Senior Thesis and Honors in Philosophy
Qualified majors may apply before their senior year for directed research and writing leading to a senior thesis, carried out during both semesters of the senior year. Each semester will require three credit hours; these six hours are in addition to the course hours required for the major.
To qualify for the program students will be required to have an approved research proposal and the agreement of a faculty member to serve as advisor for that project. Applicants will normally be required to have a GPA of 3.75 or better in philosophy courses and to have completed at least two upper level courses in the distribution area of the proposed research. (See the major requirements for the definition of the distribution areas.) Applications should be submitted to the director for Undergraduate Studies and will be evaluated by the department.)
Students who are considering applying to write a senior thesis should consult the undergraduate advisor and potential advisors as early as possible. Normally students will apply before pre-registration in the second semester of their junior year and will spend time during the following summer reading from a list they have developed with their advisor. The thesis will normally be between 7,500 and 15,000 words (approximately 30-60 pages) in length. Students will enroll in PHIL 498 and 499. Students accepted into the Rice University Scholars Program should enroll in HONS 470 and 471 and will be awarded departmental honors for their work in that program if they meet the requirements in this statement. Note that acceptance into the departmental honors program is a separate process from acceptance in RUSP, as is the evaluation for departmental honors.
To be considered for honors in the spring semester, the senior thesis must be completed by April 1st; to be considered for honors in the fall semester, the senior thesis must be completed by November 10th. The thesis will be read and evaluated by the advisor and a second reader chosen by the department, and the final decision on honors will be made by the entire faculty. A student will receive honors if he or she receives a grade of A or A- in PHIL 499 in the spring semester if graduating in May, or in PHIL 498 if graduating in December. Completion of the major with at least a 3.5 GPA in all philosophy courses is required for departmental honors. Students who miss the April 1 deadline for submission but meet the University deadline for the semester will receive a grade and credit for completed work, but will not be considered for honors. Students whose thesis is not awarded honors will receive a grade and credit for completed work.