• 2018-19 Honors Luncheon
  • 2018-19 Rappaport Prize Awardee, Hannah von Heidegger

The Honors Program

The department offers this special program for outstanding students. The Honors Program is especially recommended for those students interested in pursuing graduate study in history or allied fields and is a particularly effective preparation for professional careers.

About the Program

The Honors Program is a two-quarter sequence of courses for history majors, in which students focus on the theory and practice of historical research. Honors program students have a slightly modified set of major requirements and are eligible to receive the Rappaport Prize. For more information download the Honors Program Brochure.

Who Should Apply to the Honors Program

It is designed for a limited number of students who have demonstrated excellence in the History Major. It is recommended for students who...

  • have a strong interest in doing original research
  • intend to pursue graduate study, in history or other professional fields
  • intend to pursue work involving research (law, business, public administration, and the like)

Honors Major Requirements

Candidates for history honors should organize their upper-division course work as follows:

Lower Division Requirement (3 courses)

  1. HILD or MMW or HUM
  2. HILD or MMW or HUM
  3. HILD or MMW or HUM

Upper Division (12 courses)

Field Emphasis

1. Upper Division Field Course
2. Upper Division Field Course
3. Upper Division Field Course
4. Upper Division Field Course
5. Upper Division Field Course
6. Upper Division Field Course

Non-Field Emphasis

7. Upper Division Non-Field Course
8. Upper Division Non-Field Course
9. Upper Division Non-Field Course

Honors Courses

10. HITO 196 Honors Colloquium (Fall)
11. HITO 194 History Honors (Fall)
12. HITO 195 History Essay (Winter)


At least 3 of the 12 upper division courses must be focused on the period before 1800.

  • Upper Division Field or Non-Field Course
  • Upper Division Field or Non-Field Course
  • Upper Division Field or Non-Field Course


Honors students must complete three colloquia (courses numbered between 160-180) total, two in addition to HITO 196.

  • HITO 196 Honors Colloquium
  • Upper Division Field or Non-Field Course
  • Upper Division Field or Non-Field Course

In addition to regular course work in the department, the Honors Program consists of a colloquium in historiography (HITO 196) offered in the fall quarter of the senior year and a program of independent study (HITO 194 & HITO 195) leading to the completion of an honors essay on a topic of the student’s choice. During the fall quarter of the senior year, candidates select a topic and begin preliminary work on the Honors essay in consultation with a major field adviser (HITO 194). During the winter quarter, the student pursues a course of independent study devoted to the completion of the Honors essay (HITO 195). The award of History Honors is based on satisfactory completion of the colloquium in history and the Honors essay. Students are expected to maintain an average of 3.5 or better in all work taken within the department. Honors candidates must include at least three colloquia in their regular course work.

Honors Program Admission


Candidates for History Honors are chosen during the spring quarter. The Honor's Program is intended for students in their last year at UC San Diego. Admission to the program is based on the student’s academic work. Students interested in applying must meet the following criteria:

  • Junior standing 
  • 3.5 History Department GPA (3.0 overall)  


Please submit the following items to the Undergraduate Coordinator in person or via email:

  1. Application [PDF] (requires Faculty Advisor signature)
  2. Writing sample (5-10 pages)
  3. Official Transcripts 

Applications are due the second Friday of May. 

Notifications of acceptance into the Honors program are sent out the end of Spring Quarter once grades have been posted and major GPAs can be verified.  We recommend those applicants who have applied to the honors program register for classes with the assumption that they will not be admitted. Applicants that are accepted into the program have an assured seat in HITO 196 for the Fall and will be assigned a HITO 194 section.

Admission to the program is based on the student’s academic work. 

Honors Program Timeline

Honors Program Within the Four Year Plan

Fall Winter Spring
YR 1
YR 2
YR 3 Apply to Honors Program
YR 4

HITO 196 - Honors Seminar
HITO 194 - Honors History

HITO 195 - Honors Essay Rappaport Prize

Spring Quarter

(before your last year at UC San Diego)

Apply for the Honors Program
Applications for the Honors Program are due the Second Friday of May. 

Enroll in Fall Courses
You won't be formally admitted to the Honors Program until after you have registered for Fall courses. Enroll in courses for the Fall with the expectation that you will not be admitted to the Honors Program (you likely will be admitted, but in the unlikely event that you are not admitted this is the best course of action). 


Enroll in HITO 196 and 194
The Undergraduate Advisor will send you an email during the summer letting you know that you have been formally admitted to the Honors Program and pre-approved to enroll in HITO 196 and HITO 194. For HITO 194 make sure you enroll in the section with your advisor.

Fall Quarter

HITO 196 - Honors Seminar 
In this course, Honors students will learn how to produce a thesis including refining your topic (or selecting a new one), reviewing the relevant literature, locating sources, developing a theoretical framework, and learning how to analyze sources. This course is run like a colloquium or seminar and meets once a week for three hours. It counts toward the fulfillment of one of the three colloquia courses required for the Honors History Major.
HITO 194 - History Honors
This course accounts for the time you will spend working independently on research and writing, and meeting with your faculty advisor. Your faculty advisor's role is to guide your writing and research within the context of your topic area. The advisor will help to determine the feasibility of the project, locate sources, suggest research methods, read drafts of proposals and chapters, and help with theoretical and conceptual problems. You will receive an IP (In-Progress) grade upon completing this course.
Enroll in HITO 195 
The Undergraduate Advisor will pre-approved you to enroll in HITO 195. Again, make sure you enroll in the section with your advisor. 

Winter Quarter

HITO 195 - The Honors Essay
You will continue to work one-on-one with your faculty advisor to complete your honors thesis. A final draft of your thesis is due to your advisor finals week. Upon receiving your final draft your advisor will give you a grade for both HITO 194 & 195.

Spring Quarter

Rappaport Prize Revisions
All students theses will be submitted for consideration for the Rappaport Prize. Honors students will have until the second Friday in April to resubmit the final draft of their papers with revisions. 

Armin Rappaport Prize & Winning Theses

About the Prize

Established in 1983, the Armin Rappaport Memorial Fund endows an annual prize for the graduating history major whose scholarship is outstanding. Honors students must submit their revised thesis to the committee by the second Friday in April. All Honors students are considered for the prize.

Past Recipients

Hannah von Heidegger, 2018-19
Galloping onto the Throne: Queen Elizabeth I and the Symbolism of the Horse

David Dawson, 2017-18
Inviolable Motherhood: The Far-Right and The Battle Against The Conscription of Women During The Second World War

Christian Hillman, 2016-17
A Crust of Bread, For the Love of God! The Ottoman Homefront in World War I

Luke A. Mitchell, 2015-16
The Crescent and the Eagle: The “Turk” as Political Rhetoric in Newspapers of the Early American Republic, 1765-1797

Cameron Towne, 2014-15
From One Mighty Movement to 100% Americanism: David Lasser and the Co-Optation of the Worker's Alliance of America

Amanda Gardner, 2013-14
Scientific Temperance and Scientific Men: Physiology as an Unbiased Solution to the Liquor Problem

Ryan Gingeras, 1999-00
British Press Coverage of the Illinden Uprising of 1903 and the Conceptualization of the Balkans