Honors Thesis Program

Qualified students pursuing any of the major options offered by the Spanish and Portuguese department may apply to research and write an honors thesis. Applicants must identify a topic of interest and a faculty advisor who will serve as the director of the Honors Project. 

Thesis Program Overview

Students will prepare a written proposal and submit it to their advisor and to the department for approval. The proposal must be submitted by the end of the term prior to registering for Spanish or Portuguese 90. All students pursuing an Honors Program must take the Honors Course (SPAN 90 or PORT 90) and complete an Honors Thesis (SPAN 91 or PORT 91).

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the honors thesis can be found below. For more details on preparing for or funding your thesis, see the following:

You may also find the list of past honors thesis topics helpful as you consider applying to the program.

Learning Objectives of Our Honors Thesis

Students writing an honors thesis in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese can expect to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Initiate and develop to completion an extended, independent research opportunity about a compelling topic of interest.
  • Gain experience in self-directed analysis of literary, theatrical, filmic, visual and other cultural and critical productions from the Luso-Hispanic-Latino world (Spain, Portugal, Latin America, Brazil, and the U.S.).
  • Undertake an intensive writing tutorial.
  • Develop advanced language skills in Spanish and/or Portuguese.
  • Prepare for the rigorous demands of graduate study and/or professional school.
  • Produce writing sample for graduate and/or professional school applications.

Assessment of Honors Thesis

The faculty thesis advisor is recommended to consider the following criteria for evaluating the honors thesis:

  • Articulates a compelling research/interpretive question.
  • Develops knowledge of appropriate research methodologies.
  • Develops close reading skills.
  • Develops understanding of underlying theories and critical approaches.
  • Is able to historically contextualize.
  • Shows awareness of the central concerns of the scholarly field.
  • Develops mastery of rhetorical and argumentational strategies.
  • Uses a clear expository style.
  • Develops advanced skills in target language writing.

Once the student has done her/his presentation and submitted the last version of the thesis in the Spring Term, the members of the department will vote for honors or high honors.