Spanish majors wishing to graduate with honors in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese should speak with the Department Chair during the fall semester of the senior year. Honors will be awarded to students who successfully complete a significant scholarly essay (normally thirty to fifty pages in length) and defend the work during an oral examination given by a committee of departmental faculty. This project should be completed in close collaboration with a department faculty member and cannot be undertaken before fulfillment of the senior seminar requirement. Essays completed for the senior seminar or another advanced course will often be the starting point for the honors project.

Guidelines for Departmental Honors

  1. Students may write a thesis as a partial requirement for Departmental honors if their GPA is 3.6 minimum in Department 300-400 level courses, and 3.3 or higher overall.
  2. Students writing a thesis as a partial requirement for Departmental honors should take the senior seminar in the Fall of their senior year and register for independent research (550) during the Spring of their senior year. The topic of the honors thesis often derives from research done in the senior seminar.
  3. Students should form a thesis committee consisting of a minimum of 3 faculty members from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, one of whom will direct the thesis. Students doing interdisciplinary work are encouraged to have additional committee members from outside the Department.
  4. By the last week of classes of the Fall semester of the senior year, the student must complete the Intent to Write an Honors Thesis form and have it signed by all committee members. By November 30th, the student should present a brief written proposal, bibliography included, that generally outlines the project. If the Department approves the proposal, the student may register for independent research with the thesis director for the Spring semester.
  5. By the end of the fourth week of classes during the Spring semester, the student must present to the committee an outline explaining in detail the argument to be sustained in the thesis.
  6. By the end of classes of the Spring semester, the student must orally defend the thesis before the committee, which will then meet to determine whether the thesis merits Departmental honors. These will be determined by a majority vote of the committee members. The grade given for academic credit in independent research (550) will be determined by the supervising professor. 
  7. The thesis must be a minimum of 30 pages (excluding notes or bibliography) and written in MLA style, 12 pt. Times New Roman font with 1 margins.
  8. All students meeting the requirements described above should have demonstrated a solid command of academic writing in Spanish. As the objective of departmental honors is to recognize students who produce scholarship of extraordinary merit - in breadth, depth, and sophistication - in fields related to Hispanic literatures and linguistics, the thesis may be written in either Spanish or English. In cases where the topic of the thesis requires that a reader from outside the Department who does not read Spanish join the thesis committee (in addition to the 3 Department members), the thesis should be written in English.

Intent to Write an Honors Thesis Form

Past Recipients of Honors in Spanish

Anya O. Aboud 2016: "La libertad de la ficción: la reconstrucción de la historia en la literatura escrita sobre la dictadura de Trujillo (1930-1961)"

Wendy L. Gomez 2015: "La 're-presentación' de la voz femenina en los textos testimoniales de la Guerra Civil Salvadoreña"

Kathryn Hughes, 2014: "Racismo y xenophobia: Representaciones de la comunidad asiática en la prensa española"

Julia Coggins, 2013: "El boom latinoamericano y la afirmación de la identidad latinoamericana"

Amanda Jo Wildley, 2013: "Atreverse a proponer: José María Arguedas y el idigenismo antropológico"

Sarah Young, 2013: "Entre el clavel y la espalda, un patriota sin patria: Como el exilio le convirtió a Rafael Alberti en un gran poeta de la Generación del 27 y del siglo XX"

Katherine Leibel, 2012: "Cura te ipsum: La mala ciencia del autodiagnóstico en dos textos del Siglo de Oro"

Vicki Morris, 2011: "Las poetas del siglo XIX: su propio tercer mundo"

Ruth Dicker, 2010: "Jorge Luis Borges: Language, Desdivinization, and Immortality"