The Honors Program recognizes the highest level of academic achievement among FSAD majors. The program is designed to allow a small number of talented undergraduates the opportunity to pursue independent creative scholarship/research under the supervision of a member of the FSAD faculty. The following provides important information about the Honors Program, including eligibility, the application procedure, and requirements. The Honors Program is a rigorous and rewarding endeavor. Though the application process begins in your junior year, in order to be successful, it is important that you begin to plan for honors research carefully, even as a freshman and sophomore.
In order to graduate with Honors, students must be in residence for eight semesters (students can still opt for Study Abroad, because these programs require registration as a Cornell student). Transfer students are eligible for the Honors Program as long as they remain in residence for all semesters after they transfer. Students must achieve and maintain a GPA of at least 3.4 to be eligible for the Honors Program, and the 3.4 GPA must be maintained even after being admitted into the Honors Program. Students whose GPA drops below 3.4 will be dropped from the Honors Program (though these students can register for special studies in order to complete their research).
Students should apply for acceptance into the FSAD Honors Program during the first semester of their junior year (the beginning of the second semester of junior year is the latest possible period for application and registration). Students must complete the FSAD Honors Program Application Form, available from the Undergraduate Program Coordinator. To complete the form, students must identify and obtain the signature of a FSAD faculty member who consents to serve as their Academic Mentor for the duration of the Honors Program. The Academic Mentor must approve the student's proposed topic for creative scholarship/thesis. The student will be notified within two weeks of submitting the FSAD Honors Program Application whether they have been accepted into the program.
The FSAD Honors Thesis
The major component of the Honors Program is the documentation of the creative scholarship/research (thesis). Each student is required to conduct original scholarship on a topic chosen by the student. Credit is given; therefore, this work is part of the student's course load each semester. During the junior year, the student usually does preliminary scholarship/research under FSAD 4010, supervised by the FSAD mentor. FSAD 4990 Honors Seminar is the official course for Honors Program creative scholarship/research. Students may register for up to 6 credits in FSAD 4990 over their last three semesters, and must take FSAD 4990 for at least the two semesters of their senior year.
The scholarship must be documented/written up in a formal manner appropriate for the specific research, or creative work that may also include studio work or exhibition. The final written document/thesis must be submitted by April 1 of the senior year. The scholarly document/thesis will be evaluated during an oral scholarly defense by the student's Honors committee, which must meet no later than April 15. This committee consists of the FSAD Honors Program Director, the FSAD academic mentor, and an additional Faculty Representative who is assigned by the FSAD Honors Program Director. The Academic Mentor and Faculty Representative may request revisions which must be incorporated into the final version of the written documentation/thesis.
Summary of Requirements
Students must complete all of the following requirements in order to successfully complete the Honors Program. For the most part these requirements are designed to aid in the research process.
1. Identify and obtain the consent of an FSAD faculty member to act as Faculty Academic Mentor. This should be done when applying for the Honors Program.
2. Register for FSAD 4010 junior year and conduct preliminary research under the guidance of the Academic Mentor.
3. Register for FSAD 4990 for both semesters of senior year.
4. Meet with the Academic Mentor at the beginning of the fall semester senior year to set out written expectations regarding progress on the scholarship/thesis during the fall semester.
5. Attend four professional departmental seminars during their senior year (decided upon in conjunction with the Academic Mentor).
5. Submit a complete draft of the documentation of scholarship/thesis to each member of your honors committee (FSAD Honors Program Director, and FSAD Additional Faculty Assigned by the Director) after receiving approval from the Academic Mentor by April 1.
6. Schedule Oral defense of the scholarship/thesis for no later than April 15.
7. Complete and present a poster of scholarship at a College of Human Ecology poster session organized to recognize undergraduate independent scholarship between April 15 and the last day of classes in the spring semester.
8. The student will submit a copy of the honors scholarship/thesis to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator.
Students who successfully complete the program will graduate in Honors in FSAD, a designation that is recorded on the student’s diploma and the official Cornell University academic record.