Are you looking for an extra challenge within your anthropology major?

Our departmental honors program is designed to foster and reward excellence in undergraduate anthropology studies. You may participate in this program if your grade point average (GPA) in your anthropology courses is at least 3.5 and if you are qualified to take upper-division courses. You do not have to be a member of Ball State’s Honors College

to apply.

Upon completing the departmental honors requirements, you’ll earn the designation “Departmental Honors in Anthropology” on your official university records. Your achievement also will be noted in the commencement program and in our departmental records.


To enroll for departmental honors, you must go to Honors College, CA 104, and fill out a yellow card. The Honors College is the official coordinating office for all departmental honors curricula. Once you have enrolled, be sure to let the departmental honors co-representatives (Dr. Bowers and Dr. Nyce) know you have done so, if you have not previously talked to one of them.

Course Requirements

You must complete HONR 499 - Departmental Honors Thesis or Project

and at least three upper-division anthropology courses in which you earn honors credit. You may take either: 

Earning Honors Credit

To earn honors credit for a course, you must inform your professor during the first week of class that you wish to take the course for departmental honors credit. If the professor agrees, then the two of you will decide what type of academic work you’ll do to earn honors credit. Departmental honors course work should go beyond the regular course requirements.

No course grade below an A will be accepted for honors credit. In addition, you must not earn less than a B in ANTH 301 - History of Anthropology,

which is required for all majors. If you do not receive an A in a course taken for honors credit, you may enroll in another course for honors credit. To graduate with departmental honors, you must earn a GPA of at least 3.5 in your major.

Capstone Project

To complete the required capstone project (honors thesis), you must first pick up a copy of the Departmental Honors Capstone Project Guide from the Honors College before beginning work on your project. Then you must make an appointment with an Honors College representative to discuss your ideas for the project, choose an advisor to mentor the project, submit a written proposal, and obtain approval from the Honors College.

Upon approval of your proposal, the Honors College will grant you permission to enroll in HONR 499 - Departmental Honors Thesis or Project.

  • If you’re also enrolled in the Honors College, you do not need to complete two theses. Your departmental honors capstone project can be adjusted to fit the Honors College thesis/creative project requirements. Follow the procedures in the Senior Honors Thesis/Creative Project Guide.

    Signing Up

    To participate in our departmental honors program, you must obtain a Departmental Honors Requirement Completion form from the Honors College 

    for each course you take for honors credit. You must have the form signed by the course instructor during the first week of class and return it to the Honors College.

    When you have completed a course for departmental honors and received your grade, please notify the departmental honors representatives of that fact.

    To be designated as a departmental honors recipient in the commencement program when you graduate, all requirements must be documented on forms in the Honors College by March 17 for the spring ceremonies or October 31 for the winter ceremonies.

    When you have filled out the forms documenting your eligibility to receive the designation of departmental honors representative at graduation, be sure to notify the department honors co-representatives, who will then notify the director of Undergraduate Studies.

    For more information on this program, please contact Nick Kawa or James M. Nyce,

    our departmental honors co-representatives.