Honors Program

The Department of Women’s Studies Honors Program provides an opportunity for students within the university to pursue an academic interest in some aspect of women’s, gender, and/or sexuality studies in greater depth than that allowed by formal classes. While the Honors Program puts emphasis on the development of habits of self-reliance, individual initiative, and critical analysis, students also have the experience of working one-on-one with a faculty mentor. The thesis project may result in a sustained piece of writing or a substantial creative or activist project.

Students are accepted into the honors program each semester. Ideally students should apply in the second semester of their sophomore year. Transfer students are welcome to apply.

Applications are accepted from students of any major who have completed three WMST and/or LGBT courses at the time of application and have a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.25 GPA in the WMST/LGBT courses taken.

The Honors program consists of 12 credits, ideally taken across four semesters. Transfer students or students who are planning study abroad should speak to the Director of Undergraduate Studies about the possibility of completing the Honors program in three semesters. The four courses are: an upper-level course of choice taken with an Honors Option; the WMST or LGBT senior seminar taken with an Honors Option; and 6 credits of WMST Honors Thesis.

Students wishing to begin the Honors Program in the spring semester should apply by November 1 of the prior fall semester. Students wishing to begin the Honors Program in the fall semester should apply by March 1 of the prior spring semester.

To apply, submit

  • a transcript (unofficial is acceptable),
  • a list of all LGBT and/or WMST courses completed,
  • a list of any LGBT or WMST courses in which you are currently enrolled,
  • the names and email addresses of two faculty who can evaluate your abilities and readiness to take on an independent project, at least one of whom has been your instructor in an LGBT or WMST course,
  • a sample writing or creative project that you have completed for a course
  • a brief (maximum 250 words) statement of why you are interested in the Honors Program;
  • and, indicate when you intent expect to graduate.

Applications should be submitted to Professor Elsa Barkley Brown, Director of Undergraduate Studies. They may be submitted electronically to barkleyb@umd.edu or in hard copy to Professor Barkley Brown’s mailbox in the Department of Women’s Studies, 2101 Woods Hall.

If you have questions about the Honors Program, your application, the program’s structure, possible Honors projects you might do, or other, you are encouraged to speak with Professor Barkley Brown and with other members of the LGBT/WMST faculty.