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The Honors Program in Linguistics provides students with the in-depth research experience of writing an Honors Thesis under the close supervision of a faculty mentor. Majors who are considering graduate study are strongly encouraged to participate. 

Honors Thesis Timeline

The schedule below shows a suggested timeline, with students beginning the honors process in the fall term of their junior year. However, many students have discovered the possibility of doing honors in their major later than that and have still gone on to write excellent senior theses. Please take this timeline as a suggested path only; the first actual deadline is the Oct. 1 date to declare honors. Students wishing to declare honors after that date are required to reach out to first to discuss the honors plan.

The timeline below is based on a Winter semester graduation. If you plan to graduate in Fall or Summer, please reach out to for an adjusted timeline.

Junior Year

By end of Fall Semester:

  • Let the Linguistics Department know you are interested in pursuing an honors thesis via advising appointment or the Honors Interest Form, typically sent out in early December.)
  • Read more about the Honors Summer Fellowship program and decide if you would like to apply.

By the end of Winter Semester:

  • Find a faculty mentor and identify a proposed title of your project.

During Spring/Summer Semester:

  • Register for LING 495  for Fall Term (optional, see “Honors and Course Credit” below)
  • At a minimum, work on your thesis abstract and proposed timeline. Some students may choose to conduct thesis research over the summer as well.

Senior Year

Early September (at least two weeks before the Fall Add/Drop deadline):

October 1:

By the end of Fall Semester:

  • Register for LING 495 for Winter Term (optional, see “Honors and Course Credit” below)
  • Discuss possible second readers with your faculty advisor and approach a second reader to serve in that role.

Mid-March (recommended)

  • Discuss with your faculty advisor whether or not you plan to meet the April 1 deadline for submission of a near-finished draft of your thesis to be considered for Honors Program and Linguistics thesis awards.
  • If you are planning to meet the April 1 deadline, share with your advisor the link to the Honors Award Endorsement form that you will receive by email from the Linguistics Department.

April 1:

  • Deadline to submit thesis for consideration for awards within the Linguistics Department (the Matt Alexander Prize for Outstanding Honors Thesis) as well as LSA Honors Awards.
  • The thesis draft you submit for consideration should be near-complete and should have already been submitted to your thesis advisor. You will submit the thesis, along with an unofficial transcript, in a form you will receive from the Linguistics Department in March.

Mid-April (recommended)

  • Submit the final draft of your thesis to your faculty mentor and second reader. Note: you should decide the final deadline for your thesis in consultation with your readers, but please be aware that the readers will need to submit their honors designations to the Linguistics Department by May 1.

May 1:

  • Final deadline to submit thesis. Please email your thesis to and CC your faculty advisor and second reader. Your faculty advisor and second reader will receive guidance from the Linguistics Department on grading recommendations for your thesis.

Course Credit, Awards, Resources