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Honors Program

The African Studies Honors project involves writing a significant research paper on a topic related to Africa. The Honors Program is provided as a serious intellectual opportunity for students wanting to bring even greater depth and focus to their major. Students who are going on study or research abroad are encouraged to do preliminary work on their proposed honors project while in Africa. Students are encouraged to ask a new question, suggest a new way of approaching a problem, and to do empirical research on their topic of interest. The project must be of substantial length and demonstrate analytical and empirical depth.

African Studies majors who are incoming seniors with a three-year cumulative minimum GPA of 3.5 and a minimum major GPA of 3.5 at the time of their application are eligible to apply for the Honors Program.

Applications for honors are accepted and reviewed during the second semester of the third (junior) year for seniors who will complete their degree in four years. Seniors who plan on an early graduation must apply to the Honors Program three semesters prior to graduation. Students who are studying abroad during their junior year and who would like to pursue College Honors should discuss their plans with the Director of Undergraduate Studies before departure. The application deadline for the Honors Program will be announced in the Fall semester of each year, and applications will normally be due by the middle of the Spring semester.

Applications include an abstract of the research project, a supporting bibliography as well as a letter or support from an African Studies core faculty who has agreed to direct the project. Participation in the Honors Program is competitive and not all students will be accepted. Applications are reviewed by a faculty committee chaired by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Students who are accepted into the program must fulfill the following requirements:

  • A grade of B or better for AFS 495A and AFS 495BWR: Honors Research. Students typically will take 4 hours of AFS 495A in the Fall Semester and 4 hours of AFS 495BWR in the Spring;
  • A grade of B or better for AFS 490SWR: Senior Seminar in African Studies;
  • Successful completion of an Honors Thesis of substantial length that demonstrates analytical and empirical depth;
  • Successful completion of an oral examination on the student's Honors Thesis.

In addition, a student in the Honors Program must comply with all Emory College requirements for Honors participation, including attendance at all mandatory meetings. Student and faculty advisor must agree on their method of working together and on a schedule, and the student must satisfy any additional requirements imposed by the faculty advisor.

Two of the faculty on a student Thesis Committee must be part of the African Studies core faculty. The third member must be chosen from another department. Final draft for the thesis must be submitted by mid-April to the Thesis Committee. The Thesis must be defended orally in front of the Thesis Committee and submitted to the College Honors Committee by the deadline established by that Committee. The Honors student must comply with all the requirements for the preparation and binding of the thesis. Information on these requirements is available from the Honors Program Office in 320 White Hall.


Additional information regarding the Honors Program is available in the Honors Program Office in White Hall 320. Students interested in the program are also encouraged to discuss their plans with the Institute of African Studies' Director of Undergraduate Studies.