Students may fulfil the honours requirement in either of the two honours subjects. Usually this subject will be the one in which the student has taken more classes. In the HOST programme, completion of the honours thesis (HSTC 4550.06) fulfils the requirement of the honours qualifying examination.
Students must register for this full-year (one-credit) class, which is normally taken as one-fifth of a regular (five-credit) course load. On successful completion of the honour thesis and oral defence, students will also receive their 21st credit which is necessary to graduate with honours. Simply, successful completion of HSTC4550.06 gives students both their 20th and 21st credit. Only the 20th credit is applied to the student’s GPA.
The honours thesis is a substantial piece of intellectual work on a subject chosen by the student and agreed to by the supervisor, normally a member of the HOST teaching staff. It is the responsibility of the student to approach the Honours Thesis Advisor in the first instance to discuss their topic and potential supervisors. A supervisor will be selected in consultation with both the Honours Thesis Advisor and the proposed supervisor. The thesis should normally be between twenty-five and sixty standard double-spaced pages in length (between approximately 7500 and 17,500 words). Topics should be developed and approved by a supervisor by the end of October. The following deadlines must be met by students writing honours theses:
October 20: Submission of a one-page thesis topic description and preliminary bibliography.
December 5: Submission of a first chapter.
March 9: Submission of a complete draft.
March 30: Submission of the finished thesis.
The honours thesis will be examined by a committee of the supervisor and two other members of the HOST teaching staff. Theses will be defended at a half-hour oral exam the week of 9-13 April 2018. Students will be expected to answer the examining committee’s questions about the substance and methodology of their work.
A fourth-year Honours Colloquium for graduating students addresses issues relevant to the honours requirement, deadlines and graduation. Students in the colloquium meet with the Honours Thesis Advisor twice a term. Attendance at the Honours Colloquium will be required of students who are fulfilling their honours requirement in HOST by writing an honours thesis; students who are not fulfilling their honours requirement with HOST or are doing so by completing the Honours Seminar are 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:
September 14, 11:30 a.m: Discussion of honours requirement and graduate school applications.
October 26, 11:30 a.m: Discussion of thesis topic proposals.
January 11, 11:30 a.m: Discussion of first chapter drafts.
March 15, 11:30 a.m: Discussion of completed drafts.