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History Honors Program

utkhistory-65History honors majors pursue advanced coursework with other accomplished, motivated students, and they work with a faculty mentor to complete a senior thesis on a topic of their choice.

Completing a history honors major is a highly rewarding intellectual experience. This version of the degree also offers students some very real practical advantages. Being an honors major will make you a much more competitive applicant for law school or graduate school; it will also make your resume stand out to future employers.

The honors major requires the same number of total hours as a regular history major (33 hours in total), but with a somewhat different distribution of classes. Out of their 33 hours in the major, honors majors take a total of 12 hours of honors credit. As an honors major, you will need:

  • Six hours (2 classes) of honors credit in the History Department
    • For example, students often take History 307, an honors course on rotating topics that we offer each year, or they arrange to turn a regular upper-division course into an honors-by-contract course.
  • History 407 and History 408
    • These two classes are the honors thesis sequence, taken in the fall and spring of the senior year.

You can find a more detailed explanation of the honors requirements here.

Note: The link above is to the 2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog. If you are using the 2018-2019 version of the Undergraduate Catalog, be sure to check in with the Honors Coordinator, Dr. Phillips ( There are some clerical errors in this version of the catalog, and the information is not accurate.

How to Declare an Honors Concentration in History

Any History major with a GPA of at least a 3.25 may apply to declare an Honors Concentration in History.

If you are interested, please submit the following two things to the Honors Coordinator, Dr. Phillips (

  • A completed application, available here.
  • An endorsement from a History Department faculty member. Please have the recommending faculty member send their endorsement directly to Dr. Phillips.

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