Ethnic Studies undergraduate majors or minors demonstrating academic competence (an overall GPA of 3.3 or higher, or a GPA of 3.5 or higher in Ethnic Studies classes) and an interest in conducting a research project, writing a thesis, and graduating with honors are encouraged to apply to the Ethnic Studies Undergraduate Honors program. To graduate with honors, a student must conduct an independent research project, supervised by an Ethnic Studies professor, and write an honors thesis. The Ethnic Studies Department is represented on the CU Honors Council by Assistant Professor Jessica Ordaz. Even if you are not sure you want to pursue or qualify for honors, but would simply like to find out more information, please contact Dr. Jessica Ordaz.
Qualifications and Requirements for Honors
Ideally, candidates for honors have an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.3 and a 3.5 grade point average in Ethnic Studies courses. Students meeting these qualifications should contact the department's Honors Council representative by early in the summer after their junior year, but are certainly welcome to consider acceptance to the honors program beginning their junior year (and can contact the Ethnic Studies Honors representative, Dr. Ordaz, later than the summer before their senior year). The Honors Program application must be submitted and approved by the Ethnic Studies Honors representative prior to enrollment in the program.
Students who are considering Ethnic Studies honors are strongly encouraged, but not required, to take "Ethnic Studies Honors I" in the fall semester of their senior year and "Ethnic Studies Honors II" in the spring semester of their senior year. These courses guide the honors students through the expectations and implementation of writing and defending an honors thesis. (It is almost impossible to write a thesis in one semester.)
Advisor, Thesis, and Oral Defense
Ethnic Studies honors students must have an Ethnic Studies professor as the chair/advisor of their honors thesis. Students should plan ahead by identifying a general topic and a departmental faculty member who is qualified, available and willing to supervise the thesis writing process.
Students also must pass an oral defense of their thesis before a three-member faculty committee consisting of their thesis advisor, another Ethnic Studies faculty member, and a member of the University Honors Council (which can be the Ethnic Studies Honors representative. Of the three committee members, two mush be Ethnic Studies faculty, one must be from the CU Honors Council, and one must be faculty from outside of the Ethnic Studies department. (Most students will have the Ethnic Studies Honors rep on their committee, even if s/he isn't chairing it, which fulfills two of the qualifications.) The oral defense of the written thesis typically occurs in March or the first half of April.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
CU Boulder's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) is one of the limited resources available for funding undergraduate research, including scholarly and creative work, with several types of grants. This funding is very competitive, and it has an early due date (typically in late September), so it requires early organizing. More information and application processes can be found on the UROP website.
The University Honors Program Office
The CU Honors Program Office (distinct from the Ethnic Studies Honors Program) is located on the fourth floor of Norlin Library in room M400M. Check the Honors Program website for contact information and a list of deadlines for graduating with honors.