Outstanding independent work may be cited for “Honors in Independent Study” at Honors Convocation. Such recognition is based solely on the excellence of the special project and is considered independently of a student’s or students’ academic average or other qualifying factors. The independent study project need not be in the student(s) major field and is available to all students in any class, not just to seniors.

Work submitted for consideration for Honors in Independent Study normally would have been done under the rubric of independent study as listed in the Academic Catalog or as independent research conducted over the summer. This means that course papers, comprehensive projects, etc., would not ordinarily be eligible for consideration; they receive other awards.

For a project to be considered for Honors in Independent Study, the faculty supervisor of the project should submit the following, using the online submission form no later than one week after the last exam day of Winter Term. The deadline for 2024 is 5 PM on Wednesday, March 20.

  1. A copy of the Honors in Independent Studies project;
  2. A letter of nomination to the Fellowship Committee:
    • detailing the merits of the project and its distinction relative to other student work in the field;
    • providing information about its genesis;
    • confirming that the project is not substantially identical to the student’s integrative exercise (comps project);
    • identifying others at Carleton who would be able to evaluate the project’s merit.

The project will then be given to a second reader for evaluation, and that reader will be asked for a brief report to be given to the Student Fellowship Committee. The Committee shall then determine whether Honors in Independent Study is appropriate.


Marynel Ryan Van Zee, Director of Student Fellowships / Convener, Student Fellowships Committee. (mryanvanzee, x4300)

Please note

According to Student Fellowships Committee precedent, work honored by endowed prizes, departmental honors, etc. is not eligible for recognition for Honors in Independent Study as well. If, however, work in competition for a prize, etc., fails to receive that prize, it would still be eligible for consideration for Honors in Independent Study, provided that all criteria for the latter award are met.