We recommend that students do advanced planning for entering the Honors Program in the form of earlier independent studies or research projects, research designs, reviews of the literature in advanced courses, or data gathering during study away where appropriate and possible. Macalester College defines an Honors Project as a year-long independent research project. Thus, students should expect to do considerable work on their project during the summer months between the junior and senior year. This includes, but is not limited to reading broadly on the topic, improving methodological skills, staying in contact with one or more faculty members, preparing a final draft of the research proposal, and receiving directions and encouragement from the Honors Coordinator.

The Department encourages qualified students to consider this unique research opportunity, noting that rigorous academic preparation is required and that successful projects demand a substantial intellectual and time commitment. The Honors Program is open to all qualified students, though it is particularly well suited for students who intend to go to graduate school.

The Honors Program provides an experience quite distinct from the normal capstone, Senior Research Seminar. While students in the Research Seminar are expected to complete a piece of disciplined scholarly work, an Honors Project is held to higher standards of scholarly quality and represents a much more substantial effort and final product.

Honors Projects

Some of our students’ honors projects are available to read on Digital Commons.