The Honors Program at Bucknell University is designed to encourage intellectual independence and to recognize academic excellence. The program begins the year before the student intends to graduate.

Many academic departments and programs offer honors for students majoring in those areas of study. Typical programs involve independent study under the supervision of an adviser that results in the completion of an honors thesis, may include a creative project and culminates in an oral examination by a faculty committee.

Acceptance into the Bucknell Honors Program is determined by the student's written proposal and overall academic record in their major. The standard GPA for nomination to the program is 3.5, either overall or in major. Students with a GPA below 3.5 may be nominated to the program by way of a nomination letter from a research adviser or advisers. This letter should provide information about extenuating circumstances in the student's background and evaluate the student's academic background and ability to complete a thesis. Each student nominated to the Honors Program should have the support of two faculty members (one may be a Bucknell-affiliated staff member) in the students major.

Students who successfully complete the Honors Program will graduate with honors, a distinction noted at graduation and printed on their transcripts.

For more information, please contact:

Rob Jacob, Associate Professor of Geology


Students are encouraged to complete requirements earlier than these deadlines outlined below, and are urged to read carefully the guidelines for thesis preparation. Students who have an experiential semester planned during the spring semester of their senior year (for example, student teaching), may follow the December graduate timeline. Please have your adviser specify this in the intent to direct a thesis electronic form. If the dates below occur on a weekend or holiday, the next business day is the official date.

May GraduatesDecember Graduates

Letter of intent to direct a thesis form and letter of nomination are due. The adviser completes the letter of intent to direct an honors thesis.

A separate, complete and signed letter of nomination from the student's major department or program must be emailed to the chair of the Honors Council.

April 20, year before intended graduationNov. 25
or before Thanksgiving Break

Final due date for honors proposals from students graduating in May. No proposals will be accepted by the council later than this date.

The Honors Council will provide feedback to students and their advisers and offer one of four outcomes: approve, approve with comment, revise and resubmit, or reject.

Sept. 20Feb. 10
Students, with their advisers, complete a thesis progress and intent to defend" electronic form and select a co-adviser or second reader for the defense committee.March 1Oct. 5
Defense committees should be formed. Advisers, along with their students, should have appointed one committee member. Honors Council assigns, often from its membership, a representative who is from a department outside the student's major.March 5Oct. 10
Last day for submitting the completed thesis to the defense committee.April 1Nov. 5
Thesis defenses must be completed.April 20Nov. 25, or before Thanksgiving Break
Nominations from advisers for Miller Prize due to the Honors Council chair.April 25Nov. 30
The signed and completed honors thesis defense form must be returned to the Honors Council chair.Last day of classesLast day of classes
The Honors Council and associated representatives will deliberate and decide the Miller Prize.Reading DayReading Day
Final copy of Honors Thesis due using the thesis submission formThursday, the last day of final examinationsThursday, the last day of final examinations

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Details

Honors Council


Professor Robert Jacob, Honors Council Chair: 570-577-1791