The Honors Program in International Studies recognizes and promotes academic excellence in the major by allowing qualified students to complete an honors thesis in close collaboration with a member of the UCSD faculty.
The IS Honors Program consists of a two quarter sequence: INTL 190H (Fall quarter) and INTL 196H (Winter quarter). During the first quarter of the program (INTL 190H), students finalize their topics and complete the first chapter of their thesis. Those who receive a B+ or better in INTL 190H will be invited to continue on in INTL 196H and to complete a thesis on their chosen topic by the end of Winter quarter.
The IS Honors Program is designed for a limited number of students who have demonstrated excellence in the major. It is recommended for students who have a strong interest in doing original research and those who intend to pursue graduate or professional study.
Admission to the IS Honors Program is based on eligibility requirements and is determined by application only.Completed honors program applications should be submitted to the ISP undergraduate advisor by 4pm on Monday of week nine during spring quarter, prior to enrollment in 190H (If Monday falls on a holiday, applications will be due the following day on Tuesday at 4pm).
Eligibility Requirements for Admission:
- Approval of a faculty thesis advisor. The thesis advisor must be a member of the UCSD faculty and his/her research interests should match your thesis topic and/or region. Students studying abroad may wait until their return to confirm a thesis advisor. However, you will not be allowed to enroll in INTL 190H until your faculty advisor, ISP undergraduate advisor, and ISP Director have approved your honors application.
* ISP encourages students participating in the honors program to complete a Research Methods/Design course prior to the start of INTL 190H. Please contact the ISP office for course recommendations.
The IS Honors Program consists of a two quarter sequence: INTL 190H (Fall quarter) and INTL 196H (Winter quarter).
INTL 190H: Senior Honors Seminar in International Studies (4 units)
In INTL 190H, the thesis topic is finalized and the first chapter of the thesis is completed. The course is graded by the faculty member teaching the seminar. The grade earned in INTL 190H will appear on your official transcript whether or not you go on to complete INTL 196H (the honors thesis).
INTL 196H: Senior Thesis Research (4 Units)
In INTL 196H, research and writing of a 40-100 page senior thesis is completed. This is a self-paced class, requiring discipline and steady commitment, with the opportunity for regular feedback from the faculty advisor. The course grade is determined by your faculty thesis advisor.
The thesis grade and level of honors will be determined by two independent faculty members assigned by ISP. The thesis grade and level of honors is determined by averaging both grades assigned by the independent faculty members. Your faculty advisor will assign a grade for INTL 196H but not for your thesis.
A third reader will be obtained if there is a discrepancy of 4 points or more between the two graders (i.e. 3.4 to 3.8).
The thesis grade will determine the level of honors (if any) received, i.e., with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction. Permission to enroll in INTL 196H is contingent upon a grade of B+ or better in INTL 190H.
Submit 3 copies of your final thesis to the International Studies Advising Office on Monday of finals weeks during winter quarter by 4:00 p.m. There are no extensions to this deadline. Theses turned in after 4 p.m. will have their grades reduced by .5 points for every 24 hour period (e.g. a thesis turned in at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday of finals week will receive a .5 reduction).
Criteria for "distinction," "high distinction," and "highest distinction"
To receive honors in International Studies, students must complete all requirements for the major, and
|Letter Grade||Thesis Grade Points||Level of Distinction|
|A+||4.0 - 3.9||Highest Distinction|
|A||3.8 - 3.7||High Distinction|
|A-||3.6 - 3.5||Distinction|
|B+||3.4 - 3.3||No Distinction|
|B||3.2 - 3.0||No Distinction|
|B-||2.9 - 2.7||No Distinction|
|C+||2.6 - 2.3||No Distinction|
|C||2.2 - 2.0||No Distinction|
The faculty thesis advisor determines the feasibility of the project, helps to locate sources, suggests research methods, and reads drafts of proposals and chapters. It is the student's responsibility to set up regular meetings with the adviser and to propose a timetable for submission of the thesis prospectus, bibliographies, outlines and drafts.
Unlike most classes, the thesis project is largely self-paced, requiring discipline and steady commitment. Students often find it helpful to create stages in the writing of the thesis, discrete steps that allow for steady development of the project and regular feedback from the faculty advisor. The faculty advisor should provide direction at each step, but, once again, the student is responsible for submitting completed research and writing. The following is a suggested sequence for completing the thesis, but the exact order and structure should be agreed by each faculty advisor and student.