A student earns honors in Environmental Policy, Environmental Science or Environmental Studies by successfully completing a rigorous independent research project under the supervision of a member of the CES faculty. Juniors who wish to apply for the honors program should submit a 1-2 page proposal to their intended advisor and the Director of CES by the end of spring break. If a student wishes to work with a faculty member not affiliated with CES, the student must also identify a co-advisor from within the program. Students will be notified by the end of the semester whether or not their proposal has been approved.
The research project should be reported as a written thesis and presented orally before a faculty committee convened for that purpose. Environmental Studies concentrators may undertake an honors thesis and submit it to both their major department and Environmental Studies; petitions for a joint honors project should be approved by the department chair and the Director of the program by the end of the junior year. Majors and concentrators who pursue honors in Environmental Policy, Environmental Science or Environmental Studies alone should enroll in ENVP 493-W31-494, ENVS 493-W31-494, or ENVI 493-W31-494, Senior Research and Thesis, in addition to completing the requirements of the major or concentration.
Because most research requires sustained field, laboratory or archival work that is difficult to combine with conventional coursework, students are strongly encouraged to spend the summer before senior year doing honors research. Funds to support student research are available from restricted endowments of the CES, and an open competition is held each spring to allocate funding resources. Some departments also provide limited support for summer thesis research. Students and their faculty sponsors should plan the thesis with the possibility of summer research in mind.
Honors will be awarded on the basis of the academic merit and originality demonstrated by the student and in the completed thesis.