East Asian Studies

Honors and Prizes

The Honors Program is designed to give deserved recognition to outstanding achievement in the field of East Asian Studies. Covering the two semesters of the senior year, the program is planned as an intellectual exercise focusing upon an area of special interest to the candidate.

EAS Honors: Requirements and Procedures

  1. Admission to the Honors Program will be by invitation of the East Asian Studies Faculty. Students interested in being considered for Honors are encouraged to indicate their interest and discuss the details of the program with any member of the East Asian Studies Faculty. Faculty are encouraged to urge qualified students to consider the Honors Program. Students will be expected to have completed relevant coursework, including foundational courses in appropriate disciplines, before undertaking Honors. A file of Honors prospectuses will be maintained in the East Asian Studies office for the perusal of East Asian Studies faculty and students.
  2. The Honors Project should be original. It should include substantial engagement with appropriate sources in the target language (i.e. language of concentration in EAS, e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean) depending on the student’s language proficiency as determined by the language faculty.
  3. No later than May 1 (COVID year 15 July) of the junior year, the candidate will submit to the East Asian Studies Faculty a tentative written proposal (8-10 pages) which also includes an annotated bibliography compiled in consultation with the potential thesis adviser. Continuance in the Honors Program will be contingent upon faculty acceptance of these documents. The Program will designate the thesis advisor and two additional readers at this time, who will serve as the student’s honors subcommittee. Students studying abroad in their junior year will submit the tentative written proposal and bibliography no later than the first weekend of the ensuing fall semester.  It is in the best interest of such students to consult with the potential thesis adviser during the spring semester and, if necessary, over the summer in preparing these documents.
  4. The Honors Course is the equivalent of a full course. Students typically meet with their faculty sponsor regularly throughout both semesters.
  5. By the end of the second week of the second semester of the senior year, the candidate will deliver an oral presentation to the honors subcommittee. This progress report is not to exceed thirty minutes in length, and will be followed by a discussion period designed to benefit the candidate.  One week before the scheduled presentation, the candidate will submit an outline and annotated bibliography dealing with the Honors project. Should the candidate’s progress be deemed unsatisfactory as a result of the oral presentation, the Honors credit may be turned into Private Reading credit.
  6. By a designated date in late April (or early May 2022) of the senior year, the candidate will submit a digital copy of the Honors Thesis (40-60 pages) to the EAS faculty.  The thesis will be evaluated by the thesis advisor and the first reader whose mutual consent is a prerequisite for the holding of the senior Oral Examination. If one reader judges the work to be unsatisfactory, the third reader will be consulted. If the third reader judges the work to be unsatisfactory, the Senior Oral Examination will not be held, and the Honors project may be converted to Private Reading credit.
  7. A member of the East Asian Studies Faculty other than the Thesis Adviser will serve as the official chairperson of the Oral Defense.
  8. The Senior Oral examination is not to exceed sixty minutes and will focus on the content of the Honors Thesis.  The time designated for the oral defense will be divided according to the following schedule for purposes of questioning the Honors candidate:
    • Student Presentation: 10 minutes
    • First Reader/Thesis adviser: 20 minutes
    • Second reader: 15 minutes
    • Third Reader: 15 minutes
  9. After the defense, the candidate will upload a clean, revised digital copy of the Honors thesis to the College Libraries, per the instructions here. The student is required to send the acknowledgement of the digital submission to the EAS Chair before senior grades are due.
  10. In determining the degree of Honors to be awarded at graduation, the East Asian Studies Faculty presupposes as a minimum the following guidelines from the Committee on Honors at Graduation: “The Committee on Honors at Graduation suggests that averages in major areas typically should not be below 3.1 for Honors, 3.5 for High Honors, and 3.8 for Highest Honors.  Exceptional cases might, for example, involve a single poor year or semester attributable to unusual circumstances.”
  11. The department will organize an event at the end of the semester at which honors students will give short presentations about their honors project

Revised May 2021