Students majoring in Religion who maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.75 on courses taken in the department may apply to pursue honors work during their senior year. Applications should be submitted during the spring semester of the junior year or the fall semester of the senior year.
Students may be granted honors status in department following a review of the prospectus by the faculty of the Roberts Department of Religion.
An honors prospectus should conform to guidelines approved by the department. At the time of application, two copies of the prospectus should be included with the request letter.
An honors prospectus should have a title page that includes a proposed title of the honors project, the name of the department, the name of the student submitting the prospectus, and the date the prospectus is submitted. A sample title page is available in the department office.
The text of an honors prospectus should include a statement of purpose, reasons for pursuing the project, a projected method for achieving the purpose of the project, a tentative outline of the project, a preliminary bibliography, and a request for a particular member of the department to serve as director for the honors project. The final page of the prospectus should provide a list of courses completed in the department, including dates taken and grades received, and pertinent courses completed elsewhere.
Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose should be a brief description of what the student intends to accomplish through honors work.
Impetus for Study
The second section of the prospectus should narrate how the student came to be interested in the proposed topic. The narrative should be as specific as possible and include a description of the context(s) in which the idea of honors work was born.
How will the purpose of the project be achieved? Particular attention should be given to the amount of time projected for each phase of the research and writing of the honors project (including acknowledgment of any preliminary work already completed) and a description of the actual steps envisioned along the way.
The prospectus should include a tentative outline that demonstrates the planned development of the research and writing. Note the emphasis on "tentative." Research projects often change shape as more work is completed; students should not consider the outline as final. Once an honors project is begun, however, any minor change in the outline should be discussed with the director of the project.
The writing of a prospectus presupposes preliminary research has begun. The prospectus should include a bibliography of primary and secondary sources that will provide the foundation for the proposed project.
Request for Director
Students usually develop ambitions toward Honors work in relation to a particular area of study and/or guidance from a member of the department. As part of the prospectus the student should request a member of the project to serve as "director." Members of the department will agree upon two additional members who will serve with the director as the honors committee. The honors project director and two other named faculty members will also serve as the oral review committee at the completion of the project.