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Guidelines for Undergraduate Honors in Archaeology

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Undergraduate students interested in working for an Honors degree should apply to the DUS in Archaeology (Caitlin Barrett, ceb329@cornell.edu) in the second semester of their junior year (requests for late admission may be considered, but in no case later than the second week of the first semester of the senior year).  It is the student’s responsibility to identify an appropriate topic for a thesis and to find a faculty member willing to sponsor and supervise the research; the adviser and at least the general subject of the thesis must be identified at the time of application for admission to the Honors program.

Admission to the Honors Program requires an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater and a 3.5 GPA in the major.  In addition, the student should have no outstanding Incompletes in major courses (provisional admission with Incompletes is possible at the discretion of the Chair of the Honors Committee on evidence that a good faith effort to finish them is underway).

Students working for Honors normally register for Archaeology 4981: Honors Thesis Research, in the first semester of their senior year; the thesis adviser will assign a grade for the course based on an assessment of the student’s research.  In the second semester of the senior year, students register for Archaeology 4982: Honors Thesis Write-up.  Note that either Archaeology 4981 or 4982, but not both, may count toward the minimum hours for completion of the Archaeology major.

Submission of a thesis does not guarantee an Honors degree.  Each thesis will be read by at least two faculty members in addition to the student’s thesis adviser; readers will be selected in consultation with the DUS and Archaeology Program Director.  Each faculty reader will submit an evaluation of the thesis and a recommendation for a grade for Archaeology 4982.

At least three copies of a final draft of the thesis must be submitted to the thesis adviser no later than the Monday of the 13th week of classes of the semester in which the student expects to graduate (April 24th for Spring 2016).  The thesis should be a complete draft at this point, with illustrations, citations and bibliography.  Citations and other stylistic considerations (e.g., footnotes vs endnotes) should be worked out in consultation with the thesis adviser.

The thesis adviser will distribute copies to the other readers and may schedule a conference in which the readers discuss the thesis with the student.   The student may wish to revise the draft in light of the discussion, and readers may wish to see the revisions before submitting their evaluations and grade recommendations; the thesis adviser will coordinate these arrangements.  A final, inexpensively bound, copy of the thesis, signed on the title page by the thesis adviser, must be submitted to the DUS no later than the Friday of the week following the last week of classes (May 19th for Spring 2016).  All faculty recommendations are due on that day as well.

The student’s major adviser, the DUS, and any other interested faculty thesis reader will make recommendations about whether Honors should be awarded, and if so at what level.  This recommendation is based on the student’s overall performance; that is, the criteria include, but are not limited to, the thesis.  Possible recommendations are: no honors, Honors (cum laude), High Honors (magna cum laude), and Highest Honors (summa cum laude). In any case in which there is substantial disagreement among the recommendations, the DUS will seek to resolve the disagreement in whatever manner seems most appropriate and fair.  The DUS will notify the entire faculty of tentative Honors recommendations before they are transmitted to the Dean.

Students have the right to appeal any recommendation concerning Honors that they feel is inappropriate.  Procedures for such appeal can be worked out on an ad hoc basis by the DUS and the Program Director.

At least one copy of each Honors thesis will be retained by the department and filed in some convenient place for the guidance of future Honors candidates.