Honors Program

The Honors Program in History at Michigan State University offers advanced instruction to students in the Honors College. Honors majors complete a series of six “honors experiences,” typically independent research projects, as part of their normal courses, and have the option of taking more higher-level courses than typical majors. In brief, the Honors Program in History guarantees students close interaction with faculty and focused training in research methods. Students who are in the Honors College yet pursuing other majors frequently take their university requirements in the History Department, some of whose courses can substitute for IAH or ISS classes. Questions about the Honors Program should be directed its faculty coordinator, Professor Liam Brockey.

The mark of distinction for students who complete the Honors Program in History is the completion of senior thesis. This capstone experience is a yearlong, two-course sequence during which students prepare a substantial work of independent historical research under the guidance of a faculty member. Building with the skills acquired during upper-division seminar classes, and working in conjunction with History Department faculty, the senior thesis process typically culminates in a work of approximately seventy-five pages. In recent years students have completed the traditional thesis, as well digital humanities projects. In order to stimulate the most complete experience of historical research, Honors Program students are encouraged to apply for departmental funding for archival research, as well as for the History Department’s Scholars Program.

Some of the recent Honors Program students and their thesis titles and faculty advisors are:

Milan Griffes The Origins and Development of Carl Becker’s Historiography (Advisor: Professor David Bailey)

Rebecca Imthurn Construction and Controversy: The Lansing Public Library in the Sixties (Advisor: Professor Peter Knupfer)

Brandon Smith The English Common Law in the 12th Century: Continuity, Chaos, and Change? (Advisor: Professor Emily Tabuteau)

Rachel Yales Runaway Slaves in Saint-Domingue (Advisors: Professor Walter Hawthorne and Professor Gwendolyn Hall)

Form for 499H Application

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