense will take place before the committee in April. The student often gives a brief introduction which includes: the topic, the approach, the findings or conclusions, and commentary on the process of research and writing. The committee then comments and asks questions.

NOTE: The defense is dialogical rather than adversarial.


The time to consider the honors program is your junior year. Those students who will be spending the spring semester of their junior year abroad or off-campus should make arrangements for their application and other matters before leaving. It has proven difficult for students to choose an adviser and a topic once they are already abroad.

If you would like to enrich a course during the spring semester of your junior year, contact the DUS and then the course instructor.

The ideal student for the honors program is one who would like to do independent research and who recognizes that doing an honors thesis will involve more work, not less, than two regular classes. That person should be dedicated and disciplined, since this will involve reading, reflecting, and writing alongside other courses with daily or weekly assignments.

If interested, please contact the department’s director of undergraduate studies.