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EIU Department of History

History Departmental Honors

The advanced training of Departmental Honors prepares students for graduate school, gives students the opportunity to produce a significant piece of original scholarship, and allows students to pursue specialized interests.

What is Departmental Honors?

The departmental honors program is open to history majors with a cumulative and major GPA that meets or exceeds 3.5.Over the course of three or four semesters, a student enrolls in an independent study to examine the literature of the student’s chosen interest. This independent course lays the foundation for the next step: developing and researching a paper which the student writes in the subsequent semester.

How to Apply to Departmental Honors

Speak with the Departmental Honors Coordinator, Dr. Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz (, who will help you fill out an application form to submit to the Honors College.

Maintain a minimum 3.5 gpa
Complete the following courses:
HIS 2010 (History of the United States to 1877)
HIS 2020 (History of the United States since 1877)
HIS 2500 (Historical Research and Writings)
HIS 2560 (Early Modern World History)
Should be a sophomore or a junior.
Since the thesis is completed over three semesters, sophomore or junior standing will allow you ample time to complete your work. In some cases, students may begin in the summer semester, completing the thesis the following academic year.
Should have completed a minimum of 12 hours at Eastern. Transfer students who have not completed 12 hours at EIU may obtain probationary admittance with the recommendation of the Departmental Honors Coordinator..

Honors Requirements

The following twelve hours are required to earn the Departmental Honors designation. In most cases the credits may be applied in fulfillment of history electives:
HIS 4444 Honors Independent Study: Students usually work on developing a thesis proposal during this course. They also read and develop a review on the scholarly literature related to their thesis project.
Students typically meet a number of times with their faculty mentor to discuss their readings. You will use this time to read broadly and produce a prospectus over assembled readings in your chosen area.
HIS 4555 Honors Research: Working with a faculty member, students research their chosen topic, conducting an analysis, and applying an appropriate research methodology.
HIS 4644 Honors Thesis: This includes the completion of the research paper, and a thesis defense before the thesis committee (the two faculty members working with the student).
HIS 5000-5499 Students participate in a graduate seminar of their choosing.

What is an Honors Thesis?

About 40-60 pages of original research.
The thesis usually contains several chapters, along with an introduction, Literature Review, Analysis, and Conclusion. The thesis must also follow an appropriate citation style and include a works cited list.

Related Pages

Contact Information

History Department

2744 Coleman Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

Nora Pat Small, Interim Chair

2526 Coleman Hall

Dr. Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, Social Science Teaching Program Coordinator

2556 - Coleman Hall

Brian Mann, Undergraduate Advisor

3721 - Coleman Hall

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