College of LAS « Illinois

College Distinctions

Dean’s List | Departmental Distinction | Senior Thesis Submission | Art History | English | History | Integrative Biology | Mathematics | Molecular and Cellular Biology | Psychology

Besides the LAS James Scholar program, you can earn distinction in the College of LAS through the Dean’s List, departmental distinction, and by participating in an honors program established in some LAS departments.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is prepared each semester to honor all full-time students whose grade-point average (GPA) for that semester ranks in the upper 20 percent of their college. The minimum GPA establishing eligibility for the LAS Dean’s List in 2014-2015 is 3.70. Other eligibility criteria include completion of at least 14 hours of course work in which traditional letter grades are earned (i.e., excludes courses graded credit/no credit, satisfactory/unsatisfactory, and test-based credit that is graded pass/fail), and any course work completed through study abroad, subject to these same limitations. No consideration is given for the Dean’s List until final traditional grades are in for courses designated I and DFR. If you believe you should be placed on the Dean’s List as a result of a grade change or a grade received more than a month after the end of the semester, notify the LAS Honors Office to ensure that corrective action is taken.

Departmental Distinction

In many departments in the College of LAS, the opportunity to complete capstone courses or projects (such as a senior thesis) exists as an avenue toward earning Departmental Distinction. Students who have fulfilled specific requirements may graduate with highest distinction, high distinction, or distinction. For information about departmental distinction, consult your major advisor.

Senior Thesis Submission

Art History Honors Program

Honors in art history affords art history majors in the Colleges of Fine and Applied Arts (FAA) and Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) the opportunity to crown their undergraduate careers with a senior honors thesis. The senior honors thesis gives the student an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on an extended research project and is an excellent preparation for graduate-level work in the field. For more information, contact Associate Professor Oscar E. Vázquez, 308 Architecture, or the program chair, Professor Lisa Rosenthal, 106 Architecture, or view the Art History Program handbook.

English Honors Program

The Department of English offers a series of honors seminars on special topics. Seminars are each limited to 18 students who have grade-point averages of 3.33 or higher. To graduate with distinction in English, students must take three seminars and complete either an honors essay or an honors thesis. For Distinction in rhetoric, students must take two seminars and complete a major writing project for honors credit in Rhetoric 355. For more information, see Maureen Airsman, 200 English Building, or Professor Ted Underwood, chair of the Honors Advising Committee, 339 English Building, or visit the English Honors Program website.

History Honors Program

History majors have the opportunity to graduate with distinction through a departmental honors program. The program is open to all students who have a 3.5 grade-point average in history and a 3.25 overall grade-point average at the end of their junior year. Under the close direction of the professor, the student writes a thesis, which is submitted to a designated faculty committee several weeks in advance of graduation. The quality of the thesis, the performance in an informal oral examination, and the grades in past history courses are all considered in certifying the student for graduation with “Distinction,” “High Distinction,” or “Highest Distinction.” For more information, contact academic advisor Scott Bartlett or Professor Randolph, director of undergraduate studies, or visit the History Honors Program website.

Integrative Biology Honors Program

The Honors Program in integrative biology is designed to offer outstanding, highly motivated students the chance to experience all that biology has to offer at the University of Illinois. With enrollment limited to 25-30 students per year and all classes and labs taught by outstanding professors, students improve the daily interactions with faculty that help develop scientific techniques, critical thinking, and communication skills. Each year, participation in open-ended laboratory and field courses fosters cohesiveness among all the students in the program, creating a mutual support system unique among biology majors. Admission to IB Honors occurs in the spring semester of the freshman year, and the students are interviewed individually. To be accepted, students must have a 3.0 GPA by the end of their second semester. For more information, contact the School of Integrative Biology at (217) 333-3044 or visit the Integrative Biology Honors Program website.

Mathematics Honors Program

The Honors Sequence in Mathematics is for highly motivated and mathematically talented freshmen and sophomores who are interested in mathematics, engineering, and sciences. The sequence rapidly introduces students to the rigorous and abstract thought processes of higher mathematics. Students in the Honors Sequence enjoy small classes and close contact with research-active faculty from the very first day. All students entering the Honors Sequence must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies after an interview. For more information, contact the director of undergraduate studies in Mathematics, 313 Altgeld Hall, (217) 333-1108, or visit the Mathematics Honors Program website.

Molecular and Cellular Biology Honors Program

The MCB Honors Concentration is designed for exceptional MCB majors who demonstrate personal motivation to explore a fuller complement of experiences in biology during their undergraduate training. MCB honors students typically plan to enter graduate or professional programs to reach their career goals and want an intensive undergraduate education as preparation. Applicants must be current MCB majors or must declare the MCB major upon starting the concentration. In addition to the motivation to perform honors work, qualifications for admittance might include a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better, grades of B+ or better in mathematics and science courses taken at the University of Illinois, and University of Illinois teaching assistant or instructor recommendation. For more information, contact Dr. Shawna Naidu, 127 Burrill Hall, or visit the MCB Honors Program website.

Psychology Honors Program

The Honors Psychology Program is a three-semester pattern of courses beginning in the spring semester of the junior year and designed to offer an opportunity to do sustained scholarly work on a specific research project culminating in the preparation of a thesis. A first-semester junior (not necessarily a psychology major) who wishes to enroll in the junior-year portion of the program may do so by completing an application form at the time of advance enrollment or registration for the spring semester. Admission to the senior portion of the program requires the concurrence of the student’s advisor and the Department of Psychology honors program director. For information, including minimum academic requirements for admission, contact the Undergraduate Studies Office, 323 Psychology Building, (217) 333-0022, or visit the Psychology Honors Program website.