Honors in Religion consists of all of the requirements for the major as well as the proposal, completion, and oral defense of a thesis, and satisfactory fulfillment of the general Honors requirements of the College. At the end of their junior year, prospective Honors majors submit a brief thesis proposal (and initial bibliography) that includes guiding questions about the topic to be explored and the theoretical stances and anticipated methodologies of the thesis. A student in the Honors Program in Religion will also register for Religion 498 in the first fall semester and Religion 499 in the second spring semester. 498 is a single course; 499 can be either a single or a double course, although it is ordinarily a double course. Upon completion of the thesis, the grade received will be credited to either two courses (498 and 499) or three courses (498 and 499D).
What makes a good thesis topic? Ideally, students get fascinated by material explored in their coursework with a particular professor, who can then help them shape their interest into a topic, and work closely with them throughout the thesis. Juniors considering writing a thesis should approach professors in courses they have really enjoyed to learn about research areas and opportunities that make for good thesis research. Theses can involve archival, ethnographic, textual, historical, literary, and philosophical work that aims to create new knowledge.
Honors students should enter their theses in the Moseley Prize Award that will be announced annually during the Spring semester.