Honors Program

Three Types of Honors: Program, College, and National

INTS Program-Level Honors 

The Honors Program provides INTS students an opportunity to conduct in-depth research, work one-on-one with an INTS-affiliated faculty member, and develop unique expertise in a subject area and region of the world. International Studies is an interdisciplinary program, and some students find that the Honors Program allows them to focus in-depth on their chosen specialty. Graduates report that the Honors Program develops independence, maturity, research and analytical abilities, and critical thinking. Students are responsible for narrowing their research interests, working closely with faculty members, reference librarians, and administrators, managing their time (4-6 hours per week, generally), and completing high quality research and writing projects. Students may seek to publish their honors project (or selected portions) in an academic journal, specialty publication, or on an influential blog (publication is not required). Honors projects demonstrate to employers and graduate school admissions committees that a student is able to complete a major research project, defend arguments in both written and verbal form, and self-manage their work to successful completion.


Students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above in all CU courses may compete for a degree in International Studies awarded with Latin Praise of cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. Students with a grade point average of 3.5 in their International Studies courses are eligible for the award of cum laude, those with 3.7 are eligible for magna cum laude, and those with 3.9 or above may be awarded summa cum laude. 


Students competing for honors must take INTS 4880 Directed Research with an International Studies affiliated faculty member. The Directed Research course is applied to the major's credit requirements. Candidates must submit the following form to the Director of the International Studies program for approval of participation in an honors thesis project. 

Download Honors Application Form

This form must be submitted and signed prior to the start of the semester in which honors thesis work will begin. Candidates for honors must submit a research paper prepared under the supervision of a CU faculty member for review by an honors examination committee. The committee will consist of three faculty members drawn from departments participating in the program.

Below is a guide for students who are considering or pursuing honors. Other timelines and arrangements may be made.

Before the beginning of the semester you undertake honors, be sure to:

Meet with faculty supervisor and develop an initial topic area and reading plan;
  • create a meeting schedule that fits the needs of you and your faculty supervisor; 
  • meet with a reference librarian to learn about relevant resources for your project;
  • submit the honors application form, including a project abstract with a working title and a reading list, to the International Studies advisor.

During the first half of the semester: 

Meet weekly with your supervisor, and additional committee members if you wish;
  • gather, read, organize, and synthesize relevant materials for your project; 
  • draft project sections as negotiated with your supervisor.

Week 9

Submit final draft of your honors project to your faculty supervisor for review.
Week 10
Make revisions requested by your supervisor.
Week 11
Provide the project to the members of your committee and schedule a 30-45 minute defense. 
Week 12

Conduct a verbal defense of your project.

Weeks 13-15

Make any needed revisions to your project;
  • complete any needed paperwork with your supervisor, committee, and INTS advisor; 
  • email a courtesy copy of your thesis to the INTS Director. 


College-Level Honors

In addition to the Latin honors awarded by the International Studies program, students are eligible to earn a B.A. degree accompanied by the statement "with distinction" when they meet the College of Liberal Arts and Science honors requirements. For details, speak with your CLAS advisor.

Sigma Iota Rho National-Level Honors

In addition to the Latin honors awarded by the International Studies program, and College honors, students may also be eligible to earn honors from the International Studies honor society, Sigma Iota Rho. Qualified junior and senior INTS students will be contacted by the Director of the INTS program and invited to self-nominate for induction into Sigma Iota Rho. More information is located here: http://www.sigmaiotarho.org/