To qualify for the Italian Department's Honors Program, a student must have, at the end of her/his junior year, a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the Italian major.
In order to receive Departmental Honors, eligible students write an Honors Thesis. The Honors Thesis takes two semesters to complete, and counts for 6 credits toward the Major. Students enroll in 495 during the fall semester, and 496 during the spring semester.
During the first semester, students conduct independent research and prepare a bibliography on their chosen topic, in consultation with their faculty advisor. During the second semester, students write and submit the Thesis, in consultation with their faculty advisor.
Students interested in pursuing the Honors Thesis should take the following steps:
- Contact the Undergraduate Director, who will verify the student's eligibility (ie: that the student has the requisite GPA).
- Write a brief (400-word) paragraph research proposal, describing her/his project.
- Consult the research profiles of faculty members on the Department website, and select an appropriate faculty advisor.
- Contact the appropriate faculty members with her/his research proposal, requesting that the faculty member advise the Honors Thesis.
Details about the Honors Thesis:
- LENGTH: The Thesis is roughly 40 pages in length (12 point font, double-spaced, one inch margins) with 15 sources (primary, secondary, theoretical). All citations and bibliography should be MLA-style.
- DEADLINE: Students should submit a final draft of the Honors Thesis to their advisor by the first week of April (in the case of Fall graduation, by the first week of November).
EVALUATION: Once the advisor has approved the Honors Thesis, it will be circulated among members of the Honors Thesis Committee, comprised of the thesis advisor and two additional faculty members from the Department.
- CONFERRAL OF HONORS: Once the Honors Thesis has been approved by the Committee, the student will receive Departmental Honors at graduation. Complimenti!
Students of Italian can take advantage of several other opportunities to enhance their academic experience:
- The Italian Club sponsors lectures and trips to the theater and opera, and other cultural programs.
- The New Jersey Italian and Italian American Heritage Commission organizes a broad range of events demonstrating the vibrant presence of Italian cultural traditions today as well as the creativity of the Italian diaspora in the United States and in the world.
- The Italian Department’s Summer Program in Italy is a six-week program held in the lively Renaissance city of Urbino.
- The Study Abroad Program in Italy offers students a full immersion experience with the opportunity to attend a semester or a year-long program in Ferrara, Florence and Click here for courses that count toward the Italian Studies Major and Minor.
For more information about our Undergraduate Program, contact the Undergraduate Director, Professor Rhiannon Welch at
Students with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a 3.5 GPA or higher in the Major is encouraged to write an Honors Thesis, which may be supervised by any Italian Studies faculty member.
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