Cornell University

Office of Student Services

101 Ives Hall, 607-255-2223 or 607-255-1515

Graduation with Honors

The December ILR Commencement Reception

What is "Graduation with Honors"?

The ILR Faculty has decided not to award honorary degrees - known as the "Latin honors,: (cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude,) but rather to permit outstanding students to graduate with honors if they complete a two-semester Honors Thesis Project.

Am I qualified to write an Honor's Thesis?

If your cumulative grade point average is 3.7 or above at the end of your Junior year, you may develop a proposal for an extensive two-semester research project in consultation with an ILR faculty member who agrees to serve as your supervisor.

How do I submit a proposal?

A proposal of approximately five pages, complete with a tentative bibliography, is to be submitted to the Faculty Committee on Academic Standards and Scholarships.  Ideally, a proposal should be submitted for review at the end of the Spring Term before the year in which the study is to be done.  Students may submit their proposal in the first week of the Fall Term of their Senior year if development of the research project is being done over the summer months. If approved, students are then registered for ILR 4950: Honors Thesis Research, for four letter-graded credit hours in each semester of Senior year.

What is expected of me academically?

You will be expected to:

  • maintain a 3.7 gpa
  • meet regularly with your Thesis Supervisor
  • produce a substantial piece of research
  • defend your thesis before your first and second faculty readers by the end of the second semester in your Senior year

Is there official recognition or an award?

You will be invited to attend the McPherson Honors and Awards Dinner, with your faculty supervisors. Graduation with Honors will be listed in commencement materials and announced in the ILR Diploma Ceremony.