History majors with sufficiently high standing may graduate with honors in history by applying for the degree "with departmental distinction." Eligible students – those who have completed 21 hours of History credit, including the Junior Seminar, with a 3.7 History GPA and overall 3.5 GPA – will be invited by the Department Chair to apply.
Candidates for distinction will pursue an individual research project under the direction of a particular professor (while enrolled in HIST 4375). Such a major research project will develop out the junior seminar or the senior seminar. The research project will be presented as a thesis before the end of the semester. The successful honors graduate must pass an oral examination on the thesis before a committee of three history faculty and receive at least an A minus on the work.
Students have written distinction papers on a wide range of topics including early English liberalism, health/eugenics, consumerism, mass culture, Bauhaus/modern architecture, the conservative backlash against democracy, the rise of the Nazis, political violence, women/sexuality, the Catholic Center Party in interwar Germany, and the legacies of the First World War in the Weimar Republic.