The WGST Honors Program

The Department of Women and Gender Studies Honors Program is designed to give students the opportunity to pursue rigorous interdisciplinary research and writing under the close supervision and mentorship of a Women and Gender Studies faculty member. In pursuing honors, students can be expected to gain a deeper understanding of the field and the critical thinking and writing skills needed to excel in a graduate or professional school or in management-level positions in the professional workforce. Students also receive public recognition at commencement and at the Honors Program convocation for successful completion and defense of their thesis.


  • Please visit the Honors Program website to gain a full understanding of the Honors Program, to download required forms and find out deadlines.
  • WMST 3020 Methods of Inquiry in Gender, Race, Class and Sexuality taken in the junior year.
  • Optional registration for either WMST 4950-Honors Research or WMST 4999-Honors Thesis Hours. Students are to discuss this option with their faculty advisor.
  • Research and write a thesis (30-60+ pages) during two semesters under the direction of your advisor.
  • Students will defend the thesis after its completion at an agreed upon time and place with their three-member committee.
  • Submit the thesis to the Honors Program by the deadline set by the Honors Program and provide each committee member with copies of their thesis.
  • Attend the defense on the designated day. Upon completion of the defense, the committee will recommend one of the following to the Honors Council: (1) No Honors (2) Cum Laude (3) Magna Cum Laude (4) Summa Cum Laude.
  • Find out your honors designation when it is posted at the Honors Program after the Honors Council makes the final designations.

To Apply:

  • Students should have at least a 3.3 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in Women’s Studies.
  • In the beginning of their junior year, students should make an appointment with the Director or Honors Coordinator to first discuss their ideas about joining the Honors Program and to find out about eligibility. Remember that early planning is vital.
  • Fill out and submit the Application for Honors in Women’s Studies and return it to the Hazel Gates-Woodruff Cottage.
  • Find out about eligibility for grants from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the McNair Program.
  • Find a Women and Gender Studies faculty member who will act as your advisor and discuss with your advisor your honors committee. Your honors committee consists of three faculty members. Two of the three members must be in Women and Gender Studies. The first member is your advisor and chair of the committee, the second is a member of the Women and Gender Studies faculty, and the third is a faculty member from another department. One of these must be on the Honors Council. This committee will be present during the defense of your thesis and can also be used for advice during the writing of your thesis as deemed necessary by your chair.
  • Fill out the Contract for Women and Gender Studies Honors with your faculty advisor.
  • Register for thesis credits with the Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advisor.