Honors Program Interdisciplinary Minor

The 21-credit honors program interdisciplinary minor is open to undergraduates who demonstrate exceptional potential for academic success. You personalize the program to reflect your interests and career goals by choosing courses and your thesis project. Among the benefits of pursuing this minor:

  • Broaden your scholarly and professional perspective while deepening your inquiry into topics of particular interest.
  • Register for courses early.
  • Be recognized at commencement, wear an honors cord and stole with graduation regalia, and have honors noted on your transcript.
  • Your successful completion and public defense of your honors thesis demonstrates skills and learning that you can share in job interviews or on graduate school applications, and use in future employment responsibilities. Many students have used their honors thesis as the foundation for subsequent graduate research projects.


  • Eligible incoming freshmen receive a letter of invitation to join the honors program interdisciplinary minor. Invitees are typically presidential scholars, who have achieved the highest level of academic performance in their high school environment, have demonstrated leadership outside of the classroom, and are in the top tier of scholarship recipients.
  • Transfer students and other matriculating students recommended to the program by faculty may add the minor if it fits your major program of study.
  • A 3.5 GPA is required each semester to remain in honors.

What is the honors thesis?

The honors thesis represents the culmination of your educational experience. Evolving over your undergraduate experience, this 40- to 60-page document comprises an interdisciplinary research project that is unique to your strengths and interests. In most cases, the thesis grows out of your major, but the topic is developed via an interdisciplinary approach, allowing for a level of depth and focus that complements advanced scholarly abilities. Your project will be advised formally by faculty readers from at least two different disciplines, and you will defend your thesis publicly before graduation.

Which classes fulfill the honors minor?

  • Of the 21 honors curriculum credits, 18 credits — Philosophical Inquiry (3 credits), Written & Visual Rhetoric (3 credits), and 12 credits of your choice that address your scholarly, professional, and personal interests — also count toward your liberal arts core requirement.
  • The honors-designated Core Milestone Experience, taught by the program director and taken during your junior year serves as your honors thesis topic development and proposal seminar.
  • You earn your final 3 honors credits by writing and defending the interdisciplinary thesis.

Program Requirements and Course Descriptions

Honors Program »


Rochelle L. Ruffer

Rochelle L. Ruffer

Professor of Economics, Chair of the Undergraduate Program, Director of the Business Management Program, Director of the Economics Program in Management, School of
Smyth Hall 147E
Rachel Bailey Jones

Rachel Bailey Jones

Associate Professor in Education, School of
Director of Core Curriculum in Academic Affairs
Golisano Academic Center 259



Carly Maldonado

Alumni Spotlight

Carly Maldonado ‘12, communication sciences and disorders major with an honors minor, went on to Syracuse University for a dual-doctorate in audiology and in audiology research.

“Because the honors program at Nazareth gave me the opportunity to participate in research through the thesis project, I knew that I enjoyed research and was interested in eventually pursuing teaching at the college level. My honors thesis explored how culturally deaf art and literature portrays speech and hearing professionals, and allowed me to incorporate my love of literature and art with my interest in deaf culture and my future professional goals.”

Recent thesis examples

“A Glamourous Reality? How Women’s Magazines Represent the Success of Second Wave Feminism,” Amy E. Gallo ‘13 (sociology major, anthropology minor).

“Diversifying Disability: Broadening Perspectives of Ability in Education,” Heather McKnight ‘13 (psychology, inclusive education majors).

“An Ethical Analysis of Health Care Delivery Systems,” Meghan Grant ‘14 (physical therapy major).

“Towards a New Interdisciplinary Approach to Forensic Anthropology: A Case Study of the Guatemalan Civil War of Twentieth Century,” Candice Gage ‘14 (anthropology major).

“Media, Memory, and Meaning: A Look at Four Presidents Through Film,” Meghan Plate ‘14 (history major).

“Undefined Lines: Children’s Literature and its Use and Abuse in Education,” Melanie Antos ‘15 (English literature, inclusive childhood education major).

“My Role in White Privilege: My Journey Guided by the Narratives of African-American Women and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye,” Maria Allocco ‘15 (social work major).

“Lessons in Feminist Pedagogy: Women’s Liberation through the Liberal Arts,” Hayley Johnson ‘15 (English major).

“Can’t Paint, Can’t Write: Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf’s Gendered Modernist Discourse,” Samantha Strain ‘15 (English major).

“The Banality of Eating: Reading Consumer Manipulation Through Hannah Arendt and George Orwell,” Mary Lawrence ‘15 (French & German majors).

“Cross-Cultural Music & Healing,” Victoria Gac ‘16 (music therapy major).

What else do honors students do?

In addition to the curriculum-based individual research project, honors students are encouraged to take advantage of Nazareth’s many academic and experiential learning opportunities, such as: