Anthropology Undergraduate Honors Program

Honors Program Application Form

Honors Program Application Criteria and Instructions

Assignment of Honors Form

Departmental Honors Alumni


Anthropology majors are encouraged to participate in the Departmental Honors Program. This program provides intensive personal instruction and mentoring to students who wish to enhance their undergraduate experience through a research project.  The Honors Program provides academic distinction for those who intend to pursue competitive careers, graduate study, or professional schools. 


The Honors Program intensifies a student's knowledge and skills in an area of individualized research.  Honors students learn to relate their knowledge to the broader concerns of anthropology through participation in a seminar course (ANTH 498) and by engaging in a research project directed by a faculty advisor (ANTH 497).  The program provides students with guidance in developing a career path and making professional plans for their lives after graduation.


The Department of Anthropology awards cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude status to the diploma of students who complete the program.  This designation is assigned only to the student’s work in Anthropology.  It is in addition to, and separate from, any other level of Honors that the student receives from the Honors College, or that UNM assigns based on the GPA.  The level of honors achievement in this program is determined by the student’s advisor.

Requirements to Enter the Program

1) You must complete all general education and lower division requirements of the Anthropology major and your minor before entering the honors program.

2) You will identify an honors thesis advisor from among the anthropology faculty.  If you do not already know who you would like for a faculty advisor, the Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Advisor and the subfield faculty advisor will help you find one

3) You will design a thesis project in consultation with your faculty advisor. Your Thesis project must present original analysis of data and/or ideas.  You may use data collected by others, or from library/archive sources.  However, your thesis project cannot be a literature review without original analysis and interpretation.

4) Your application to the honors program must include a letter of commitment from your faculty advisor.  Your advisor’s letter should provide each of the following items: (1) a project title, (2) brief statement of the research activity, (3) a projected timeline with benchmarks for progress, (4) a list of methods, skills, and/or techniques that will be necessary for you to develop in order to complete the research, and (5) an assurance that the resources necessary for completion of your project will be available to you.

5) You must submit an Honors Program Application Form to the Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Advisor at least three semesters before your anticipated graduation date.  As noted above, your advisor’s letter must be included with this form. Honors Application Instructions

Program Requirements

1) Complete the Honors Seminar course (ANTH 498) during spring of your first year in the honors program.

2) Complete 3 to 6 hours of Individual Study (ANTH 497) under the direction of your faculty advisor during the last two semesters before completing the program.

3) Write an Honors Thesis under the direction of your faculty advisor.  Your Thesis will be written in the format of a scholarly journal, unless your advisor directs you otherwise.

4) We recommend that the Honors Thesis be written according to the instructions for authors in the Journal of Anthropological Research (JAR). On consultation with your research advisor, you may use the instructions from another journal, book, or use a thesis template that is acceptable to your advisor.  If you decide to use a format different from JAR, you must submit the author instructions to your research advisor along with the first draft of your Thesis.

5) You must submit a complete draft of your Thesis to your advisor at least five weeks prior to the last Friday of instruction in the semester you will graduate.

6) Your advisor will return your draft Honors Thesis to you within one week, with edits and suggested revisions.  We recommend that you schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss the recommended edits and revisions.


1) You must submit the final draft of your Thesis, including all necessary revisions, to your advisor and the Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Advisor on, or before, the Friday three weeks prior to the end of instruction of your final semester.

2) You must submit the final draft of your Thesis in a binder.

3) The Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Advisor will submit your Thesis to the Clark Field Archive and Library where it will be stored permanently.

4) On acceptance of your Thesis, your advisor will recommend that you be awarded one of the following levels of distinction. This will appear on your diploma:

cum laudeyour thesis demonstrates a basic understanding of underlying concepts and theory, appropriate use of methods, and a coherent presentation.
magna cum laude -   your thesis exceeds the criteria for cum laude by demonstrating mastery at all levels, and presents the work in a compelling manner.
summa cum laude – your thesis is likely to be submitted for publication within the next six months.

5) Your advisor must submit an Assignment of Honors Form at least two weeks prior to the last Friday of Instruction of the semester of your graduation. This is necessary to ensure that final approvals can be obtained and forwarded to the Office of the Secretary for UNM Convocation, and the UNM Registrar, for the purposes of recording your Assignment of Honors in your transcript and on your diploma.