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Honors Program



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History Honors Program

The Honors Program in History challenges students to enrich the minimum requirements of the major through a focus on vocational discernment. The program recognizes the breadth of options available within the major and supports students in tailoring their co-curricular, academic, and research experiences to meet their vocational and long-term interests. In addition, students who graduate with Honors in History will have demonstrated exceptional academic rigor by maintaining a high GPA in History courses and working with a faculty mentor to complete a Senior Honors Project, the topic and format of which will complement the student’s vocational focus. Fulfilling the requirements of the Honors Program in History will create experiences and artifacts that will be valuable additions to a graduate’s liberal arts experience at Hope College and beyond.


• To enter the Honors Program, a student must have a 3.50 minimum GPA in History courses; to graduate with Honors in History, a student must have a 3.50 minimum GPA in History courses. To graduate with Honors in History, students must complete an approved co-curricular experience related to vocational discernment, such as student teaching (History Education), summer faculty-student collaborative research (funded by a Nyenhuis grant or the History department), internship in a public history setting (e.g., a museum or archives), a Hope College minor congruent with the student’s vocational and academic plan (to be approved by the History Department), or a fall or spring semester spent studying off campus (e.g., an international program, Chicago Semester, Philadelphia Center, Newberry Seminar, New York Arts Program, Oregon Extension, Washington Honors Semester) congruent with the student’s vocational and academic plan (to be approved by the History Department).

• To graduate with Honors in History, a student must complete a Senior Honors Project under the supervision of a member of the History department faculty.
o This project is separate from and in addition to the paper written for HIST 495, which is required of all History and History Education majors.
o Each student in the Honors Program will register for HIST 490: Independent Study in the summer after her/his junior year or the fall or spring semester of her/his senior year.
- This course is in addition to the 36 credits required for the major.
- This course will vary in credit (either 2 or 4) according to the scope of the project and the credit needs of the student.
o The content of the project will expand upon and/or complement the student’s co-curricular experience, and the project will not simply be the same work produced as part of the student’s co-curricular experience. Possible projects include a research paper, a museum portfolio, a unit plan made up of detailed lesson plans, a video, or a website.
o A student undertaking a co-curricular experience during her/his last semester (e.g., student teaching) may register for HIST 490 during the penultimate semester. In such an instance, the student’s preliminary proposal (see below) must include a plan to complete the Seniors Honors Project at the end of the co-curricular experience.


Students will apply to the Honors Program during the fall semester of their third year. The application will include the following: a transcript obtained from the Registrar’s Office; a detailed course plan for the remaining semesters of study; a preliminary proposal for the scope and timing of the Senior Honors Project; written endorsements from the proposed faculty mentor and from the student’s academic advisor if s/he is not the proposed project mentor.



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