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To enter the Departmental Honors Program in History of Art and Architecture, you must be a member in good standing of Commonwealth Honors College with the ability to complete 48 graded (not pass/fail) credits in residence (registered at UMass Amherst, not transferred).

You must meet with the Undergraduate Program Director to discuss requirements and departmental opportunities.  The Director will sign a Change of Major form initiating a change to Departmental Honors in History of Art and Architecture to indicate to Commonwealth College and the Registrar’s Office an intention to admit you to the Departmental Honors track.  The Change of Major form must be co-signed at the Commonwealth College Office to finalize admission to the track.

In addition to completing Commonwealth College Honors course requirements as specified in the student’s Commonwealth College contract, the following requirements must be completed within the Department unless there are contracted accommodations:

  • One Art-Hist Honors course at any level with grade of "B" or better
  • One Art-Hist Honors course at 300 level or higher with grade of "B" or better
  • Art-Hist 499Y Honors Research with grade of "B+" or "A-" for Magna, "A" for Summa
  • Art-Hist 499T Honors Thesis with grade of "B+" or "A-" for Magna, "A" for Summa

In order to count four-credit courses taken at the Four Colleges for Honors credit, you must petition the Undergraduate Program Director and provide a copy of the syllabus detailing the content of the course, readings, and assignments.

Graduate level seminars taken in the Department may qualify as 499Y if the student is using the course to develop an Honors thesis.

For the thesis, students must identify a faculty sponsor with whom they will work to draw up a prospectus and contract with a schedule of work to be completed.  Most commonly, the thesis is a sustained, in-depth research project resulting in a 20-25 page paper.  By arrangement with a faculty sponsor, other types of projects, such as organizing an exhibition or creating a website, may be considered a “culminating experience” equivalent to the thesis.

For more information on Departmental Honors in History of Art & Architecture, please contact Margaret Vickery, History of Art & Architecture Honors Program Director, at