Graduation with Distinction

Students who demonstrate excellence in their major area of study may qualify for admission to the department’s or programs honors program. By successfully completing a senior honors thesis/project, the candidate will graduate with distinction in the major.

Writing an Honors Thesis and Graduating with Distinction in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES)

Writing an Honors Thesis may at first seem like a daunting task, taking up extra hours of your time outside of the classroom and spending most of your precious remaining year of college in the library. But an Honors Thesis is not just about academic and intellectual development. Writing a thesis makes you a better person! While doing original research and exploring the unexplored, you will hone your analytical, time management, and writing skills that will give you an advantage in any field of work you ultimately decide to pursue.

Application and Requirements

AMES majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major may apply for graduation with distinction in their junior year. The deadline for application is the end of the Drop/Add period of the Fall Semester of the senior year. 

To apply, you must

  • submit the application
  • identify an AMES faculty member to serve as adviser. Together with your adviser, you have to come up with an Honors project and write a proposal
  • identify 2 more faculty members to serve on your Honors committee (these do not necessarily have to be AMES faculty)
  • turn in the proposal to the AMES DUS for approval
  • take the 2 Senior Honors Thesis Seminars: in the fall semester take AMES 498S—a hybrid course that alternates between meeting with your thesis advisor and meeting as a group—and in the spring semester take AMES 499S—designed to support you in the process of writing your thesis. Both of these courses may count toward your AMES major requirements

Expected Product

A 50-70 page Senior Honors Thesis is to be written under the direction of a chosen faculty member serving as thesis supervisor.

Evaluative Body

A committee comprised of the thesis supervisor and two other faculty members chosen by the student in consultation with the supervisor.

Evaluative Procedure

The thesis will be evaluated in an oral examination. In addition, the student must obtain at least an A- in AMES 499S Senior Thesis Seminar.

Levels of Distinction

Three levels—Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction—as determined by the three faculty members conducting the oral examination.