Graduation with Distinction

The Linguistics Program has a strong tradition of supervising students who elect to write an honors thesis. Faculty are able to offer expert supervision in a wide range of areas. You will benefit from intense one-to-one supervision from dedicated and experienced educators. You should approach faculty as supervisors in the Spring semester before your final year. The thesis is written as an ‘independent study’ class which is graded, and the final thesis is awarded a level of pass, distinction, higher distinction or highest distinction.  All proposals must be submitted to the Linguistics office in 316 Languages or by email to


The program consists of two courses. 1) Linguistics 493, Research Independent Study, taken in the fall semester of the senior year, is devoted to development of the honors thesis and includes close supervision of the writing stage of the project by a faculty member selected by you.  2) The second course is Linguistics 450S, Senior Seminar in Linguistics, which is the capstone course required for all LIN majors.

Please write to in order to register for LIN 493.


An overall GPA of 3.3 and GPA of 3.5 in the major are required.


The process for admission to the Graduation with Distinction program is initiated by the submission of a research proposal to David Baxter ( by the end of the second semester of the junior year.

Expected Product

The central requirement is an honors thesis prepared by you under faculty supervision. The thesis generally consists of three to five chapters with an extensive bibliography.

Evaluation Procedure

Completion of the thesis, its evaluation, and its defense before a three-member faculty committee warrants Graduation with Distinction.

Levels of Distinction

The honors thesis committee will decide to grant distinction and at what level (Distinction, High Distinction, Highest Distinction) based on the quality of the completed work.