Honors and Scholars

The Honors Program is for students who seek greater challenges than are afforded in the regular major. Additional benefits of being an Honors student can be found at http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/.  Students are awarded Honors status from the University Honors & Scholars Center upon admission to the university, based on standardized test scores and high school class rank.   Students with 1 semester of OSU credit (15 semester credit hours) and an OSU cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 may also join the Honors Program by applying at the Arts & Sciences Honors Office (3180 Smith Lab, http://aschonors.osu.edu/ ).

To maintain Honors status, students must maintain a minimum 3.4 cumulative GPA, complete at least six honors or 4000-level classes over the course of your freshman and sophomore years, and submit an Honors Contract or Honors Thesis Application at the conclusion of your second year of study.  Both allow the student wide latitude in the choice of courses, while requiring a significantly stronger program than the traditional major.

Honors Contract

The Honors Contract allows students to develop a liberal arts curriculum which, upon approval by the ASC Honors Committee, admits them to candidacy for graduation with Honors in Arts & Sciences.  The Honors Contract is likely to include Honors courses, upper-level courses to meet General Education Curriculum Requirements, seminars, advanced course sequences, and, often, more than the minimal number of hours required for the degree.  The major area of emphasis may be a single discipline or a combination of disciplines.

An Honors Contract is arranged in close consultation with the French and Italian Honors advisor and should be submitted by the end of your second year of study.  To graduate with Honors in Arts & Sciences, students must complete the Honors Contract and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 on at least 60 graded semester hours at Ohio State. This will be noted on your diploma and transcript.

The Honors Research Thesis

The Honors Research Thesis requires a thesis on a special topic of the student's choice written under the supervision of a faculty member. The thesis generally involves from one to two semesters of work. During the junior or senior year, the student registers for a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 10 semester hours of credit of 4999H in French and 3-9 semester credit hours in Italian, while preparing the thesis. It is followed by a one-hour oral examination on the general topic of the thesis before three faculty members, two from the French and Italian faculty and one from another discipline or department.  Normally, the French and Italian Honors advisor should be one of the French and Italian faculty members on the examining committee.  Students who complete and successfully defend the thesis will graduate with honors research distinction if their minimum cumulative grade point average is 3.4 on at least 60 graded Ohio State semester credit hours.

Undergraduate research and thesis

If you are not an honors student, you can still do research or a thesis. If you are interested in writing a research paper under the guidance of a professor, with permission of a professor you can enroll in up to three hours of French or Italian 4998: Undergraduate research. If you would like to write a thesis and graduate with “Research Distinction” in French or Italian (a mark that is permanently featured on a student’s diploma and transcript), you may enroll in Italian or French 4999. A thesis provides an undergraduate with the best preparation for graduate work, removing some of the mystery and trepidation from pursuing a master’s, doctoral or professional degree.  Completing a formal thesis contributes favorably to, and is sometimes expected of, a student’s graduate or professional school applications!  Letters of recommendation from faculty members are much stronger if a student completes a thesis. Go to: http://undergraduateresearch.osu.edu/index.htm for more information.

Undergraduate Research Scholarships and Small Grants

  1. Each autumn and spring, the Honors Office in Arts and Sciences administers a competition for research scholarships for students who are candidates for graduation with research distinction.  Deadlines for submitting proposals to the Honors Office (3180 Smith Lab) are early-February and mid-September for the Spring and Autumn competitions. 
  2. Proposals for The Pressey Honors Grant of up to $750 may be submitted at any time during the year by students who are candidates for graduation with research distinction.  Submit proposals to Lisa Abrams, University Honors and Scholars Center, Kuhn Honors and Scholars House, 220 West 12th Avenue).

French & Italian Honors Offerings

Students are encouraged to talk with their Honors advisor in the Department about writing a Senior Honors thesis on a topic related to French or Italian language, literature, or culture.

Departmental Honors Courses


Designed to stimulate oral and written expression through the use of literary and cultural readings, to develop critical skills, and the build analytical vocabulary.


French 4999H:HONORS UG RESEARCH THESIS, 3-5 credit hours

Offers undergraduates with special aptitudes the opportunity to do independent research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students writing senior Honors theses register for 
this course for from 3 to 15 credits per semester up to 15 credits total.