If you wish to enroll in Honors in the Major (HM), please see your major advisor. He or she will be able to explain the HM admissions process and requirements for your major. After you have your advisor's permission to enroll in Honors in the Major, you may complete an Honors in the Major Declaration Form. The completed form must be signed by your major department's undergraduate advisor and returned with two copies to the Honors Program Office (at Washburn Observatory). Incoming first-year students are encouraged to take their time exploring major options before declaring Honors in the Major.

The Honors in the Major Degree

Honors in the Major is the second type of honors degree offered by the College of Letters and Science. Its requirements can be completed independently from Honors in the Liberal Arts: neither is a prerequisite for the other. The curriculum for Honors in the Major is established by each academic department and program in the College for students who want the best possible undergraduate education in a particular discipline. Students must apply to their major department for permission to enter this phase of the Honors Program. Requirements vary a great deal from department to department, but all are designed to culminate in a senior-year experience in which students are exposed to the cutting edge of that particular field. Many Honors in the Major students will write an original research thesis, but in some departments students may produce an original work of art, put on a performance, enroll in graduate-level seminars or complete a "practicum" in which they work and learn as professionals in their chosen field. Students completing the requirements for Honors in the Major receive the best possible preparation for graduate and professional training, as well as the world of work and service apart from school.

Outlined below are the typical Honors in the Major requirements. In addition, each department designs its own HM track. Contact your department to learn its specific HM curriculum.

General Requirements for the Honors in the Major Degree

  • Complete an Honors in the Major declaration form and submit it to the Honors Program Office.
  • Complete the L&S general degree requirements for L&S degree candidates. Non-L&S degree candidates may pursue HM if one of their majors falls in the College of Letters & Science, but they will not receive an L&S degree. 
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3. Some departments may set a higher minimum GPA, but in most cases this figure does not exceed 3.5.
  • Complete a 2-semester capstone project, as stipulated by the department (usually a senior honors thesis).
  • Complete a departmental seminar in preparation for writing the senior thesis, and participate in departmental colloquia while conducting thesis research.
  • Complete 3-6 credits of upper-level courses beyond those required for the major.

Students in the College of Letters & Science who successfully complete the HM curriculum will have the designation "with Honors in the Major" on their transcript and diploma.