Honors Program

Faculty Advisor: Professor Helen Zoe Veit

The Honors Program in History at Michigan State University offers advanced instruction to students in the Honors College. In brief, 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.  For History majors, the senior thesis (two semesters of HST 499H) counts as two of these experiences.  The other six, as for all students in the Honors College, 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. Questions about the Honors Program should be directed its faculty coordinator, Professor Helen Zoe Veit.

The mark of distinction for students who complete the Honors Program in History is the completion of senior thesis. This capstone experience is a yearlong, two-course sequence during which students prepare a substantial work of independent historical research under the guidance of a faculty member. Building with 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 seventy-five pages. In recent years students have completed the traditional thesis, 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.

Some of the recent Honors Program students and their thesis titles are:

Allison Apland, Patient Social Status in Greco-Roman Medicine: Regimen as a Case Study

Kevin Cunningham, The Spirit of 1776: The Young American Movement and the First Cuban Filibuster

Erin Walsh, Male Homosexuality, the Männerbund, and the Persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945

Milan Griffes, The Origins and Development of Carl Becker’s Historiography (Advisor: Professor David Bailey)

Rebecca Imthurn, Construction and Controversy: The Lansing Public Library in the Sixties (Advisor: Professor Peter Knupfer)

Brandon Smith, The English Common Law in the 12th Century: Continuity, Chaos, and Change? (Advisor: Professor Emily Tabuteau)

Rachel Yales, Runaway Slaves in Saint-Domingue (Advisors: Professor Walter Hawthorne and Professor Gwendolyn Hall)

Sean Mccauley, Violence And Religion: A Comparative Exploration From the Early Arab Conquests through the First Crusade (Advisor: Professor Leslie Moch)

Laura Grindem, Justifying Oppression: French Colonialism and the Crisis of Identity and Racism in Sub-Saharan Africa (Advisor: Professor Leslie Moch)

Jeffrey Olenick, Mobilization of the 32nd Infantry Division, October 1940 To December 1941 (Advisor: Professor Roger Rosentreter)

Sean Edgerton, What Dreams Became: The Sputnik Phenomenon

Emily Field, Italian Silk Production And Its Impact On The Emergence Of Fashion

Sarah Robinson, Imagining a Better World: Reformers, Thinkers, Novelists, Poets and How They Reinforce One Another

Form for 499H Application