In addition to the three-credit hour core courses (2001.03, 3001.03, 4001.03) all HOST honours students are required to take HSTC 4600.03 “Disputes” (which can be taken in any year). Students must also fulfil the honours requirement of their degree. BSc students must acquire this additional grade in their science subject.  BA students usually acquire this additional grade in their primary subject (i.e., the subject in which they have taken more classes). However, they may choose to acquire it in their secondary honours subject as long as they receive the approval of both units.

For students pursuing HOST as their primary subject, the honours thesis (HSTC 4650.03) fulfils the honours requirement.

Honours thesis

The honours thesis is a substantial piece of intellectual work on a subject chosen by the student and agreed to by the supervisor, who is normally a member of the HOST teaching staff.

Fall term

It is the responsibility of the student to approach the Honours Thesis Advisor (Dr. Snobelen) in early September to discuss their topic and potential supervisors. Topics should be developed and approved by a supervisor by mid-October at the latest. The student subsequently develops the thesis’ work schedule, bibliography, and outline which should be complete around the start of winter term (see the schedule below).

Winter term

The winter semester is dedicated to writing the thesis, which should normally be an extension of work done in a previous class with an approximate length of 30-35 pages (7500–8500 words).


The following deadlines must be met by students writing honours theses:

  • Monday, November 20 Submission of a one-page thesis topic description and preliminary bibliography
  • Friday, January 12 Submission of Outline and Introduction (first chapter)
  • Friday, February 19 Submission of first draft of complete thesis
  • Friday, March 8 Submission of a second draft
  • Thursday, March 28 Submission of the finished thesis

An electronic copy of the finished thesis should be e-mailed to Sharon Brown ( by the deadline. The honours thesis will be examined by a committee composed of the supervisor and two other faculty members (usually members of the HOST teaching staff). Theses will be defended at a half-hour oral exam during the week of 15-19 April 2024. Students will be expected to answer the examining committee’s questions about the substance and methodology of their work.

Honours colloquium

The fourth-year Honours Colloquium is a forum for discussing your developing thesis projects. The colloquia will be held in the Archibald Room on Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. All graduating students in HOST meet for the first honours colloquium in September. Students writing a thesis in HOST are required to attend all five Honours colloquia for the fulfillment of their thesis requirement in HOST. Students who are not fulfilling their honours thesis requirement in HOST are certainly welcome to attend these meetings but are not required to do so. There is no need to register for the Honours Colloquium; it does not count as an ordinary class. Unless otherwise announced, the colloquium will meet on the following dates:

  • Thursday, September 21 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of honours requirements, research strategies, and graduate school applications (all HOST graduating students)
  • Thursday, November 23 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of thesis topic proposals (all thesis students)
  • Thursday, January 18 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of first chapter drafts (all thesis students)
  • Thursday February 15 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of first completed drafts (all thesis students)
  • Thursday March 14 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of second draft (all thesis students).