Honors in the Major

Undergraduate Studies - Honors in the Major

The Department of Religion offers the opportunity for Religion majors to earn Honors in the Major. The Honors in the Major program is designed to encourage talented juniors and seniors to undertake independent and original research as part of their undergraduate experience. Honors in the Major is excellent preparation for graduate and professional study. The honors thesis is regularly an essay of some length (25 pages minimum with no maximum set) on a topic that might be generated by work taken in regular courses but which is expected to go beyond the boundaries of any specific course.

Who is Eligible for Honors in the Major?

A student must have at least 60 and normally 75 hours of college credit, including at least twelve hours of graded courses at FSU, with a 3.2 cumulative GPA on all college work attempted and on all FSU work. Students must apply and be accepted into Honors in the Major by the FSU Honors Program before registering for Honors in the Major credit in religion.  It is not necessary for the student to have already been part of the Honors program, which is separate from the Honors in the Major.

Where Does a Student Interested in Honors in the Major Begin?

Students interested in participating in the Honors in the Major program in religion should begin making inquiries of appropriate faculty members at least two semesters and preferably three semesters prior to the intended semester of graduation. A student who has identified a faculty member and a topic in advance and is ready to begin research in the first semester can usually complete the requirements for Honors in the Major in two semesters. A student who needs time to develop a topic may wish to allow three semesters to complete the requirements. All students must adhere to the timelines specified by the Honors Program for Honors in the Major. A student interested in working with a particular faculty member should meet with that faculty member to discuss possible research areas and topics. A student interested in a particular area of religion or in a particular topic should identify a faculty member with interest and expertise in that area or topic and meet with the faculty member. After identifying a faculty member who is willing to direct a thesis, the student should contact the Honors Program about applying for the Honors in the Major program.

What are the Requirements for Completion of Honors in the Major?

To graduate with Honors in Religion, a student must

  • conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member; 
  • complete an honors thesis based on the research; 
  • and successfully defend the thesis before a faculty committee, usually in the term in which the student expects to graduate.

What Courses Should an Honors in the Major Student Register for?

The course you register for, for Honors Thesis credit, is REL 4932.  Honors in the Major students will complete six hours of Honors thesis credit to graduate With Honors.  Honors students earn three hours credit at the 4000-level each term for two or three terms. The student must earn at least six hours of Honors in the Major credit and maintain a 3.2 cumulative GPA.  All six hours are applicable toward major requirements.  Work in progress is assigned a grade based on the submission of preliminary drafts of sections of the thesis or project.

Students are invited and encouraged to seek assistance and guidance from the Undergraduate Director in Religion. Students should also consult the FSU Honors Program website for more detailed information on Honors in the Major.