Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Honors Information

The honors programs in Asian Studies and Asian Cultures and Languages provide ambitious and focused students with an opportunity to do independent research in the form of a substantial thesis.

Application Process

Students should apply to the honors program during the spring semester of their junior year and should consult with the honors advisor in the fall semester of their junior year to begin the application process.

To qualify, applicants must supply the Honors Director with evidence of the following:
  • Upper-division standing at UT Austin
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 for UT Austin and 3.5 for Asian Studies
  • Completion of a minimum of 12 semester hours in Asian Studies
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Completed Honors Program Application

Once admitted to the honors program, students should also submit a completed Honors Contract to Jeffery Willett in WCH 4.116. This contract is an agreement between the student and his/her primary supervisor, and completion of the contract is necessary to register for the ANS 678H sequence. This contract should be submitted no later than the fourth day of class the semester the student plans to enroll in ANS 678HA.

Graduation with Honors

To graduate with honors, qualified students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least 60 semester hours in residence at UT. Up to thirty hours must be in Asian Studies, depending on major and catalog.
  • Completion of ANS 678HA and 678HB (two-semester honors thesis tutorial course) with a grade of A in both.
  • Completion of a Capstone seminar, ANS 379 (on various topics).
  • A minimum UT Austin GPA of 3.0 and a 3.5 or higher GPA in the student's Asian Studies or Asian Cultures and Languages major.

The Honors Sequence

All potential honors students are required to take ANS 379 (Capstone, various topics, at any point sophomore year and beyond).  During the thesis year honors students are required to take the two-semester Honors Tutorial (ANS 678HA and 678HB).  Capstone courses are topical in nature, but should help students develop the advanced research and writing skills their thesis will require. While students are unlikely to find a direct match between the topics of the Capstone and their thesis, there are opportunities to utilize research and writing developed in the Seminar as part of the thesis with advanced planning.

In ANS 678HA and 678HB, honors students work on their research and theses with their thesis supervisor. Students should plan on finishing the bulk of their research during 678HA so that they are free to spend the 678HB semester completing their research and writing the thesis. The thesis is due on the Monday after the last class day of the semester the student is enrolled in ANS 678HB.

Honors Thesis

Writing the thesis, which is both longer (minimum 40 pages) and more intellectually sophisticated than other college writing assignments, is for most honors students the most fulfilling experience of their undergraduate careers. The completed thesis will be read by the faculty supervisor and a second reader; the latter may, if necessary, be based in another department. The two readers will assess the thesis with the following criteria in mind: 1) quality of argument; 2) breadth and depth of research; 3) quality of writing and organization; and 4) conformity with current rules of proper academic conduct. A completed and bound copy of the thesis must be submitted to the department by the Monday after the last class day of the semester in which the thesis was written.

For detailed information on writing honors theses, students are encouraged to consult the College of Liberal Arts’ “Senior Thesis Manual: Departmental Honors Programs.” A copy can be obtained from Asian Studies honors director and the academic advisor. Students may also download the PDF.

Students are encouraged to consult the Writing & Research page of the departmental website for resources on the writing and research processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a transfer student. Am I eligible for the honors program?
Yes. Transfer students may apply for the honors program.
I want to study abroad. Can I still do the honors program?
Many of our students incorporate study abroad into their thesis plans. Students interested in honors and studying abroad should consult with the academic advisor.
I want to get honors in two different majors. Is that possible?
Students who would like to receive honors from two departments must complete two separate theses or seek departmental honors in only one of their two majors.
I'm in Plan II. Can I use my honors thesis here to count for my Plan II thesis?
Plan II majors seeking Special Honors in Asian Studies or Asian Cultures and Languages through the honors program should apply to the program and, once accepted, meet with Plan II advisors to review procedures and options.

Program Contacts

Dr. Chiu-Mi Lai

Honors Director

WCH 5.112

(512) 471-5811

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