The MESAS Honors Program offers MESAS majors the opportunity to:

  • Work with specialists in Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies
  • Conduct original research in a topic of interest to them
  • Hone their skills in analytical thinking and writing and in interdisciplinary and comparative methodologies
  • Build rigorously on the knowledge and linguistic and analytic skills they have acquired during their undergraduate career


  • Majors and Joint Majors
  • 3.50 cumulative GPA (must be maintained during senior year)
  • 3.50 major average
  • Those with slightly lower GPAs wishing to write an honors thesis may petition the department


  • This is a senior-year two-semester program within the college; students will be formally admitted into the program in their senior year, but they will have to conduct preliminary work on their thesis in the spring semester of their junior year
  • Exceptions to the established schedule will be considered by petition only
  • Our first-semester honors thesis course (MESAS495) addresses methodology and meets regularly as a group of all honors-thesis-writing students under the guidance of the honors thesis coordinator
  • Our second-semester honors thesis course (MESAS495WR) resembles an independent study course with the student's main thesis advisor
  • Eligible majors must declare their intention to enroll in the Honors Program in the spring of their junior year and seek a thesis advisor in the department in advance of their senior year

Course Requirements

  • Regular MESAS major requirements
  • MESAS 495 and MESAS495WR (see 3rd and 4th items under "Schedule")

Project Proposal

  • Eligible majors must submit a thesis proposal to the department and to their main advisor
  • The proposal should present a detailed plan of research and a preliminary bibliography

Thesis Research and Writing

  • Research should begin early! Preliminary research should take place already in the spring semester of the junior year
  • Students should apply for SIRE research grants
  • Students conducting field research and/or involving human subjects must obtain IRB training well in advance
  • Writing should begin in the fall semester of the honors thesis program
  • An honors thesis based on the student's original research

Advisor, Readers, and Thesis Examination Committees

  • The main advisor of the thesis must be a MESAS faculty member
  • Additional advisors and readers of the thesis MAY be from other departments; at least one member MUST be from another department
  • Students must consult with their main advisor in choosing other committee members
  • Students must submit final drafts of their thesis to committee members at least a week in advance of the examination
  • The thesis examination must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance of the College deadline for thesis submission
  • Successful program participants will be awarded:
    • Honors (for successful completion of the program)
    • High Honors (for successful completion of the program and final product that is presentable at MESA), and
    • Highest Honors (for successful completion of the program and final product that is publishable in academic journal)

For more information, contact the MESAS Honors Program Coordinator.

Emory College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program