Honors Guidelines

The honors thesis is a senior year capstone experience that allows students to leverage all the learning that they have accomplished up to that point—Russian language skills, critical thinking and writing ability, knowledge of Russian literature and culture—to complete a unique research project under the close mentorship of a faculty advisor.

Candidates for departmental honors must have:

  1. an outstanding record in other courses for the major (candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses counting to the major)
  2. the agreement of a faculty member to serve as advisor; the advisor may be chosen from outside the Russian department with the chair’s approval.

The honors thesis must:

  1. be well focused and well written
  2. address an area of study in which the student can already demonstrate basic knowledge
  3. make a genuine contribution to knowledge or understanding in the discipline
  4. incorporate several primary and secondary sources in the original Russian language

A research proposal outlining the project of study is due to the advisor and department chair by April 15 of their junior year.


  • April 15
    • Proposal outlining the project is due to the advisor and department chair


  • September 15
    • Reading list is due to the advisor
  • November 15
    • Thesis and introduction are due to the advisor
  • March 15
    • Complete thesis draft is due to the advisor
  • May 1
    • Revised and polished final thesis draft is due to the advisor and department chair

Russian Gallery photo

Honors candidates completing a Russian language, literature, and culture major will be required to choose a topic containing a strong literary, cinematic, or linguistic component.

The honors project will be completed in the context of two semesters of advanced independent study in the senior year; one of these semesters may be counted toward major requirements. Expected length and format will be determined in consultation with the faculty advisor on a project-specific basis. 

In addition, candidates for honors are required to take at least one regularly offered content area course in the Russian department in the senior year. A student must receive a grade of A- or higher on the completed honors project to receive departmental honors.