Women’s Studies Honors Track - Thesis

The Women’s Studies Honors track is designed to provide our most talented and highly motivated students with an exceptional opportunity to excel in their study of the different aspects of the study of women, gender and sexuality, including an opportunity to take graduate level courses and conduct original research with the guidance of our faculty members.


A WS major wishing to pursue Honors will undertake a rigorous, sustained research project mentored by faculty. WS majors must also meet all of the other requirements for the degree.

WS students who participate in Honors can also take advantage of some of the courses offered in Honors that enhance their understanding of public policy and civic engagement, and to help students gain leadership skills that are critical in all fields of study (HON 301, and 303).


WS students who joined the Honors Program in their freshman year and who have completed the 2 HON and 1 A section requirement may continue on to the Upper Division Honors journey upon the approval of their WS advisor (Departmental Approval Form). The HON 491 course requirement is waived for these students and they may proceed to coursework or independent study toward the Senior Honors Project.

Sophomores and Juniors who desire to apply to and enter the Honors program for an Upper-Division Honors Designation (a BA in Women’s Studies with Honors) must first declare and be accepted into the WS undergraduate major, then apply to the Honors Upper Division program AFTER consultation with the WS undergraduate advisor.

  • Students will need a signed departmental approval form (on Honors Mākālei Program checklist) from the WS undergraduate advisor as part of the Honors application
  • Students must have a minimum 3.2 GPA and the support of the WS

WS students entering Honors as Upper Division students (not as freshmen) are required to take the following courses and fulfill the following requirements:

  • HON 491 (Junior Seminar) or WS graduate class (600-level) (3 credits)

All WS students, upon the end of their junior year, must submit

  • a 10-12 page research proposal for the Senior Honors Project, accompanied by a signed proposal/mentor form (via the Mākālei system)
    • We recommend taking a course designed to help students with research and proposal writing, such as HON 495 Introduction to Research

In the final two semesters of their coursework Honors WS students must take:

  • HON 494 Honors Workshop (zero credits): the companion workshop for the first semester of HON 496 or WS 499. It is designed to familiarize students with the protocol for independent study with their Faculty mentor, criteria and timeline for the Senior Honors Project, and requires students to submit a detailed plan of research for their HON 496/WS 499 work.
  • HON 496 OR WS 499 or a combination of these courses totaling 6 credits over the two semesters toward work on research and writing of WS Honors thesis

All Honors students present their work at the Undergraduate Showcase and submit final Senior Honors project, CV, and a short personal essay to Honors (via Mākālei) in their concluding semester.