In addition to the Davis Honors Challenge, the campus-wide honors program, the German department offers the opportunity for motivated students to earn high or highest honors within their German major. The requirements for earning high and highest honors in German are in addition to the regular requirements for the major in German.

Honors in German Program

Eligibility Requirements

Students, at the end of their junior year (135 units), must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in courses required for their German major.

Honors Requirements

  • Write a senior thesis under the direction of a faculty member.
  • Enroll in at least six units of German 194H distributed over two quarters.

The honors program consists of two quarters of research (194H) terminating in an honors thesis. For details consult the undergraduate major adviser. Graduation with high or highest honors requires participation in the honors program. Normally, a student will undertake the honors project during the first two quarters of the senior year; other arrangements must be authorized by the department chair.

Candidates for high or highest honors in German Literature must write a senior thesis under the direction of a faculty member approved by the Department Chair . For this purpose, in addition to fulfilling all other major requirements, honors candidates must enroll in 6 units of German Literature 194H during the first two quarters of the senior year. Only students who have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.500 in all courses satisfying the major (except elementary foreign language courses) at the end of the junior year will be eligible for the honors program.

 How to plan and complete a senior thesis:

1. Meet with the undergraduate advisor to discuss your plans by the end of the quarter before your final year of study.

2. With help from the undergraduate advisor as needed, suggest to the undergraduate advisor one or more possible thesis advisors. Meet with the one who is the best match for your project and ask her/him to be your thesis advisor. If he/she does not agree, notify the undergraduate advisor.

3. If the prospective thesis advisor agrees to supervise your project, decide on the subject of your project, a schedule of meetings, and a deadline for the complete draft of your thesis. The deadline should be the first week of the last quarter of study at UC Davis or earlier.

4. Take six units of German 194H over two quarters. You may not add any of these units to your final quarter of study.  German 194H is a Pass/Fail course. Obtain the form from the German office, have the thesis advisor sign it, and return it to the office.

5. Notify the undergraduate advisor that you are moving forward with the project.

6. Meet with your thesis advisor, normally once a week during the first quarter of work on the project and twice a month during the second quarter.

7. Turn in your thesis, normally about forty-fifty double-spaced pages (this may vary as arranged by the student in consultation with the advisor) by the deadline, usually during the first week of your final quarter of study.

 Suggested timeline to ensure evaluation of the senior thesis within one quarter

 Week 1 of student’s final quarter at Davis (usually Spring Quarter): Student turns in complete draft to thesis advisor and notifies the undergraduate advisor. The complete draft should be typed double-spaced in Times Roman twelve-point font (unless otherwise arranged by the student in consultation with the advisor) with one-inch margins on each side (allowing space for binding), a title page, page numbers on all but the first page, a table of contents, footnotes or endnotes in the format agreed upon with the thesis advisor, and a bibliography in the format agreed upon with the thesis advisor. At this time, the undergraduate advisor arranges for two readers, at least one of whom is a faculty member in German Literature.

Week 3: Thesis advisor suggests any revisions necessary.

Week 5: Student turns in the revised draft to the thesis advisor, the thesis advisor approves the final draft, and the student turns in two bound copies (spiral copy-shop binding with one-inch margins on each side after binding) to the undergraduate advisor, who distributes them to the two readers.

 Week 7: Each reader sends a reader's report, including a recommended grade of Highest Honors, High Honors, Honors, or no honors, to the undergraduate advisor and the thesis advisor. The thesis advisor meets with the student and provides copies of the readers' reports. The thesis advisor recommends a thesis grade to the Chair.

 Week 8: The Chair reviews the readers' reports and the thesis advisor's recommendation and assigns Honors, High, Honors, Highest Honors, or no honors based on the GPA and the recommended thesis grade.

One bound copy is returned to the student and the other bound copy is placed in the German Department Library.

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