At the time of application, a student desiring to participate in the Honors program in African and African American Studies should have completed 6 courses out of the courses required for the regular major, with an average grade of 3.4 or higher in those courses. The applicant's overall college G.P.A. must be 3.0 or higher.
Honors in African and African American Studies requires that students complete both AAAS 98 and AAAS 99 as their Culminating Experience. The AAAS 98-99 sequence represents two (2) terms of thesis preparation and writing, and therefore requires a commitment beyond the Program's expectations for the standard AAAS major. In the ORC, Dartmouth notes that Honors work should be "greater in depth and scope than that expected in the normal major." This is part of the reason the Honors thesis is a two-term experience. Students must fulfill all the normal requirements of the AAAS major in addition to the AAAS 98-99 sequence.
Producing an Honors thesis involves independent and sustained work. Students electing Honors in AAAS should be prepared and motivated to spend substantial time engaged in what can often be a somewhat solitary intellectual pursuit. The Honors program involves the student over more than two terms in designing a special topic, researching it, and eventually producing a substantial piece of writing whose depth and scope might permit the author to stand as something of an authority on the subject at hand. Such a concentrated course of research and writing is an acknowledgement of the Honors student's individuality, independence, and maturity.
Ultimately, an Honors thesis should represent a student's intellectual dialogue with his or her chosen area of study. This means that a thesis is much more than a very long research paper; rather, it is a student's original and thoughtful contribution to the field of African and African American Studies.