Overview and Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the history honors program, a student must be a history major and have an overall GPA of 3.00 or better.  Students who are not history majors may also participate in the program with special approval of the departmental Honors Advisor.

History honors candidates, including those who are not history majors, must fulfill the same departmental course requirements as all history majors.  Each honors candidate is also required to fulfill two additional requirements:

  1. Honors candidates must take History 491 (Historiography) AND History 492 (Senior Seminar).
  2. Honors candidates must also take 493 (Reading & Research Honors) and 494 (Senior Thesis). History honors students may count the 400-level series for upper division credit.

The Honors Sequence: 491, 492, 493, 494

Students do not necessarily have to take the honors sequence in chronological order, with two exceptions:

  1. Students must take 493 before taking 494.
  2. Students cannot take 493 and 494 during the same semester.

History 491 is the course on historiography.  This course is intended to introduce the student to the "history of history":  the development of historical thought and writing over time.

History 492 is the senior seminar.  Teachers and topics vary from year to year.  This course is intended to introduce the student to the techniques that historians use in their research and writing.

History 493 is the reading and research course. 493 is a program of directed readings and research, designed in close consultation with the student's thesis supervisor.  The Department strongly encourages history honors candidates to take 493 during the spring semester of their junior year, to allow for additional research during the summer. 

History 494 is the senior thesis or "writing" course. Students typically take this course during the spring semester of their senior year.  Building upon the work of the previous semester (History 493),  the honors candidate will complete the necessary research and write the honors thesis.

Grading of the Thesis

Each honors thesis will be read and graded by the thesis advisor and a second reader.  The thesis grade will be the average of the two grades assigned by the readers.

The Award of Honors

The final decision on the Honors to be awarded a candidate is by vote of the candidate's thesis advisor and the second reader. It is calculated according to a combination of factors, including the student's thesis grade and history GPA.   Although the award of Honors need not be based strictly on a numerical score, Departmental members will generally be guided by the following considerations when they vote on the Honors to be awarded a candidate:

Thesis Grade

B or higher

History GPA

3.86-4.00 Summa Cum Laude

3.66-3.85 Magna Cum Laude

3.50-3.65 Cum Laude

If the student fulfills all course requirements for the honors program, but fails to make a grade of B or higher on the senior thesis, or fails to meet the GPA requirements for honors candidates at the time of graduation, the student may still graduate, albeit without honors.  In cases of this sort, if the student satisfies all other requirements for the history major, the honors sequence (491, 492, 493, and 494) may be counted as a field in order to satisfy the distribution requirements of the major.

For more details on the history honors program, contact the History Honors Advisor, Dr. Shatam Ray at sray24@unm.edu