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

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 hls 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; however, in some instances, exceptions will be made for a student beyond this point in his or her studies. 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, but feels that he or she is nonetheless qualified, may apply to the History Honors Commmittee for an exception.

Content of the Program

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

As part of the 21 hours of upper-division history courses required for graduation, he or she must complete 12 hours of honors work in history courses as specified below.

  • History 4003, The Philosophy of History, or History 4999, The Nature of Historical Inquiry (3 hours credit)
  • Two 3-hour courses selected from the following:
    • Honors colloquia offered either as separate sections of established courses or as “special topics” courses
    • Directed readings courses in which a professor and honors student or students meet periodically to discuss readings relating to a topic or topics agreed upon by the professor and student
    • Any upper-division course offered in the Department of History, provided that the student and professor enter into a contract prescribing a distinctive honors component
  • During the last semester in the Honors Program, the student will write an honors paper under the direction of a member of the History faculty (History 4996, Honors Thesis, 3 hours credit)

In addition to these 12 hours in history honors courses, the student must complete 6 hours of honors work that may be taken at any level and in any department.


The chair of the History Honors Committee will be the advisor of all 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 History Honors Committee.

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.

For further information

Contact the chair of the History Honors Committee, 219 Mitchell Hall.

University Honors Program

If you qualify for the Honors Program in History, you may also qualify for the University Honors Program, administered by the Helen Hardin Honors Program. The programs are independent of each other, but courses that fulfill the requirements of the one will often fulfill the requirements of the other.

If you complete both programs, your diploma and transcript will show both distinctions.


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Last Updated: 3/25/14