Honors Program


Every year, a cohort of anthropology majors participate in our Honors Program. Students applying to the Honors Program must meet the minimum College requirements of a 3.0 grade point average and a 3.3 grade point average in the major. Participating in the Honors Program involves completing independent research and writing an honors thesis rooted in one of anthropology's subfields, under the guidance of a faculty advisor or advisors.

The independent research that leads to an honors thesis can be supported by the department's Claire Garber Goodman Fund. Typically, a student takes an Independent Study course (ANTH 85) to prepare their research proposal and secure relevant approvals from Dartmouth's Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects in a term leading up to conducting the research; they then proceeds with an Independent Research course (ANTH 87) after completing their research and as they prepare their Honors Proposal – a document that is distinct from their research proposal and that is typically reviewed by the faculty at the end of Fall term or during the first faculty meeting of Winter term.

Admission to the program is by vote of the Department faculty, which may appoint one or more secondary advisors. If their Honors proposal is approved, the student then registers for Anthropology Honors (ANTH 88), either in the winter term of their senior year, taking an "ongoing" into Spring term, for completion in Spring, or just in Spring term, depending on their writing trajectory and D-plan. Students admitted to the Honors program should be aware that ANTH 88 must be taken in addition to the ten courses ordinarily required in the standard major or eleven courses in the case of a modified major, it can only be taken once, and it does not count as your Senior Seminar/Culminating Experience. It is expected that the student's honors thesis will be submitted to the primary advisor at least four weeks prior to graduation. Those students completing the program with a grade of A- or higher in their honors course will receive honors recognition in the major. High honors may be awarded by faculty vote for truly exceptional work.

In addition to Honors, students of anthropology at Dartmouth can also complete an independent research project, eligible for funding through the Goodman Fund, that leads to a Capstone Project. These Capstone Projects also emerge from independent, faculty-mentored research, usually through an ANTH 85 followed by an ANTH 87, but they allow for more flexibility in scope and format than a traditional thesis and generally take fewer terms to complete. As examples, students who have pursued Capstone Projects have produced websites, OpEds, short films or other multi-modal projects, creative works that are drawn from their fieldwork findings, or more conventional research papers that are not as substantial as a thesis but that still represent significant original work. As with the Honors program, working closely with a faculty mentor (or a small committee of mentors) is crucial to the successful completion of a Capstone Project.