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Graduating with Honors

Honors Guidelines for Linguistics Majors

Honors: A student who has a GPA of 3.5 or higher in upper division courses will automatically graduate with honors (cum laude) and this will be reflected on the student’s transcript and diploma. Post-baccalaureate students are not eligible to receive honors recognition.

High and Highest Honors: Students who wish to graduate with high honors (magna cum laude) or highest honors (summa cum laude) must, in addition,

  1. have a major GPA of 3.5 or higher
  2. enroll in LIN4905 Individual Study during at least one semester, and
  3. complete LIN4970 Senior Thesis, in a following semester

The senior thesis must be submitted and approved prior to graduation

 Is a Senior Thesis Appropriate for You?

A senior thesis is appropriate if a student is interested in learning more about a particular subject, wishes to gain research experience, and has at least a full year before graduation. For more information about whether a senior thesis is right for you, consult the UF Honors Program website. Another helpful website to check out if you are having difficulty coming up with research ideas is the ‘Do You Want to Do Research?’ page on our UF Department of Linguistics website (


Work culminating in an honors thesis generally requires two or more semesters. The student would ideally start planning for the thesis in his/her junior year by identifying an area of interest to him/her and selecting a faculty member who is willing to mentor the student on the project. A general guideline (given a Spring graduation) is that students conduct research during the summer between their junior/senior year, and during the first semester of their senior year. During the summer and the fall semester, the student registers for LIN 4905. The following semester (spring), the student registers for LIN 4970. This final semester will be dedicated to writing the thesis and having it approved.


Students should consider applying for the University Scholar Program, which provides funds for summer research ( – deadline typically mid-February).

Paperwork and Due Dates


A thesis project is a two or three semester project. In the first semester (in the case of a twosemester project), or first two semesters (in the case of a three-semester project), students are required to sign up for LIN 4905. To sign up, complete the following form and hand it to the Linguistics undergraduate coordinator before the end of drop/add of the semester in question:

In the final semester, students must sign up for LIN 4970. This following form needs to be completed and handed to the Linguistics undergraduate coordinator before the end of drop/add of this semester:

Thesis Deadlines

Final copies of the thesis are due to the faculty advisor approximately one month before classes end (beginning of April for Spring term graduation, beginning of November for Fall graduation) to allow for approval and evaluation (by the advisor and a second reader) in time for graduation.

The graded thesis, complete with any revisions that need to be made on the basis of the advisor and second reader’s comments, is due on or before the last day of classes. By this date, the following tasks must be completed:

  1. The advisor should notify the Linguistics undergraduate coordinator with the final thesis designation (high or highest honors), if they receive either distinction after the thesis is graded and reviewed.
  2. The student must complete the Honors Thesis submission form at Students need to have their thesis advisor, as well as the linguistics undergraduate coordinator sign this form.
  3. The signed submission form should be handed in to Linda O’Donnell at the Academic Advising Center.
  4. A PDF copy of the thesis needs to be submitted to the Linguistics undergraduate coordinator. The PDF should not contain the student’s UFID, contact information, or grading (only title, department, date, student’s name, and advisor’s name).
  5. Students must submit the title and abstract of their thesis electronically to the Honors Program at . On this site, students will also upload an electronic copy of their thesis. Acceptable formats are PDF (preferred) or Microsoft Word. This information will be included in a new searchable database. The only information that is publicly available is the student’s name, thesis advisor, and thesis title. No contact information will appear, nor will the thesis be accessible.


Style: The thesis is to be written in a style appropriate for the discipline, for example LSA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style recommendations. It should be consistent throughout. Organization and content are to be determined in conjunction with the advisor. There is no specific length requirement but a recommendation is 30 pages.

Content: The thesis must be work that is original to the student and that is written specifically for the senior thesis requirement.

Evaluation Guidelines

Students who successfully complete a senior thesis are eligible for high and highest honors. The following criteria are used in evaluating the thesis:

  • mastery of the relevant academic literature
  • originality of the research
  • contribution of the thesis to the field
  • inherent quality of the work

Highest honors will generally only be given for theses that make a significant contribution to the field; the writing and research must be uniformly excellent and the results should be of near-publishable quality.

The faculty advisor has the primary responsibility for evaluating the thesis and determining if high/highest honors are appropriate. S/he will appoint a second person who will serve as a reader for the thesis. The advisor will determine the thesis grade in consultation with the reader. It is possible that students may complete a thesis and not obtain high or highest honors.

More Information

For more information, please see the ‘Senior Thesis’ section under the ‘Undergraduate Program’ page on the UF Linguistics website: or email the Linguistics undergraduate coordinator.