The Honors committee has made some adjustments given the extraordinary circumstances affecting this semester:

  • April 14th (5PM EST) is the NEW deadline for the submission of the Honors thesis and associated materials.
  • The Honors Oral Exam period is now extended for a two-week period: April 20th - May 1st. The oral examination must be conducted online, via Zoom or an equivalent platform.


For students:

  • We recognize that you face new challenges in completing your Honors project (e.g., access to materials/spaces/resources). Please let us know if you need additional support and we will work with the administration to find solutions.
  • You must upload Honors materials electronically to an online Box folder assigned to you. The link will be sent to you and your adviser in advance of the deadline by Laura Sposato, Honors Secretary.


For faculty:

  • By April 6th, please submit details about the committee composition and schedule of the oral examination through this online form.
  • An audio recording of the oral examination is required in the event that there are technical difficulties with participation. Please contact Laura Sposato for assistance if needed.


Additional sources of support for remote learning and collaboration:

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), IT Services Digital Learning Center (DLC) and Library Services have together gathered a resource guide to support your learning as you transition to remote learning. You can find these resources on the CTL webpage.

Remote Learning Resources for Students

Remote Learning Guide for Faculty

The Hobart and William Smith Honors Program makes possible some of the most sustained and sophisticated work available in the Colleges’ curriculum.

Although participating in honors greatly assists students in pursuing their professional ambitions after graduation, this is not the only objective of the program. Its more fundamental value is to afford students the opportunity to pursue skills and interests at the advanced level and grow in self-knowledge as their project develops.

The Honors norm is two semester long courses that concentrate on the same project and are under the supervision of the same faculty adviser. Honors is usually undertaken in one’s academic major; exceptions can occur if a student petitions the Honors Committee.

Again, the Honors norm is that the work is undertaken during one’s senior year. It culminates in a substantial research 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 as well as an oral examination that covers both the Honors project and the written examination. Each candidate has an Honors committee that consists of a field and faculty examiner from the Colleges’ faculty and an outside examiner.

The field examiner is another member of the department in which the student is doing honors. The faculty examiner from outside the division in which the student is pursuing honors. The outside examiner is an expert in the field that the student is studying and he or she has read the Honors thesis and participates in the oral examination.

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.

In the event that a student decides to withdraw from the Honors program after he or she has begun the Honors project that student can receive course credit for an independent study as recommended by the advisor. The same is true for students who are not granted Honors by the Honors Committee who has examined their project.

Honors papers and their counterparts are listed in the Commencement program, together with their advisers and the titles of their projects. 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 the advisers and outside examiners.

The many faculty members who participate in the program do so out of deep commitment to their subjects, their students, and the Colleges. They do so over and beyond their regular teaching and advising load and without any remuneration. Without them, the program could never have existed for over sixty years.

The reasons for the success of the program seem to be that its challenge is sound and realistic, its provisions are clear, and its inclusion of outside examiners reinforces faculty and student standards of professionalism.


Laura Sposato
Honors Secretary
Gulick 201
(315) 781- 3480
8:30 a.m. - noon


Professor Kristy Kenyon
Honors Chair, Natural Sciences Representative
Rosenberg 208, X3598

Assistant Professor Alysia Kaplan
Art and Architectural Studies, Fine Arts/Performing Arts Representative
Carriage House 2nd floor, X3482

Associate Professor Christopher Annear
Anthropology/ Social Science Representative, Stern Hall, X3447

Associate Professor Emily Fisher
Psychology Department, COAA Rep, Gulick 205, X4548

Rachel Antenucci
William Smith Representative

Daniel Ryan
Hobart Representative

Laura Sposato
Honors Secretary
Gulick 201 (8:30-noon), X3480


Faculty Guide for Honors

Student Guide for Honors

Frequently Asked Questions

Honors Forms

Past Honors Projects

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.