Honors: Art History


Honors in Art History acknowledges outstanding achievement in the major as demonstrated by the quality of a student’s Individual Study and his or her performance in courses within the major. To apply, interested students must meet all requirements, as well as submit and present an Individual Study research paper to the department Chair and Art History faculty. The awarding of honors is competitive and made to select graduating seniors at commencement. (Application for honors does not insure receipt of honors.)

Procedure For Application

Complete the following seven steps to graduate with Honors in Art History.

1. Eligibility Requirements

You must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a 3.25 minimum GPA in the overall degree program
  • 3.5 minimum GPA in major
  • Demonstrate excellence in all upper-level courses in the major
  • Have completed at least three of the five chronological area courses in the major
  • Have completed at least one of the two required seminars at the time of application (it is strongly advised that you take these two seminars with different faculty)
  • Have completed or begun work on an Individual Study in Art History (note: you must inform your Individual Study advisor at the beginning of your project that you intend to submit your paper as application for honors).

2. Letter of Application

If you meet the eligibility requirements, submit a letter of application to the Department Chair, requesting consideration for honors. Your letter should be submitted with your portfolio (see item 3, below) and must include a list of the following information on a cover sheet:

  • Name
  • Expected date of graduation
  • Degree sought (B.A. or B.L.S.)
  • Major advisor
  • Individual Study advisor
  • Title of Individual Study
  • Date of presentation of Individual Study
  • Overall GPA
  • Major GPA
  • Departmental awards and scholarships received

3. Portfolio

Present the following material as a portfolio of your work to the Department Chair:

  • One completed and graded essay paper from ARTH 303 (Methods of Art History)
  • The complete and graded paper from which your individual study is drawn
  • A list of all art history courses taken along with the grade as well as any other courses taken that are relevant to your individual study project

4. Present Topic At Forum

The topic of your research must be presented initially at the Department Forum on Student Research.

5. Advanced Draft Submission

Submit an advanced draft of your paper to all art history faculty by the Monday prior to your presentation.

6. Present Paper

At a time decided upon by you and your individual study advisor, you must give an oral presentation of your research paper. Please note: No presentations are to be scheduled during the last full week of the semester. Spring presentations are held on Research and Creativity Day.

7. Submit Final Paper and Abstract

A final revised paper must be submitted to your individual study advisor according to the schedule agreed upon before the semester ends; an abstract paper (no more than 500 words) must be given to all Art History faculty at the same time. At this point, the faculty will meet to review your work during the last week of classes in the spring semester.

Criteria For Receiving Honors

While the final grade of your research paper is determined by the Individual Study advisor, the awarding of honors is the decision of the Art History faculty. In addition to the above criteria, the following also play a role in the awarding of honors:

  • You must have a 3.5 minimum GPA in the major at the completion of major requirements.
  • Your paper receives a final grade of “A” from the Individual Study advisor.
  • Your project focuses on independent research
  • You demonstrate familiarity with the critical issues in the area of research, as well
    as within the discipline of Art History, as they relate to your research topic.
  • Your Individual Study advisor observes you to be self- directed and highly motivated throughout the course of study.
    • Notification of Honors

      The decision to award honors will be made by Art History faculty late in the semester in which you are applying. The Department Chair will notify you by email or letter.

      Submitting your Honors Thesis to the Simpson Library

      Go to http://libraries.umw.edu/paper-submission-guidelines/ for more information.