Lafayette encourages and recognizes superior academic work. Since 1926, students have had the opportunity to explore topics that interest them and distinguish themselves by pursuing honors in a particular major or interdisciplinary program.
Students who do honors projects are guided by a faculty member with whom they begin conversations well before the senior year. In many cases, the student has previously worked with the faculty member on an EXCEL Scholars research project or completed an independent study. Once the thesis is written, the student defends it before a committee that includes his or her mentor, all or part of the departmental faculty members, and in some cases, a guest faculty member from another college.
To qualify for honors, students must have a cumulative average of 3.00 and an average of 3.20 in the honors department. As seniors, they take the fall and spring thesis courses. The transcripts of students who receive honors bear the legend “Honors in [department or program name] with Thesis.”
Students cite many reasons for deciding to strive for honors, including: