The Hobart and William Smith Colleges' Honors Program makes possible the most sustained and sophisticated work available in the Colleges' curriculum.
Although "doing Honors" assists students in pursuing their professional ambitions after graduation, such preparation is not the only objective of the program. Its basic value is to afford students the opportunity to pursue skills and interests at an advanced level and grow in self-knowledge as the planned project develops.
Qualified students take two or three self-designed courses that concentrate on the same project and are sponsored by the same faculty adviser. While Honors is generally taken only in the context of a student's academic major, students wishing to do Honors outside their major may petition the Honors Committee.
Most or all of the work associated with an Honors project is done in the senior year, though it may be begun earlier, and culminates in a research or critical paper or its counterpart in the creative arts.
In addition to the Honors project, an Honors candidate takes a written examination in the Honors field and an oral examination that covers both the Honors project and the written examination. Each candidate has an Honors committee consisting of a field and faculty examiner from the Colleges' faculty and an outside examiner.
Students may receive Honors in their Honors work. Students who do not receive Honors or who withdraw from the program may receive course credit as recommended by their advisers.
Successful Honors students are listed in the Commencement program, together with their advisers, the titles of their projects, and the degree of Honors earned. Their achievement is also recorded on their transcripts.
Honors papers and their counterparts are catalogued and kept for reference in the Warren Hunting Smith Library. Each year the Hobart and William Smith Colleges' Catalogue lists the preceding year's student Honors projects, including advisers and outside examiners.
The rationale for the Honors Program is that sustained work on a project of a student's own choosing, with constantly available advice from a specialist, has educational benefits and personal gratifications that cannot be duplicated in regular, semester-length courses.
The reasons for the success of the program seem to be that its challenge is sound and realistic, its provisions are flexible but not shapeless, and its inclusion of outside examiners reinforces faculty and student standards of professionalism.
The many faculty members who participate in the program so do out of deep commitment to their subjects and their students. They do so over and beyond their regular teaching load and without extra remuneration. Without them, the program could not have maintained itself for nearly 60 years.
The outside examiners are chosen carefully for their expertise and sometimes come from considerable distances. They keep Honors work from being too campus-bound and add excitement to the oral examination, which many Honors students regard as the high point of their academic experience.
Informational Meeting for Juniors and Seniors
The Honors candidate completing honors in the Fall 2013 and his or her adviser agree on the date for a final reading of Fall Semester Honors Project.
Written Honors Exam for candidates completing Honors in Spring, 2014 must be taken this week. Alternate testing week can also be scheduled within the first three weeks of Spring Semester 2014 but must be completed by February 7, 2014.
Honors Candidates completing Honors in Fall 2013 must hand in their Honors projects, error free, and complete to the Honors Secretary in Gulick 201 by 12 noon. There will be no extension for this.
Oral examinations for Fall 2013 Semester candidates occur this week.
Informational Meeting for Sophomores and Juniors
Written Honors Exam for candidates completing Honors in Fall, 2014 must be taken this week. Alternate testing week can also be scheduled within the first three weeks of Fall Semester 2014 but must be completed by September 12, 2014.
The Honors candidate completing honors in the Spring 2014 and his or her adviser agree on the date for a final reading of Spring Semester Honors Project.
Honors Candidates completing Honors in Spring 2014 must hand in their Honors projects, error free, and complete to the Honors Secretary in Gulick 201 by 12 noon. There will be no extension for this.
Informational Meeting for First Year Students
April 28 - May 2
Oral examinations for Spring 2014 Semester candidates occur this week.
Provost’s Porch Party
(315) 781- 3480
8:30 a.m. - noon
Professor John Vaughn
(Mathematics and Computer Science)
Chair/Natural Sciences Representative
Lansing 302, X3906
Professor Michael Bogin
Art and Architectural Studies Representative
Houghton House 200, X3484
Professor Iva Deutchman
Social Sciences Representative
Stern 114, X3429
Professor Steven Lee
DeLancey 206, X3379
Professor Beth Kinne
2nd Floor, 451 Pulteney Street
William Smith Representative
Gulick 201 (8:30-noon), X3480