Honors Program

Honors Advisor: Professor Helen Zoe Veit

The Honors Program in History at Michigan State University offers advanced instruction to students in the Honors College. The program guarantees students close interaction with faculty and focused training in research methods. Students who are in the Honors College yet pursuing other majors frequently take their university requirements in the History Department, some of whose courses can substitute for IAH or ISS classes.

Like all Honors College students, History majors in the Honors College are required to have eight honors experiences in the course of their work at Michigan State. Honors experiences may be accomplished through a variety of means:  honors sections of regular courses, honors options in regular courses, the substitution of a graduate course for an undergraduate course, and so on.  While History majors are encouraged to do many of these experiences in their History courses, honors experiences in other disciplines and in Integrative Studies will satisfy the requirement. Students in the Honors College who major in History Education are not required to complete the senior thesis but rather achieve eight honors experiences as part of their normal coursework. For honors students majoring in History the senior thesis (two semesters of HST 499H) counts as two of these experiences.

The Senior Honors Thesis is the mark of distinction for students who complete the Honors Program in History. Students not in the Honors College may also apply to complete an Honors Thesis. This capstone experience is a yearlong, two-course sequence (499H) during which students prepare a substantial work of independent historical research under the guidance of a faculty member. Building the skills acquired during upper-division seminar classes, and working in conjunction with History Department faculty, the senior thesis process typically culminates in a work of approximately 60 to 75 pages. In recent years students have completed traditional theses as well digital humanities projects. In order to stimulate the most complete experience of historical research, Honors Program students are encouraged to apply for departmental funding for archival research, as well as for the History Department’s Scholars Program. The form to apply for 499H is here.

Questions about the Honors Program, including questions about Honors Theses, should be directed to the History Department Honors Director, Professor Helen Zoe Veit.

Recent Senior Honors Theses:

Anna Cumming, Jewish Liberators and Masculinity: How the Liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps Shaped the American Jewish GI Experience

Katherine M. Magoulick, Conversion in the North: Women, Stave Churches, and Scandinavian Conversion in the Viking Age

Emily McNicholas, “The High Priestess:” Viola Spolin and the Forgotten Origins of American Improvisational Comedy

Yixin Alfred Wang-Gu, “L’Altra Ci Toglie In Tucto La Reputatione:” The Study of the Politics of Equilibrium in the Early Reign of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, 1466-1469

Patti Wittenberg, Invisible Heroism: Women’s Involvement in the Military During the Revolution and Civil War

Haley Keefer, Abolishing the Link: An Overview of Michigan State University’s Economic Divestiture Plan to Withdrawal from Apartheid South Africa and the Role of the Southern African Liberation Committee

Kennedy Wilson, Inquiry into the Historical Bases for the Legend of Renaud of Montauban

Duncan Tarr, Locating the Political Thought and Global Imagination of Detroit’s Revolutionary Union Movements, 1967-1971