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:

Jakob Myers, Oceans Apart: Transnational Trade, Political Contestation, and the Makings of Empire in Zanzibar, 1828-1860

Gerald Sinclair, The Hand of God: Using Christianity to Secure Power in Seventh-Century Northumbria

Lachlan Woods, Times Past, Present, and Future: The Temporal Dimensions of South African Colonialism

Brett Binkowski, Oenophile’s Empire: Wine and the Struggle for Global Prominence in Nineteenth-Century America

Allie Pail, The Biography of Myrna Short: A Gendered Analysis of Federal Mathematicians, 1961-1993

Eric Baylis, Strange Eons: Nuclear Waste, the Human Interference Task Force, and the Ethics of Applied Imagination

Marwa ElShazly, Chaos and Currency: Cigarettes on the Black Market in Europe, 1940-1950

Matthew Brazier, Vietnamese Agents of Change: An Exploration into Vietnamese Migration to the United States through the Nexus of U.S. Higher Education and the Vietnam War in the 1950s and 1960s

Aislinn Teachout, Making the Personal Political: Understanding the Evolution of Sexual Assault and Feminism in Light of #MeToo

Anna Esenther, Fact or Fancy? The Conflicting Approaches of Classical Economists and Mid-Nineteenth-Century English Novelists to Understanding Industrial Capitalism

Natalie Holland, Youth Action in Zambian History

Andrew Rockett, Eyes on Crime: A Case Study in Local Crime Coverage, 1961-1990

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