Senior Theses and Honors

All anthropology majors enroll in 398 and complete a senior capstone paper. Eligible students wishing to be additionally considered for departmental honors must undertake an honors thesis.

Eligibility for departmental honors

  • Students must have a grade point average of 3.5 or above in anthropology courses and a 3.5 overall GPA in junior and senior years.
  • Students seeking to undertake an Honors Thesis can apply to do so during the Capstone seminar. (2 weeks prior to Winter Quarter registration)

Writing a thesis

Students eligible for honors will apply to undertake an honors thesis. Successful applicants will enroll in one quarter of 399 Independent Study or an appropriate graduate-level course after 398 (required of all majors). See all 2013-2014 , 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 senior theses.

Honors and awards

Students who prepare an outstanding honors thesis will be nominated for honors in anthropology to the Weinberg College Committee on Undergraduate Academic Excellence, which has the final authority to grant the honors degree. All students writing an honors thesis are also eligible for following departmental awards:

  • Oswald Werner Prize for Distinguished Honors Thesis in Anthropology
    This prize honors Professor Emeritus Oswald Werner’s research, teaching, fieldwork training and administrative contributions. He was a faculty member for 35 years, a department chair, founder, and director of the Northwestern University Ethnographic Field School, and an ardent supporter of undergraduate research.
  • Friends of Anthropology Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis in Public Anthropology
  • Elizabeth M. Brumfiel Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis in Archaeology

Current Award Winners:

  • 2016 Oswald Werner Prize for Distinguished Honors Thesis in Anthropology
    CHIA-PING CHIN "Are You What You Eat? Investigating Dietary Acculturation Among East Asian International College Students in the United States"
  • 2016 Elizabeth M. Brumfiel Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis In Archaeology
    ELIZABETH NICOLE FILLION "An Examination of Potential Bone Weathering Agents at Swartkrans Cave"
  • 2016 Friends of Anthropology (FAN) Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis in Public Anthropology
    NEHA GUDDETI REDDY "The Politics of Community Engagement Community Health Workers and Instrumentalization of the Community in Global Health"

See a list of about past award-winners and seniors who have won scholarships and other prizes.