Honors and Independent Study

Honors Program

Senior Honors Project Requirements and Application Process

  1. Have two completed survey courses before the end of your junior year.
  • LACS 1 Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean
  • LACS 4 History, Culture and Society: The Many Faces of Latin America
  • LATS 3 Introduction to Latino Studies
  • LATS 5 Complexities of Latino Identity
  1. Meet the minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 for all Dartmouth courses and 3.3 in the LALACS Major.
  2. Obtain a faculty advisor.
  3. Write a project proposal, have it signed by your faculty advisor, and submit it to the LALACS Dept. Administrator by May 15 of the junior year.
  4. By week 9 of fall term of the junior year, submit a five- to seven-page project prospectus to the LALACS Dept. Administrator to be reviewed and approved by the LALACS Dept. Steering Committee.
  5. Enroll in LACS 98 in the fall of your senior year, and LACS 99 in the winter. If necessary, LACS 99 may continue in the spring term. In this case, a grade of  ON (ongoing) will be assigned for LACS 99 for the winter term, and the final grade will be assigned at the end of the spring term.
  6. Honors Projects must be completed by the eighth week of spring term of the senior year. Students missing this deadline may be liable to lose eligibility for honors.


Honors Project Prospectus Guidelines

 Use the following questions to guide your Honors Project Proposal. We suggest that you use them as subheadings in your proposal. The proposal should be approximately two to three pages long (not including a preliminary annotated bibliography).

  1. What is your research topic?
  2. What is the specific question you will examine?
  3. Why is it important and interesting?
  4. What is your preliminary answer to the question?
  5. How will you approach the research?  Case studies?  Large data sets?  In-depth interviews?  Textual resources?  Primary sources?
  6. What resources are available to you at Dartmouth that will help you in collecting your evidence?
  7. Will you need to conduct research off campus?  How will you secure funding?  How will you schedule this off-campus research?
  8. Enclose a preliminary annotated bibliography (10-15 sources).  An annotated bibliography includes a description in three to four sentences of the main findings of each reference and how it relates to your research.

In consultation with your LALACS faculty advisor, use the following guidelines to prepare the five-to-seven-page prospectus that must be submitted to the LALACS Dept. Administrator by week 9 of your the fall term of your junior year. 

Thesis Statement: Clearly state the central argument of your project.  A project statement tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.  This project statement must make a claim that will then be substantiated convincingly through the evidence, data, analyses, and sources that comprise the rest of the project.

Methodology or Critical Approach: Depending on the disciplinary concerns raised by your project statement and the data or materials you will analyze, you must clarify how you will engage with the subject matter of your project.  For example, many social science methodologies employ qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method approaches.  In the humanities, critical approaches can include psychoanalytical, historical, generic, or semiotic approaches.

Existing Research and Current Debates: You should provide a concise overview of the most relevant research and debates in your area of study and how you will position your own project within existing scholarship.  What unique contribution will your project make in the area of research you have chosen to pursue?

Structure and Organization of the Project: Describe each chapter of your project and how the central focus of the different sections will contribute to answering your overarching project question.  Describe how you will integrate your research data and/or secondary readings into each section of the project.  You should devote at least one concise paragraph to each individual section or chapter of the overall project.

Preliminary Findings or Conclusion: Anticipate how your research will succeed in proving your central project statement.  What is important about your scholarly contribution to the area of study you have chosen to pursue?  What new knowledge will your project produce?

Expanded Bibliography: Enclose a standard bibliography of at least 25 sources, including the primary texts you plan to analyze, if applicable.  Consult with your faculty advisor to make sure you are using the correct bibliographical format for each entry.

Honor Project Application

Please complete the Google form to apply for your Honors Project.

LALACS Independent Study

Students wishing to pursue intensive supervised study in some aspect of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies should consult the appropriate member of the LALACS faculty to design and carry out an independent study project. Students are required to submit a short description proposal to the Dept. Administrator in the term prior to doing the independent study. Students are encouraged to follow the guidelines for the senior honors thesis proposal. This course requires IP (Instructor Permission) to register.