The College Honors program – also known simply as the Honors Thesis – is designed for superior students with unusual initiative and intellectual curiosity. It provides an opportunity to pursue two semesters (six credits) of independent research under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Students may pursue a thesis or creative project.
All eligible seniors in the College of Arts and Sciences may apply to pursue an Honors Thesis, regardless of whether they are in the Honors College. It is specifically required for CAS students enrolled in the Honors College.
Students who wish to pursue an Honors Thesis must submit their applications early in the first term of their senior year. Students who wish to consider undertaking an honors thesis project during their junior year should contact the dean's office for information concerning the circumstances in which such an exceptional arrangement is possible.
All students in the College of Arts and Sciences who are also members of the Honors College have a shared set of opportunities and responsibilities that come with their "dual citizenship" in both colleges. All Honors College students in the College of Arts and Sciences are required to successfully complete an honors thesis or creative project in order to graduate as University Scholars.
Many of the College of Arts and Sciences departments have opportunities for their majors to achieve departmental honors. For example, faculty members nominate students who have submitted exceptional papers in 200-level seminar courses. These papers are then reviewed by a faculty committee for honors selection. Economics majors with an economics GPA of 3.5 or higher at the end of the fall semester of that year are eligible to submit a portfolio of work to a faculty committee for review and honors selection. Additional information is available from the individual departments.
Graduating with honors
Bachelor's degrees may be conferred and the diploma inscribed with honors in recognition of general high standing in scholarship. Students in the top one percent of the graduating class of their college/school will receive summa cum laude; the following three percent will receive magna cum laude; the next six percent will receive cum laude. The total number of honors awarded will not exceed ten percent of the graduating class of each college/school.
The Patrick Leahy Honors College is a residential college at UVM enrolling some of the most capable students from our full spectrum of programs. Honors College students who complete all curricular requirements of the Honors College as well as a degree in one of the seven undergraduate colleges and schools at UVM will graduate as Honors College Scholars.