Majors with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 may apply for the honors program by submitting a senior thesis proposal to the honors committee during Winter or Spring Quarter of the junior year. The proposal must include a thesis outline, a list of all relevant courses the student has taken or plans to take, a preliminary reading list including a work or works in Chinese or Japanese, and the name of a faculty member who has agreed to act as honors supervisor.
If the proposal is approved, research begins in Spring Quarter of the junior year, when the student may enroll in CHINLIT 189A or JAPANLIT 189A for 2-5 units of credit for independent study. In Winter Quarter, students enroll in an individual reading (CHINLIT 199 or JAPANLIT 199) with the thesis supervisor while writing the thesis, and the finished essay (normally about 15,000 words) is submitted to the committee no later than the end of the Winter Quarter in the senior year. Students enroll in CHINGEN 198 or JAPANGEN 198 in Winter quarter of the senior year to polish and present their theses (instead of writing a capstone essay). 8-11 units of credit are granted for honors course work and the finished thesis.