Honors & Distinction

Honors in the Major

Students wishing to earn Honors in the Major in International Studies must declare in the second semester of the junior year and meet the following requirements:

Bascom Hall (Photo Credit: Jeff Miller).

Bascom Hall (Photo Credit: Jeff Miller).

1. A minimum of 16 upper-level honors credits that fulfill requirements in the major. Those courses that would count for honors would include courses specifically designated honors in the Schedule of Classes (Timetable) along with appropriate and pre-approved special topics courses (e.g., Poli Sci 401 and 695, Intl St 601).  No blanket statement can be made about the suitability of topics courses for the major. They will be designated as fulfilling honors credits on a case-by-case basis.  Professors occasionally invite undergraduate students to take graduate-level courses. When this occurs, candidates for Honors in the Major should seek pre-approval from International Studies advising staff to count those courses towards Honors in the Major requirements. These requests will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis and a DARS exception will need to be entered.  Students who both study abroad and pursue Honors in the Major must also work closely with the advisor to determine which, if any, courses taken abroad will fulfill honors credits in the major.

2. A 3.5 grade point average in the major and an overall grade point average of at least 3.3 in all courses taken at UW-Madison at the time of graduation.

3. Complete the following upon consultation with the international studies advisor: two senior seminars (6 credits) such as the International Studies topics seminars.  For those students who are invited to take graduate-level courses an individual exception will need to be made.  Students may also choose to do an interdisciplinary senior thesis, which is a two-semester commitment. Advising for Honors in the Major is through the International Studies Program.

4. Completion of the Honors in the Major application form below.  Although you will work with your advisor during the process, this form must be submitted at least three weeks before the end of your junior year (second semester).

5. Complete the L&S Honors in the Major form in conjunction with your IS Major Advisor.  You can read more about Honors in the Major on their website.

Distinction in the Major

Students not enrolled in the Honors Program may apply for Distinction in the Major.  International Studies must declare with an IS Major Advisor and meet the following requirements:

Study abroad in Lijiang, China (Photo Credit: Dreux Montgomery).

Study abroad in Lijiang, China (Photo Credit: Dreux Montgomery).

1. A 3.5 grade point average in the major.

2. At least one of the following: senior thesis, senior seminar, or “substantial extra work” in an advanced course within the major.  Professors occasionally invite undergraduate students to take graduate-level courses. When this occurs, candidates for Distinction in the Major should seek pre-approval from International Studies advising staff to count those courses towards distinction requirements. These requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

3. A letter of recommendation from a member of the UW faculty to the international studies advisor three weeks before the date of graduation.

4. Complete this form and submit it to an IS Major advisor at least six weeks before your date of graduation.

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