Excerpt from the OWU Course Catalog

Graduation with Departmental Honors requires an independent project, an oral exam on the project, and a comprehensive exam in a student’s major department during the senior year.

This program is open to any student who meets one of the following criteria:

  1. The student has attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 in the major after the fall semester, junior year, as well as an overall grade point average of 3.00 OR
  2. The student does not have the grade point averages specified above but does have the support of his or her major department and has successfully petitioned the Academic Policy Committee.

A project will involve two semesters of work, for which the student may earn up to two units of independent study credit (course 490). (These credits may not be used to fulfill the requirements for Graduation with University Honors.) The major department has the option of requiring the student to take specific courses or of modifying existing departmental courses or requirements for students seeking Graduation with Departmental Honors.

Students have two possible timetables for pursuing Graduation with Departmental Honors—the Junior Cycle and the Senior Cycle. Each is designed to accommodate the scheduling variations in a student’s undergraduate academic career: internships, study abroad, independent research project schedules, and the like. Students should select the option that fits their needs as well as the schedule of their supervising professor.

To apply for the program, the student should obtain the appropriate forms from the Office of Academic Affairs and, in consultation with the supervising professor, submit the completed forms to the Office of Academic Affairs. Completed applications should reach the office no later than the twelfth week in the fall semester of the student’s junior year for the Junior Cycle, and no later than the twelfth week in the spring semester of the student’s junior year for the Senior Cycle.

The student’s project must include a written report suitable for permanent inclusion in the library. The student must submit the completed project to an Examining Committee no later than one month before the end of classes during the fall semester of the senior year (Junior Cycle) or one month before the end of classes during the spring semester of the senior year (Senior Cycle).

The Office of Academic Affairs will be responsible for selecting this Committee. It will consist of four faculty members—two from the major department, one from a cognate department where appropriate, and one from a department not related to the major. After the oral examination on the project, a bound copy of the report and an abstract must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs.

The student must also pass a comprehensive exam that includes written and oral components. The written exam must be completed before the end of the fifth week of the spring semester of the senior year. The chairperson of the major department will be responsible for administering the written exam. The department chairperson will inform the Examining Committee that the student has successfully passed the written exam. No later than one week before the end of classes, the Examining Committee must certify to the Office of Academic Affairs and to the Registrar that the student has successfully passed the comprehensive exam. Any department may require an alternative method of evaluation that will be developed in consultation with the Examination Committee.

A student who satisfies these conditions is graduated with Honors in the Department of…. The student’s name is listed in the commencement program along with the department or program. The student’s permanent record will also show Graduation with Departmental Honors.

All additional questions should be addressed to Dr. Amy Downing at

Requirements Checklist

The following is a checklist of the requirements for graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University with Departmental Honors:

Earn required GPA of 3.5 or higher

(or successful petition for exemption)

Earn required GPA of 3.5 or higer

Completion of project

(completion of two semesters work)

Written report of project (or equivalent work) submitted to committee

(by twelfth week of semester)

Oral defense of project

Passed comprehensive exam in major

(by fifth week, Spring semester)

Bound copy of report and abstract submitted to Academic Affairs

Appropriate forms submitted to Academic Affairs