Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major provides students with exciting opportunities to explore their major discipline in depth, beyond their capstone work, by completing a substantial research or creative project. 

As their project goes through several stages—from preliminary idea to multiple drafts and onto the final result—they develop as thoughtful, steadfast scholars and artists. They demonstrate their capacity to think and work independently on an advanced level. Moreover, they benefit from a close, working relationship with their supervising faculty, from whom they can gain an even deeper understanding of their field. For all of these reasons, Honors in the Major advances a student’s preparation for graduate work.

To qualify for Honors in the Major, a student must have completed at least 75 credits at MMC. The receipt of Honors in the Major is noted on the student’s transcript and in the Commencement Bulletin. 

Honors in the Major is entirely independent of the College Honors Program. It is also distinct from Latin Honors, which are awarded at graduation on the basis of a student’s overall GPA: cum laude (GPA 3.50-3.69), magna cum laude (GPA 3.70-3.89), or summa cum laude (GPA 3.90-4.0).

Honors in the Major — Art or Art History

Students majoring in Art or Art History who have achieved an A or A- in their capstone course (generally offered in the Fall semester of their Senior year), and who have maintained an overall GPA of 3.5+ and a GPA in their major of 3.5+ are invited to pursue an Honors Independent Study in the Spring semester of their Senior year. This option is generally designed for students who wish to pursue graduate work in the field. Students who earn an A or A- in this Honors Independent Study will graduate with Honors in the Major. 

Honors in the Major — English and World Literatures Majors

English and World Literatures majors who have maintained a GPA in the major of 3.5+ are invited to apply for an Honors Independent Study (EWL 499), which they would conduct in their final semester. Students who earn an A or A- in this Honors Independent Study will graduate with Honors in the Major. 

Read more about EWL Honors in the Major Students

Created under the supervision of a mentor who must be a full-time MMC faculty member, the Honors Independent Study in Art History and English & World Literatures is usually a substantial essay that entails original research. In the Art concentrations, it primarily takes the form of a body of artwork and exhibition, though there will be additional requirements. Students in all majors give an oral presentation, open to the public, on their work at the end of the semester. 

To pursue this track, Art, Art History, and EWL majors should secure the mentorship of a faculty member in her major. Then, the student and mentor will complete the Independent Study Certification and Contract and submit it to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for approval. If the student completes or exceeds the terms of the Contract, Honors in the Major will be awarded. 

Honors in the Major — Psychology

Advanced Psychology majors who have obtained a 3.5+ GPA overall and a 3.5+ GPA in Psychology may pursue a Senior Honors Thesis (PSYCH 492) in place of a capstone course. This option is designed for students intending to go to graduate school. These students will complete an honors project—an advanced-level paper that is either a sophisticated, original empirical research project or a comprehensive, in-depth literature review.  If the project meets the requirements of the program, the student will graduate with Honors in Psychology. Students who wish to participate in this option must meet with the Chair of the Department Honors Committee at least one semester in advance of the planned participation. 

Honors in the Major — Biology and Biomedical Sciences

Students in Biology and Biomedical Sciences may elect to pursue a Thesis Track, which involves three consecutive semesters of Natural Sciences research. Learn more here

Amanda Anzovino ('19), Dr. Linda Solomon, Brianne Rogers ('19) Amanda Anzovino ('19), Dr. Linda Solomon, Brianne Rogers ('19) Example of an Honors in the Major Project

In Spring 2019, Psychology major Amanda Anzovino, ’19, worked on an Honors project that compared female police officer representation in U.S. municipal police departments in 1998 versus 2018. A Jeanette K. Watson Fellow, Amanda did original research for her project while completing a Watson-sponsored internship at the National Center for Women and Policing in Washington, DC. She later spoke about her research at the 31 st Annual Greater New York Conference on Behavioral Research, winning an award for best presentation on forensic/applied psychology. She also presented a poster of her research at the Eastern Psychological Association Convention in June 2020.


Honors in the Major

Adrienne Baxter Bell, Ph.D. Professor of Art History;

Director, College Honors Program;

Coordinator of Honors in the Major;

Director, External Student Scholarships