Honors in Arts and Humanities

Note: Temporary policy adaptations have been made for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19. These are located at the bottom of this page.

The School of Arts and Humanities Honors Program offers eligible students the opportunity for advanced creative and scholarly work and recognition within the School.


To earn Arts and Humanities School Honors, students must graduate with (a) a minimum of 30, graded, upper-division semester credit hours at UTD, (b) a major GPA of at least 3.67, and (c) the completion of an honors thesis or project evaluated by two faculty members with a grade of at least B+.

Honors Thesis or Project

School Honors students must successfully complete an honors thesis or project under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. Each student is responsible for securing a supervisor for his or her thesis or project. The thesis or project supervisor should be a full-time faculty member. It is recommended that students begin planning for the honors thesis or project as early as possible and, ideally, meet with prospective faculty supervisor one or two semesters prior to undertaking the thesis or project. The faculty supervisor will then help the student to select the second reader. Students who wish to undertake a creative honors project must have successfully completed at least one practice-based course at UTD in an appropriate medium.

Thesis Option

A thesis is usually understood to be a substantial research or critical paper (minimum 20 pages) on a specific topic. While the particular topic, approach, scope, and length are worked out between the student and the faculty supervisor, the thesis should demonstrate that the student has mastered the concepts and materials in his or her field and has come to independent interpretations and conclusions.

Project Option

A project is usually understood to be a creative production in addition to a written paper (minimum 5 pages). A project may focus on creative writing, digital media, music, performance, or visual arts, for example, and result in a piece or pieces of creative work accompanied by a critical analysis of the project. The project must include public presentation of the project, which could include web publishing, an exhibition, a performance, or a reading. Students will work with their faculty supervisor to determine the appropriate form of public presentation.

Registering for Honors Thesis or Project

In order to register for honors credit, students should consult with their academic advisor. Students must complete an Application and Registration for Senior Honors Thesis or Project form, which is signed by the supervisor and second reader and is turned in to the Director of Advising prior to registration for the semester the Senior Honors will take place. Students will then register for three hours of credit under the honors course number in their major:  VPAS 4V99, HIST 4390, LIT 4V99, or PHIL 4V99.

Submission and Evaluation of Honors Thesis or Project

To earn Arts and Humanities School Honors, both the supervisor and the second reader must evaluate the thesis or project as meriting a grade of B+ or better. If the readers determine that the thesis or project is below the quality necessary for honors but merits a passing grade, the student will receive that grade and earn three hours of credit.

Final evaluation of the student’s honors thesis or project by the faculty supervisor and second reader is due to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (JO 4.510) by the first day of the final examination period for the semester. Students must submit a copy of the honors thesis or project to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education by the last day of the final examination period for the semester. All theses or projects must have a title and all written work must include formal citations.

Fall 2020 - Temporary policy adaptation due to COVID-19:

Project option:
During the Fall 2020 semester, public presentation of the project will be optional due to the circumstances presented by COVID-19. Honors students and their faculty supervisor will determine whether or not to present a virtual public presentation based on the needs and resources of each individual student/project. Students will work with their faculty supervisor to determine the appropriate form of public presentation (or virtual presentation during Fall 2020), if a public presentation is opted for.

Fall 2020 projects will be graded holistically based on the totality of the work done over the semester toward the creative production and (if completed) the virtually produced project.