About the Honors Program in AAAS

The Honors Program in the Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS) is an advanced program of study. Majors seeking to complete the Honors Program select their own topic for their project under the guidance of an AAAS appointed or affiliated faculty member. Students are expected to produce a substantial body of work as the culmination of the project. 

Qualified majors may apply for admission to the Honors Program during the third term of their junior year. During the senior year, a two-term project is undertaken. The sequence typically commences in the winter term with AAAS 98 and continues into the spring term with AAAS 99. A thesis project counts towards the credits required for the AAAS major and fulfills the culminating experience requirement of the major. While no formal course takes place in the fall of the senior year, it is the expectation that a proposal will be substantially developed or revised and submitted early in the Fall term. A revised proposal may determine if the project is viable for the Honors Program sequence. 

To receive Honors in AAAS, students must successfully complete their project and maintain a B+ average in AAAS 98 and 99. Awards of High Honors in AAAS are made by the vote of the faculty in the Department of African and African American Studies. In addition to the submission of a substantial body of work, the AAAS Honors Program requires a public presentation of the project during the second sequence term. 


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 3.3 or higher in those courses. The applicant's overall college G.P.A. must be 3.0 or higher.

In the ORC, Dartmouth notes that Honors work should be "greater in depth and scope than that expected in the normal major." The Honors Program involves independent and sustained work. Students electing to pursue Honors in AAAS should be prepared and motivated to spend significant time  designing a special topic, researching it, and eventually producing a substantial piece of work whose depth and scope might permit the author to stand as something of an authority on the subject at hand. 

Ultimately, an Honors Project should represent a student's intellectual dialogue with their chosen area of study. This means that a Honors Project is much more than a very long research paper or project; rather, it is a student's original and thoughtful contribution to the field of African and African American Studies.


By the time of application, students must have a general idea about their topic and will have arranged to work with a faculty advisor on their application submission. Students must identify a faculty member who approves the proposed topic and agrees to help develop and advise the project throughout the senior year by the time of application. Typically, the student will have taken courses with their chosen advisor and are proposing a topic within that professor's field of specialization. AAAS also assigns a second faculty reader to the project; this second reader may provide a supportive role to the project and "reads" the project before submission. 

Upon notice of acceptance into the program by the AAAS Administrator, students should begin researching and refining the topic and proposal. It is the expectation that by early Fall of the senior year, the student will have clearer understanding of the subject of their research, the questions that the research will answer, and what the answers to the questions are likely to be. A more detailed, finalized research proposal for the project, including a full annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources and specific research questions, must be submitted and approved by the Advisor and the AAAS Faculty prior to registration of AAAS 98. 

AAAS Honors Program 2024-25 application now available (google form). 

2024-2025 Deadlines

2024-25 Honors Application Deadline: April 30, 2024 of the junior year 

Revised, Final Proposal Deadline (for those accepted into Program): October 1, 2024 of the senior year 

Honors Presentations: Typically during the 5th week of the senior spring term 

Honors Project Deadline: Typically during the 8th week of the senior spring term 

2024-25 Research Funding Deadlines

Students requiring funds for research or research travel should note the following application deadlines for college funding:

If you have any questions before or during the application process, please contact roger.arnold@dartmouth.edu, Administrator