What is Honors in Philosophy?
Philosophy majors may pursue Honors in Philosophy either in addition to or instead of University Honors.
Honors in Philosophy includes a combination of GPA requirements, coursework, independent study, and a thesis project. Only students whose projects have been approved by both the department honors committee and the University Honors Council may graduate with honors.
Why do Honors in Philosophy?
There are two main benefits: (1) credentials on one's diploma ("Honors in Philosophy") and transcript ("Graduation with Honors"), and (2) the more important benefit of scholarly growth. Honors projects are basically practice for the more intensively-researched, extensively written type of work students will need to do in graduate programs in philosophy and other humanities disciplines (such as literature, cultural studies, etc.). They are also excellent opportunities to develop a stellar writing sample for grad school applications. Moreover, through intensive work with faculty, students will have the opportunity to both receive one-on-one mentorship (which often helps faculty write extra-detailed letters of recommendation).
How do I pursue Honors in Philosophy?
This is not a last-minute add-on. Students interested in Honors need to begin the process of at least a year (two semesters) before they plan to graduate (and that's cutting it very close). Because requirements and procedures are governed at the departmental, college, and university level, there is little to no flexibility. So, students really need to plan ahead so they can anticipate and meet deadlines.