The DEA Honors Program recognizes the highest level of academic achievement among DEA majors. The program is designed to allow a small number of talented undergraduates the opportunity to formulate and carry out an independent research investigation under the supervision of a member of the DEA departmental faculty. The DEA Undergraduate Honors program is for students who want to prepare themselves for future graduate work. Students who successfully complete the program will graduate with Honors in DEA. The Honors designation is recorded on the student's official Cornell University academic record. The following provides important information about the Honors Program, including eligibility, the application procedure, and requirements. The Honors Program is a rigorous and rewarding endeavor. Though the application process begins in the student's junior year, in order to be successful it is important that the curriculum is planned carefully.
In order to graduate with Honors students must be in residence for eight semesters (students can still opt for Study Abroad programs, etc, because these programs require registration as a Cornell student). Transfer students are eligible for the Honors Program as long as they remain in residence for all semesters after they transfer. Students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.3 to be eligible for the Honors Program, and the 3.3 GPA minimum must be maintained after being admitted into the Honors Program. Students whose GPA drops below 3.3 will be dropped from the Honors Program (these students can register for special studies in order to complete their research).
Students should apply for acceptance into the DEA Honors Program during the first semester of their junior year. Students must complete a DEA Honors Program Application Form. To complete the form, students must first choose and identify:
- 1. A Committee Chair - This person must be a faculty member (professorial rank) in DEA.
- 2. The DEA "At-Large" Honors Representative - This person is a pre-selected DEA faculty member who serves "at large" on all student committees in that major, and whose role is to provide comparability of standards across student theses. The "At Large" Honors Representative for DEA is Dr. Nancy Wells.
- 3. Abstract/Research Topic - A general description of an original research topic will be provided by the student once it has been approved by their Committee Chair. If the topic requires approval by the University Committee on Human Subjects, this must be obtained prior to commencing the research. The committee members must approve the student's proposed thesis topic and sign the application form.
Once completed, the student will return the form to the DEA Academic Programs Coordinator. Students will be notified within two months of submitting the DEA Honors Program Application whether or not they have been accepted into the program.
The DEA Honors Thesis
The major component of the Honors Program is the Honors Thesis. The student's original research must be written up in a formal scientific manner, or a manner appropriate to the major, following the advice of the DEA Faculty Research Member. DEA 4990 - Senior Honors Thesis is the official course title for the Honors Program research. Students must register (for up to six credits) in DEA 4990 - Senior Honors Thesis in the Fall (or first) semester of their Senior year, by adding the course officially through the Registrar's Office. Research will be supervised by the Honors Thesis Committee Members. The final research will be graded based on the thesis and an oral thesis defense by the student to their Committee and the Research Member who serves as an external examiner. The written thesis must be submitted at least one week prior to the defense (the actual submission date will be agreed by the Committee). The Research Member and Faculty Representative must receive the thesis at least one week prior to the defense, and either committee member may request revisions which must be incorporated into the final version of the written thesis that is due by the last day of classes.
Please refer to the DEA Honors Program Suggested Timeline.
If you have additional questions, please contact Nancy Wells, DEA's Honors Program Representative.