Honors Program Requirements and Application

Course Requirements

  • Two core courses: ETHICSOC 171 (PHIL 171) “Justice” AND either ETHICSOC 20 (PHIL 2) “Introduction to Moral Philosophy” or ETHICSOC 170 (PHIL 170) “Ethical Theory.”
    • Students are strongly encouraged to complete these core courses (with B+ or higher grade) prior to the Winter quarter of their Junior year.
  • ETHICSOC 190 (PHIL 178) “Honors Seminar in Ethics in Society.” 
    • This course is open only to students in the Program and is to be taken during the Winter quarter of the Junior year.
    • Please note that students are required to take/participate in this course in-person. Contact the Program Administrator for any concerns about this requirement.
  • Two specialization courses (8-10 units total, at the 100-level or above) relating to the thesis topic .
    • These courses may be completed anytime, even before acceptance into the program.
    • These courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Enroll in ETHICSOC 200A, ETHICSOC 200B, and ETHICSOC 200C thesis writing units (10 units total) during the Senior year.

Additional Notes/Requirements:

  • Students interested in writing a senior honors thesis in Ethics in Society are strongly encouraged to contact the program coordinator before their junior year to discuss the application process. 
  • The Program is open to students in any major with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. Students should maintain this minimum average in the courses taken to satisfy the program requirements. 
  • Requests to double count courses between the Ethics in Society Honors Program and other academic programs should be directed/discussed with the Student Services Administrator, Gillyn Maung (gmaung [at] stanford.edu (gmaung[at]stanford[dot]edu)). Please note that not all requests are eligible to be granted.
  • Students are strongly encouraged (not required) to complete core courses (with B+ or higher grade) prior to the Winter quarter of their Junior year.
  • Students also complete preliminary and final thesis presentations and an oral examination after submission of the thesis. To receive honors, students must earn a grade of B+ or higher on the completed thesis.

Honors Program Timeline

Before/Early Junior Year, Fall Quarter
Meet with Program Administrator about interest in Honors Program.
Junior Year, Fall Quarter
Submit Honors Program application by listed deadline.
Junior Year, Late Fall Quarter
Notifications of acceptance into Honors Program sent out.
Junior Year, Winter Quarter
Enroll in ETHICSOC 190, Honors Seminar.
Junior Year, Winter-Spring Quarter
Search for and confirm a thesis advisor, with the support of Honors Program faculty/staff.
Junior Year, Summer Quarter (Pre-Senior Year)
Participate in Bing Honors College (optional).
Senior Year, Fall and Winter Quarter
Work on honors thesis with support of thesis advisor and program faculty/staff, meeting Honors Program milestones/deadlines.
Senior Year, Winter Quarter
Enroll and participate in ETHICSOC 195, Ethics in Society Senior Workshop.
Senior Year, Spring Quarter
Submit honors thesis, complete honors thesis presentations, and complete oral defenses.

Application Process

  1. Contact the gmaung [at] stanford.edu (Events & Student Programming Administrator) about your interest in writing an honors thesis and set up a meeting to discuss the application process and program components, ideally before the start of your junior year.
  2. Fill out and submit the EiS Honors Application Form
    1. To submit the application form, you will also need to provide the following materials listed below. Note: You will need to compile these documents into a single folder, and provide us with a link to access the folder and download the materials. You will paste this link into the application form.
      1. Download a copy of and fill in the Course Planning Template spreadsheet.
        1. Note: You will need to make sure you're signed into Google Drive with your Stanford email.
      2. Attach a proposal (roughly 4 pages double-spaced) outlining the topic(s) you foresee yourself pursuing in an honors thesis. Be as specific as you can at this early stage. Include a list of relevant literature you’ve encountered.
      3. Attach a writing sample from a paper prepared for a Stanford course. (A term paper demonstrating your ability to pursue independent research on a topic is preferable to a short essay.)
      4. Attach your unofficial transcript.
  3. gmaung [at] stanford.edu (Events & Student Programming Administrator) will review your application materials and put you in contact with the amcqueen [at] stanford.edu (Program Faculty Director) for the final step of the application process
  4. Meet with the amcqueen [at] stanford.edu (Program Faculty Director) to discuss your interests and potential topic.

Please note that all steps of the application process (including meeting with the Program Faculty Director) must be completed by the application deadline, which is November 15th, 2023.

Click here to view/submit the EiS Honors Application for Fall 23-24.

You will be informed about your acceptance decision by the end of Fall Quarter. Please note that, if accepted into the Program, you will need to enroll in ETHICSOC 190: Honors Seminar for Winter Quarter of your junior year.