Comparative Literature Honors Program
Candidates for high or highest honors in Comparative Literature write a senior thesis under the direction of a faculty member approved by the undergraduate faculty advisor. For this purpose, in addition to fulfilling all other major requirements, honors candidates must enroll in 6 units of Comparative Literature 194H during the first two quarters of the senior year. Only students who have attained a GPA of 3.500 in courses satisfying the major by the end of the junior year will be eligible to undertake an honors thesis. Please be advised: this GPA in the major is a minimum requirement to undertake the writing of an honors thesis and does not guarantee honors at graduation. Each year the College of Letters and Science determines the cumulative grade-point average required for honors at graduation.
Timeline for Completing an Honors Thesis
- By the end of the quarter before your final year of study, meet with the undergraduate faculty advisor to discuss your thesis ideas. These ideas might emerge from a particular class you have enjoyed, a book, author, genre, time period, or critical problem you have been intrigued by. Your thesis does not need to engage with the particular language you have studied as part of your Comparative Literature major, but it should be comparative in some way: discuss with the undergraduate faculty advisor and your thesis supervisor ways to incorporate a comparative angle into your thesis.
- With help from the undergraduate faculty advisor as needed, identify one or more faculty members whose interests and expertise make them appropriate scholars to supervise your potential thesis project. Meet with the faculty member who is the best match for your project, talk over your ideas, and, if appropriate, ask her/him to supervise your thesis. Notify the undergraduate advisor as to the outcomes of these meetings.
- Once you have a thesis advisor, decide on the subject of your project and a “big-picture” schedule of meetings and work expected on your thesis during your senior year. You can effectively start working on your thesis during the summer before your senior year by deciding on a reading list with your supervisor. You should also discuss the deadline for a complete draft of your thesis, no later than early in your last quarter of study at UC Davis.
- Take six units of COM 194H with your thesis advisor over two quarters. You may not add any of these units to your final quarter of study. COM 194H is a Pass/Fail course. Obtain the form from the COM undergraduate staff advisor and follow instructions for filing it.
- Notify the undergraduate faculty advisor that you are moving forward with your project.
- Meet with your thesis adviser, normally once a week during the first quarter of work on the project and at least twice a month during the second quarter.
- Turn in your thesis, normally 40-50 double-spaced pages (although this length may vary as arranged by the student in consultation with the thesis advisor) by the deadline suggested in the honors evaluation timeline.