The Arts and Sciences Honors Program, in coordination with departments within the College of Arts and Sciences, gives qualified undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences the opportunity to write and defend an honors thesis in an attempt to graduate with Latin honors: cum laudemagna cum laude, or summa cum laude. Most students undertake a thesis project within their major (Departmental Honors), but there is also an interdisciplinary option (General Honors).

Students typically begin working on an honors thesis project in the junior year and defend their thesis in the senior year. Our thesis process is one of the most rigorous in the nation, which means that students who graduate with honors (between four to seven percent of each graduating class) have successfully gone above and beyond their peers not only at CU Boulder but nationwide. Students who earn Latin honors are recognized at the Honors Convocation.

Honors in Spanish

Normally, the following distinctions will be given to those students successfully completing the thesis as outlined below.

  • Cum Laude: For those having at least a 3.5 grade point average in their Spanish courses and writing a sound thesis.
  • Magna Cum Laude: For those having at least a 3.7 grade point average in their Spanish courses and writing a sound thesis.
  • Summa Cum Laude: For those having at least a 3.9 average in their Spanish courses and writing a sound thesis.

Basic Requirements

A student wishing to receive honors in Spanish must:

  • Have an overall grade point average of 3.3.
  • Have an overall grade point average in Spanish courses of 3.5.
  • Have taken at least eighteen credit hours in Spanish courses counting toward the Spanish major (e.g., upper division hours only).
  • Write a thesis in Spanish, English, or Portuguese.
  • Defend orally the thesis (at least one member of the examining committee must be a regular faculty member in another department at UCB). Some part of the oral defense must be conducted in either Spanish or Portuguese, depending on the language in which the thesis is written.
  • Provide one copy of the completed thesis together with an abstract not to exceed 250 words to the Honors Program Office (in Norlin Library) by the announced deadline.

The completed thesis must be written according to the standards of the department concerning grammar and usage. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese strongly encourages students to write their honors thesis in Spanish or Portuguese.

Guidelines for Preparation of a Spanish Honors Thesis

Students may choose to enroll in the undergraduate Spanish Honors Thesis course (SPAN 4990), but it is not a requirement. This course does not count towards the Spanish major. All students interested in applying for departmental honors in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese will be required to submit a research paper which adheres to the following guidelines:

  • Before the project is undertaken, consent must be secured from the Spanish or Portuguese faculty member in whose field of specialization the proposed topic falls. It is assumed that the student will work closely with this faculty member in the definition and execution of the research project and this faculty member will exercise major responsibility for the final evaluation of the completed thesis.
  • It is expected that the core of the written project will consist of research based on primary sources.
  • The thesis should demonstrate familiarity with the most important secondary sources relevant to the topic and an ability to place the discussion in the context of previous scholarly sources.
  • The completed thesis must include the normal scholarly apparatus, i.e., footnotes and bibliography listing primary and secondary sources.
  • The length of the thesis will be determined primarily by the nature of the topic selected, that is, the paper should be as long as is necessary to identify and solve a significant problem or topic in the selected sub-discipline (literature, culture, history, business practices, etc.). Normally, written theses may be expected to fall in the range of approximately 30-50 pages (typed, double-spaced).
  • In preparing the final draft of the thesis, the student will be expected to adhere to the format and usage suggested in the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

For more information please contact: Prof. Nina Molinaro