Honors Work

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Honors in the Major

Students have the opportunity to graduate with honors in the major. Departmental honors students must maintain a University of Iowa g.p.a. of at least 3.33 and a g.p.a. of at least 3.50 in the major. Students must write an honors thesis that requires two semesters of work during the senior year: fall (thesis research) and spring (thesis writing).

Students who intend to graduate with honors in the major should meet with the gender, women's, and sexuality studies (GWSS) director of undergraduate study before the end of their junior year. They also must select a faculty member to serve as their honors thesis supervisor before they begin their thesis work. The department recommends that students consider faculty members from whom they have taken GWSS courses.

Students have the option of enrolling in GWSS:3990 Independent Readings and Research in Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies in the fall as a way to pursue their honors research for credit. They also may create an honors contract for a GWSS course numbered 3000 or above taught by the honors thesis supervisor or complete a graduate readings course or a seminar related to their thesis subject.

Students must meet the requirements of either capstone Option A or Option B.

Option A

Students enroll in GWSS:3900 Creative and Critical Practice: Theories, Methods, and Skills for the Capstone Senior Project in the fall semester. They write their honors thesis during the spring semester in GWSS:4095 Honors Senior Thesis. While enrolled in this course, honors students work with students in GWSS:4090 Senior Research Seminar. Participation allows students to take part in a workshop-style course where their research and writing receive extensive review from classmates and instructors, and they partake in the department’s end of the year Senior Research Poster Show.

Option B

Students enroll in SJUS:3400 Advocacy and Engagement Colloquium in the fall semester. They write their honors thesis during the spring semester in SJUS:4085 Social Justice Bachelor of Arts Honors Senior Thesis. While enrolled in this course, honors students work with students in SJUS:4080 Advocacy and Engagement Capstone, and they partake in the department's end of the year Senior Research Poster Show.

GWSS students earning honors in more than one major may choose to complete a single thesis that satisfies the honors requirements of both departments. Students must have thesis advisors in both departments, and both advisors must approve the final project. 

University of Iowa Honors Program

In addition to honors in the major, students have opportunities for honors study and activities through membership in the University of Iowa Honors Program. Visit Honors at Iowa to learn about the University's honors program.

Membership in the UI Honors Program is not required to earn honors in the gender, women's, and sexuality studies major.