Graduating with Honors
Requirements to Graduate with Honors in Portuguese or Spanish
- Graduating “with honors” at the University of Florida is based on a student’s upper division GPA, which pertains to their GPA in ALL coursework (both Spanish/Portuguese and non-Spanish/Portuguese) taken after 60 credits, including their graduating semester.
- Students can check their upper division GPA on their degree audit on http://one.UF.edu. Students achieving a minimum 3.5 upper division GPA upon graduation automatically graduate with honors (cum laude). The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will automatically designate these students as honors graduates.
Eligibility and Procedures to Graduate with High or Highest Honors
Portuguese or Spanish majors who have a minimum 3.75 upper division GPA by the semester prior to graduating may also have the opportunity to achieve high (magna cum laude) or highest (summa cum laude) honors by completing an honors thesis.
The honors thesis requires completing an original research project and writing a paper summarizing that project (minimum 15-25 pages), in Portuguese or Spanish, under the direction of a faculty member in the department. A second reader, also from the department, must also agree to read the final project and consult with the supervisor on the final designation.
Students interested in pursuing the honors thesis should speak with the following:
1. The appropriate Undergraduate Coordinator, regarding procedure and eligibility:
- In Portuguese, Dr. M. Elizabeth Ginway (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- In Spanish, Dr. Greg Moreland (email@example.com)
2. The faculty mentor who would supervise the project, to discuss topics and timeline
3. Potential second readers, to determine availability and interest
These initial conversations should ideally take place at least three semesters prior to graduation in order to ensure sufficient time to develop a research plan, but must occur the semester prior to graduation at the very latest.
Students may also, if necessary, enroll in POW/SPN 4905 Individual Work in the semester prior to the semester in which they will complete their thesis, depending on the nature of the thesis project. This course allows students a more extended period of time to fully develop their thesis ideas, conduct preliminary research for their project, and obtain IRB approval for any research involving human subjects. The faculty member supervising the 4905 would presumably continue working with the student in 4906 in the following semester. *NOTE: Any student whose research directly involves working with human subjects must seek approval of their research protocol from the Institutional Review Board for Human Participants. Please see http://irb.ufl.edu.
Once the project has been approved, students should plan on enrolling in POR/SPN 4906 Honors Thesis in the semester in which they are writing/completing the thesis. The appropriate paperwork needed for registration can be found in the main SPS office, and requires the signature of the supervising professor.
After these initial consultations, the student should fill out the appropriate “Application to Graduate with Honors in Portuguese/Spanish,” which can be obtained from the Undergraduate Coordinators or on the website at http://bit.ly/honorsappSPS.
In either or both of the above cases, students are also encouraged to enroll in POR/SPN 4911 Undergraduate Research (which can be enrolled for 0 credits) in order to track the undergraduate research activity in our department.
The final draft of the honors thesis must be presented to the supervising faculty member and the second reader no later than two weeks before the last day of classes.
The submission must be accompanied by the Honors Thesis Submission Form, which can be downloaded here. Note that this form requires a 200 word abstract and the signatures of the student, the supervising faculty member, and the departmental honors coordinator, which in SPS is the relevant undergraduate coordinator, so plan ahead.
The supervising faculty member and the second reader will confer to determine the final designation for the thesis:
- Two designations are possible, based on the overall quality of the final thesis and the contribution of the project: “with high honors” (summa cum laude) or “with highest honors” (magna cum laude).
- In cases where the thesis is judged to be unsatisfactory but the student’s GPA remains above 3.5, a designation of “with honors” may be awarded.
- Final confirmation is given at the CLAS/University level. (Note that if a student’s upper-division GPA falls below 3.5 upon graduation, no honors designation can be awarded, even if a “senior thesis” was completed.)