Junior Year

Commonwealth Honors College student

Junior Year

In your junior year, you’ll progress to Depth of Study, delving deeper into your academic journey and start to consider what you’d like to pursue for your Honors Thesis and which faculty member you would like to work with.  

 


Depth of Study 

In your junior year, you’ll start to focus on work that emphasizes deep engagement in your major (Departmental Honors) or in two or more areas of academic interest (Multidisciplinary Honors). You will develop relationships with faculty members to develop your research or portfolio skills. 

 


Multidisciplinary or Departmental Honors 

If you haven’t already decided whether to continue on the Multidisciplinary Honors track or to apply for the Departmental Honors track, you MUST do so at the beginning of fall semester.  

Multidisciplinary Honors 

Multidisciplinary Honors (MH) gives you the opportunity to broaden your academic interests between two or more disciplines, and is the suggested choice for students who wish to pursue Honors Thesis work beyond the boundaries of the primary major.  

Departmental Honors – requires approval by the department 

Departmental Honors (DH), which requires approval by the department, is the suggested choice for students who wish to pursue advanced scholarship in the major. As departments have their own requirements, meet with your department's Honors Program Director to learn more about Departmental Honors Requirements. 

 


Course Benchmarks 

As part of your Depth of Study curriculum, we encourage you to take one of our Honors Signature courses, the Junior Year Common Experience (Honors 323H). This course, which also meets one of your two Honors course requirements, will give you the opportunity to have an enriching dialogue with a broad range of students and faculty about important ideas. 

To help you choose your Honors Thesis approach, explore the advantages of pursuing an Individually Contracted Honors Thesis as well as review the Thesis Seminar course offerings. If you decide to pursue an Individually Contracted Honors Thesis, you should register your Honors Thesis proposal in April. 

Multidisciplinary Honors Course Benchmarks 

Any level Honors Course (3+ credits)  

Consider taking the Junior Year Common Experience (Honors 323H) 

300 level or Higher Honors Course (3+ credits)  

Consider taking the Junior Year Common Experience (Honors 323H) 

Departmental Honors Course Benchmarks * 

Any level Honors Course in your MAJOR (3+ credits) 

Consider taking the Junior Year Common Experience (Honors 323H) 

300 level or Higher Honors Course in your MAJOR (3+ credits)  

Consider taking the Junior Year Common Experience (Honors 323H) 

* Some departments may have additional requirements.  

 


Study Abroad 

Generally, students have a Study Abroad experience in their junior year. Discuss your interest in studying abroad with your Honors Advisor and your advisor in your major as early as possible in the first semester. This collaboration will enable you to create a plan that will fit in coursework requirements for your major and your study abroad interests. 

 


Thesis Workshops 

This series of workshops will give you an excellent overview of what to expect and how to prepare for the Honors Thesis, from the development of an idea through submission of the final paperwork. 

 


Scholarships 

Many scholarships are available for juniors. You should look into Commonwealth Honors College Scholarships as well as those available through your major, department, and college. If your GPA is 3.8 or higher, visit the Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) to explore nationally competitive scholarships such as the Rhodes, Truman, Fulbright, and Marshall.  

 


Research Funding 

You should start thinking about what kind of research you’d like to do for your Honors Thesis, and which faculty members you’d like to work with. The Honors Research Assistant Fellowships can help fund the exploration of a research topic with a faculty member. Honors Research Grants can help support your Honors Thesis work. Both of these competitive funding sources are by application only.  

 


Cultivate Relationships with Faculty 

During your junior year, you should be cultivating relationships with faculty members to further develop your research or portfolio interests. If you choose to pursue an Individually Contracted Honors Thesis, you must select a faculty Thesis Committee Chair and submit the first part of your Honors Thesis proposal by April.  

 


Career Planning 

You should make appointment with the career planning team in the college of your major to explore career, graduate school, and internships options as well as build a strong resume and cover letter. You will also be able to learn about networking, interview skills, and other career search information. 

 


Advising Meetings 

One of the great advantages of being an Honors College student is our special advising. You are required to meet with an Honors Advisor at least once a semester. Your advisor is a great resource for planning for your Honors Thesis and to help you enrich your academic and co-curricular experience. 

 


Good Standing 

Keep in mind that a 3.400 minimum cumulative GPA and a minimum grade of B or higher in all Honors Courses is required each semester. You will also need 45 graded residence credits to graduate from Commonwealth Honors College. All of the required Commonwealth Honors College curriculum courses are counted as part of the 120 credits required to graduate from UMass Amherst. 

Guides

CHC student

In your first year, you will focus on Breadth of Study, exploring a variety of classes and that interest you.  

Sophomore year at CHC

In your second year, you will complete the Breadth of Study requirements and continue to explore a variety of classes that interest you.  

Junior Year

In your junior year, you will delve deeper into your academic journey and start to consider what you’d like to pursue for your Honors Thesis. 

CHC students

In your senior year, you will concentrate on your Honors Thesis, the culmination of your academic journey.