BA Honors Program

Departmental Honors Program

Majors in Asian Languages & Literature who have at least a 3.7 cumulative overall grade point average and no incompletes may apply for admission to the Departmental Honors Program. The requirements for Departmental Honors include study of a second or classical Asian language and completion of a thesis under the direction of a faculty member. Information is available below on how to apply and the full requirements.

Students who satisfy the requirements for Departmental Honors in addition to the major requirements are awarded diplomas that bear the endorsement "With Honors in Asian Languages and Literature." This recognizes the recipient's outstanding academic ability and dedication to intellectual inquiry.

In the application, students must identify the faculty member who will supervise and approve the thesis, if the student is admitted to the program. Ideally, this is a professor who is already familiar with the applicant's performance in prior coursework. Students who are having difficulty identifying or approaching a potential thesis supervisor should consult advisers at Humanities Academic Services (


In addition to the standard set of requirements for the Bachelor's Degree in Asian Languages and Literature, the following is required for an honors degree:

  • An overall 3.7 GPA.
  • No incompletes at the time of application.
  • Two quarters of coursework in any classical Asian language, or three quarters of coursework in a modern Asian language other than that for which the B.A. is to be granted.
  • An honors thesis to be written in the "senior" year (or the year during which the student is completing the Asian L & L major) under the direction and approval of an Asian L & L faculty member. This can be done under the various 499 courses in the specific language program.
  • Completion: Once the final version of the honors thesis has been approved by the Asian L & L faculty member, submit the final version by email to Humanities Academic Services ( They will confirm that all other requirements have been satisfied and indicate this on the DARS report for departmental honors.

Application Procedures

  • Prepare a one-page written request describing the proposed honors thesis topic and identifying the faculty member who will be asked to direct and ultimately approve the thesis.
  • Submit formal confirmation that the first two requirements enumerated in the honors degree requirements  above have been satisfied. Normally this will come from Humanities Academic Services ( in the form of a simple written confirmation.
  • Submit a writing sample of no less than five (double-spaced) pages. The sample can be newly written for this purpose, or may be something written previously as course work, or any combination of these. It may not be a translation but should instead be something that shows evidence of the applicant's ability to write clearly, cogently, and thoughtfully in English.
  • After the initial screening by Humanities Academic Services of those applicants who meet the formal requirements, the designated honors thesis adviser (an Asian Languages & Literature faculty member) will make the final approvals or rejections.
  • If the student who has been accepted into the departmental honors program fails to maintain the requirements (GPA), Humanities Academic Services  will issue a warning. If the student fails to correct the situation before the quarter (spring or last quarter) in which the thesis is to be written, the student will be dropped from the program.
  • Please contact Humanities Academic Services ( with any questions.