Revision, May 2017.
The Honours Anthropology Program is for a select few undergraduate students who have met all of the requirements for the major and have identified a topic or field site that they wish to explore in their final year at McGill. To complete honours in Anthropology students must take 60 total credits including 6-credits of honours thesis work. In order to apply to be an honours student you must maintain a CGPA of 3.50 in all Anthropology courses in addition to an overall CGPA of 3.0.
Honours students select their courses as specified below. Students may take a maximum of 9 credits at the 300 and 400 level offered by other departments if their departmental program adviser approves them.
- 200/300 Level
A maximum of 36 credits of 200- and 300-level courses (of which a maximum of 21 credits may be at the 200 level and a maximum of 6 credits may be Special Topic courses.)
- Core 350 Level
A minimum of 9 credits of core courses at the 350 level are selected from the following: History of Anthropological (352) or Archaeological theory (359); Theories of Culture and Society (355); Archaeological methods (357); The Process of Anthropological Research (358).
- 400/500 Level
A minimum of 9 credits of Anthropology courses at the 400- or 500-level, with a maximum of 3 credits as a Special Topic course.
- Required thesis course ANTH 490 (6 credits in one term) or ANTH 490D1 and 490D2 (3 credits per term)
ANTH 490 serves as our fundamental honour’s thesis course which involves supervised intensive reading, archival work, and most important the preparation of a research paper. In order to write your honour’s thesis you must find an honour’s advisor in the preceding semester (usually at the end of the Winter term of your second or third year). When you first contact potential advisors you should prepare a well thought-out topic and a rough outline to discuss. The best honour’s theses are those where students have conducted fieldwork or field research, usually during the previous summer.
Two caveats about Honours in Anthropology:
1) Students may approach any member of the department’s faculty with a request to supervise their project. As they are often many more students who wish to complete honour's than faculty time for supervision, do an honour’s thesis with a faculty member who does not specialize in all facets of your topic.
2) While an honours thesis may be completed in a single term, the best honour’s theses are those that are spread over two terms in the last year of study in order to generate a polished piece of writing. This research paper can be used for future publication, your CV, and graduate school and job applications.