Department of History College of Arts and Sciences
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The Honors Program in History

Please note that the requirements for the History Honors Program have recently been revised. Below are the revised requirements. These requirements differ from the requirements given in the 2014-2015 undergraduate catalog. During this year of transition, students are strongly encouraged to follow the revised requirements.

The Honors Program in History is one of the oldest such programs at The University of Memphis. It was created to provide the serious superior student of history an opportunity to pursue an individualized course of study usually available only in institutions smaller or more select. At the same time, the student is still afforded the advantages of a large university, a sizeable library collection, a diversity of course offerings, and a large faculty with interests and expertise in a wide range of historical approaches and geographic areas.

Essentially, the Honors Program desires to encourage the superior student to isolate and pursue his or her own interests while developing his or her critical powers and facility in writing and discussion. The Honors Program seeks to achieve these goals by creating a situation in which the honors student may interact more closely with other superior students and with members of the faculty. It is expected that this program will provide a richer and more rewarding intellectual experience for the honors student, as well as the distinctive recognition of receiving the Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in History.

Admission to the Program

The Honors Program in History is a two-year course of study open only to history majors. Normally a student will be admitted at the beginning of the first semester of the junior year. To be eligible for admission, a student must have

  • completed approximately 55 semester hours
  • completed six hours of lower-division history
  • attained a grade-point average of at least 3.25 in overall studies and in all history courses taken.

A student who lacks the requisite grade-point average or is beyond the first semester of his or her junior year, but feels that he or she is nonetheless qualified for and able to complete the History Honors Program, may apply to the honors advisor, Dr. Chrystal Goudsouzian, for an exception. Applications will be considered in consultation with the History Undergraduate Studies Committee.

Content of the Program

Each student seeking Honors in History must fulfill the requirements for a history major outlined in the undergraduate catalog.

Students admitted to the honors program must complete 15 hours of honors work as part of their degree requirements, which must meet the following stipulations:

  • Student must complete 9 hours of honors work in upper-division history courses. These 9 hours must be completed as specified below:
    • HIST 4012: Directed Readings/Honors: Students must complete at least one Honors Directed Readings course with a history faculty member. Students are usually required to take this course with the thesis supervisor, prior to enrolling in HIST 4996: Honors Thesis. (3 hours credit)
    • HIST 4996: Honors Thesis: Students are required to complete the honors thesis under the direction of a history faculty member. Students are encouraged to write the thesis during the first semester of their senior year. Students are usually required to enroll in at least one semester of HIST 4012: Directed Readings/Honors with the thesis supervisor prior to enrolling in HIST 4996. (3 hours credit)
    • The remaining 3 hours may be taken as an additional semester of HIST 4012: Directed Readings/Honors with any history faculty member, or in an upper-division history course with an honors contract that outlines additional honors-level requirements. (3 hours credit)
      • Follow the honors contract guidelines (pdf) if you satisfy this requirement by taking an upper-division history course with an honors contract
  • Student must complete 6 hours of honors work that may be taken at any level and in any department.


Dr. Chrystal Goudsouzian will be the academic advisor for all history honors students. The program of each student, all contracts entered into between honors students and professors, and the topic and plan for honors papers are subject to the approval of the student’s advisor, in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Retention in the Program

To remain in good standing within the program, the student must maintain a 3.25 grade-point average in history and in his or her overall studies, and he or she must make no grade below ‘B’ in an honors course. Failure to maintain these standards during any semester may result in his or her being dropped from the program. If a student is dropped from the program, he or she may apply all honors credit earned toward fulfilling degree and major requirements.


The student who successfully completes the program and the regular B.A. requirements will have his or her degree conferred “With Honors in History.” The student’s diploma and record will be similarly endorsed.

University Honors Program

In order for the Department of History to track students’ honors credits, students enrolling in the Honors Program in History will be required to enroll in the University Honors Program, administered by the Helen Hardin Honors Program. History Honors students are not required to complete the University Honors Program in order to earn History Honors. If you do complete both honors programs, your diploma and transcript will show both distinctions.

For further information

Contact Dr. Chrystal Goudsouzian, 143 Mitchell Hall, 901.678.5339.



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Last Updated: 1/7/15