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The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program

The mission of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program is to enhance education throughout Yeshiva College by providing an exceptionally broad, deep, rigorous education for our most talented students.

To fulfill those aims, we emphasize research, intensive writing, and sophisticated thinking: critical, analytic, quantitative, scientific, interdisciplinary, and creative.

Students who take honors courses commit themselves to hard work, a challenging search for understanding, and intellectual excellence.

Students who pursue the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program will experience especially rewarding interactions with faculty members through honors courses, individual mentoring, advanced work, and senior honors theses.

Upon graduation, honors students should feel confident that they can fulfill their potential through advanced training, lifelong learning, and leadership within their various communities.

For questions or further information on the Schottenstein Honors Program:

Dr. Eliezer Schnall, Director

Chad Hegelmeyer, Program Coordinator

Program Information


The mission of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program is to enhance the education of Yeshiva College undergraduates by encouraging talented students to undertake an exceptionally broad, deep, and challenging course of study. To fulfill this aim, the Honors Program emphasizes research, intensive writing, and sophisticated thinking. Students commit themselves to rigorous challenge, a search for understanding, and intellectual excellence. Those admitted to the Program will experience especially rewarding interactions with faculty members through unique coursework, individual mentoring, advanced study, and senior theses. 

Students apply simultaneously to the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program and for academic merit scholarships. (Students may also apply for need-based assistance.) To retain their scholarships, students must remain in good standing, which entails maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or higher; taking at least two honors courses in each academic year, for a total of six courses; and demonstrating progress toward an honors thesis, by enrolling in thesis preparation and writing courses (beyond the six required honors courses) no later than their final year of residence. Simultaneously, each student must maintain a comparable level of excellence in Torah studies. Overall, students must spend at least three full years and complete at least 94 credits in residence.

The culmination of the Honors Program is the thesis, in which a student, over the course of multiple semesters, develops an independent research project closely supervised by one or more faculty mentors. It is not uncommon for students to present the fruits of their research at both academic conferences and in published form in respected scholarly journals. Recommendations written for an honors student from administrators and faculty members are virtually guaranteed to be exceptionally strong, and the students' diplomas specifically confirm their graduation both from the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program and Yeshiva College. 

Faculty Honors Committee

The Honors Committee ensures the day-to-day success and determines the long-term direction of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program.

  • Prof. Irina Catrina
  • Prof. Maria Zaitseva
  • Prof. David Lavinsky
  • Prof. Matthew Incantalupo
  • Prof. Shalom Carmy

Student Honors Council

This council serves as the main liaison between Honors Program students and the Program Director.

  • Daniel Goldstein, President
  • Chaim Book, Vice President
  • Benjamin Jacob, Events Coordinator
  • Jacob Sundel, Communications Director


Fall 2023 Honors Program Courses

The curricular component of the Honors Program is distributed between the general education and the major: six required honors courses, typically in Core Curriculum areas, and the completion of a thesis, typically in the major field of study. Of the six required courses, two are completed in the students' first year of residence: a first-year-only, honors section of a Core Curriculum class in the fall term and Honors First-Year Writing (FYWH) in the spring. For the remaining four courses, students may choose from the variety of Honors sections of Core Curriculum courses, including HEB, JHI and BIB, offered every term. Students qualified to enroll in graduate-level courses may count these, too. 

Non-Honors students interested in taking an Honors course should complete the requisite Permission for Honors Course form and obtain the signature of the course instructor and approval of the director of the Honors Program. Forms should then be submitted to the Yeshiva College Dean's Office for the director's approval. Students will be informed by e-mail of the status of their request in a timely manner. NOTE: Successful completion of this process does not guarantee enrollment in a course that is already closed. 




● Students should generally enroll in at least one honors course per semester so as to fulfill the
required 6 honors courses.

● Graduate courses, such as those at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, count
as honors courses.

● It is not recommended to take more than two honors courses per semester.

● Students intending to graduate in January 2024: Should already have registered for Thesis
Proposal and should submit the Proposal by the end of the current semester. You should then
register for Thesis coursework credits for Fall (HON 4981H).

● Students intending to graduate in June 2024: Must register for the 1 credit Thesis Proposal
course for Fall (HON 4977H).

● Students intending to graduate in January 2025: Should be on the lookout during the Fall
for thesis topics/advisers as they take classes.


Honors Courses

Please also see the Registrar’s website, which is updated in case of time or other changes.

ART 1650H Architecture of the Synagogue
Prof. Paul Glassman
W 6:45-9:15

Learn about the forms, materials, and structural systems of synagogues from their beginnings in the
ancient world to the present. Using the comparative method, we explore regional influences in addition to
links between liturgy and architectural form. To understand the aspirations of Jewish communities at
different times and in different places, we discuss when and why particular forms were adopted, why
certain innovations were introduced, and why certain symbolic elements were expressed. Numerous site
visits to synagogues in New York will allow us to examine built form first-hand and to have direct
architectural experiences.

BIB 2120H Judges
Prof. Ari Mermelstein
R 1:05-2:45

The author of the book of Judges narrates historical events ranging over hundreds of years, but his
approach to writing history differs from that of modern historians. Perhaps the most obvious distinction
between their historiographical methodologies relates to their respective views on causality, with the
author of Judges reserving a distinctive place for divine intervention in history. Our discussions of the text
will focus on the manner in which religious ideology affected the way that Judges records history and on
the literary techniques that he uses to embed that ideology in his work.

BIO 1372H Bioinformatics
Prof. Raji Viswanathan
M 4:30-5:45 and 6:45-9:45

Modern Biology is data driven and bioinformatics is the combination of Biology and computing. With
the data floods, analysis has become challenging. Bioinformatics has developed powerful tools to study
problems that include large scale genetic sequencing, analysis of query sequences to find similarities,
protein structure prediction, machine learning methods. This course will introduce students to some of the
important tools frequently used in Bioinformatics that are necessary for the practice of modern biology
and medicine.
This course includes a laboratory component and satisfies the requirements for a Biology, Biochemistry
and Chemistry majors.

ENG 4930H Shakespeare and the Bible
Prof. Shaina Trapedo
TR 6:45-8

Shakespeare's deep familiarity with the bible is apparent in over one-thousand references throughout the
plays that made him one of the most popular writers of the Elizabethan stage. And while his impact on the
development of the Western literary tradition is undoubted, scholars continue to ask why the bard
saturated his dramatic scripts with scripture. Sixteenth-century London was fascinated with reading and
interpreting the bible, and the emerging entertainment industry often competed with public sermons for
audiences. Recognizing that the post-Reformation patrons of London's public theaters also occupied
parish pews, we will examine a selection of plays that adopt/adapt biblical verses and narratives to
understand how they activated the collective consciousness of their audience and amplified the work’s
artistic objectives. While biblical allusions are present in all of Shakespeare’s works, we’ll narrow our
focus to Hamlet, Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Measure for Measure, King Lear, The Tempest, and select
poems. Situating the plays in their early modern context, students will gain a deeper understanding of
literary history, Shakespeare’s craft, and to what extent his timeless texts are the product of the biblical
reading practices of his day. Taught under the auspices of the English department and the Straus Center
for Torah and Western Thought, this course will feature occasional guest lectures by affiliated humanities

HIS 2607H International Crimes
Prof. Douglas Burgess
TR 4:30-5:45

This seminar explores the emergence and incidence of genocide and other crimes against humanity in the
20th century. First we will examine the history of modern international atrocity, including the mass
killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire, atrocities of colonization, the Holocaust, and more
recent examples in Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur. Then we will consider how the international
community has responded, and the emergence of international law after the Second World War.
Discussion will include the following issues: What does “genocide” mean, and why is it a modern
phenomenon? What are its root causes? What distinguishes it from ethnic cleansing and other crimes
against humanity? Is this distinction a viable one? Can genocide be prosecuted, or prevented?

HIS 2813H Arch of Titus
Prof. Steven Fine
MW 4:30-5:45

The Arch of Titus, built to commemorate Roman triumph in the Jewish War of 66-74 CE, has stood as a
touchstone of Western civilization for nearly 2000 years. This course explores the shifting meaning and
significance of this monument – for the victorious Romans, for the defeated Jews, and for both Christians
and Jews over the subsequent millennia. Built on Rome’s Via Sacra, the “Sacred Road,” around 82 CE,
the Arch of Titus features sculptural reliefs depicting Titus’s triumphal procession into the Eternal City in
July, 71 CE. Painfully for Jews, the sacred vessels of the Jerusalem Temple are shown being carried into
Rome by victorious Roman soldiers. At the center of the representation of the Spoils of Jerusalem is the
seven-branched golden menorah, which, since 1949, has been used as the emblem of the State of Israel.
The Arch of Titus has undergone many physical changes over the course of its long history. Having
fallen into a ruinous state by the 19th century, it was restored by Pope Pius VII in the 1823. Recent
discoveries by Yeshiva University’s Arch of Titus Project indicate that the Arch’s sculptural reliefs were
originally painted, a common practice in Roman sculpture. This project has produced a life-size carved
replica of the existing Spoils of Jerusalem relief panel from the interior passageway of the Arch, based on
three-dimensional and polychrome scanning conducted in 2012. This replica, onto which is projected
imagery from a colorized reconstruction, aims to provide a richer sense of the monument’s original
character and appearance.
This course stretches from the Roman era to the present. It explores the image and symbolism of the
Arch from various vantage points – from emperors and popes to Jews and Christians, who re-interpreted
the meaning of the Arch in modern times. Rare artifacts from collections in Italy, Israel and the United
States illuminate this monument’s vibrant history, as the Arch itself went from monumentalizing victory
to fall into ruination and, eventually, to being restoration in the modern era.

JTP/PHI 1214H Suffering and Evil
Prof. Shalom Carmy
MW 3-4:15

How are we to make sense of a world in which suffering and evil are conspicuous features? Our goal is to
tackle a set of problems surrounding this question, utilizing the resources of Jewish thought and Western
philosophy, and also appealing to other sources of insight and culture, most notably imaginative literature.
Readings stress Rabbinic literature, Maimonides, Nahmanides, R. Soloveitchik, Holocaust theology,
Samuel Johnson, Dostoevsky and analytic philosophy contributions.

JTP 4930H Topics: Abrabanel, Exile and Exegesis
Prof. Dov Lerner
TR 4:30-5:45

One man brought the age of medieval exegetical greatness to a close - that is how many scholars see the
legacy of Don Isaac Abravanel. Born into a world of spiraling anti-Jewish persecution, Abravanel served
as a royal economist and Jewish diplomat in both Portugal and Spain, and pursued the life of a biblical
scholar, post-expulsion, in the relatively more tolerant Italy. His experience and intuition led him to
extrapolate, from both scripture and the sages, a new apocalyptic vision of a brewing messianic dawn -
which, of course, did not come to be. We will explore the historic and intellectual forces that forged
Abravanel's context, and study the major themes and contentions of a series of his texts, with a glance
toward the reception of his teachings over time. We'll see him reflect on the role of politics and
philosophy and ritual and the economy, and—perhaps most centrally—how faith ought to confront an
agonizing reality.

PHI 1360H Theory of Knowledge
Prof. Meir Rosensweig
TR 4:30-5:45

POL 2190H US Healthcare Policy
Prof. Tevi Troy
W 6:45-9:15

This honors course in health policy in the United States will examine how health policy is made and
implemented. The course will examine the role the federal government plays in various aspects of health
policy, in areas like innovation, protecting the public health, and defense against pandemics and
bioterrorism. The class will also look at the role of journalism and think tanks in both setting the agenda
on health policy and shaping the solutions that emerge. Students will engage in the discussion, analysis,
and critique of various policy options for addressing challenging health care problems and will gain
working experience by completing activities and assignments that mirror real-life situations in the public
policy realm. The course will cover both general health policy areas and more in-depth areas. Classes
will consist of discussions on selected readings, discussions with the instructor and guest speakers, and
various assignments in which students role play key health policy positions.


FTOC: First year students beginning in the Fall must register for one of the following

ENG 1001H Books on Books/Films on Films
Prof. Paula Geyh
F 10:00-12:30

What do literature and film tell us about themselves and each other? What are the elemental forms and
structures of literary and filmic narrative? What approaches might one use for the analysis of literature
and film? How is reading a novel different from “reading” a film? By addressing these questions, this
course will help students to develop a deeper understanding of how narrative literature and film work and
how they’re related (or aren’t).
The course will begin by considering the relationship between truth and fiction, and some ideas about
what “art” is and does. We’ll examine the roles of readers, film viewers, authors, directors, and critics.
We’ll explore the forms and structures of literary and cinematic storytelling, and how these elements
come together to produce meaning. Finally, we’ll briefly survey various approaches used by scholars and
critics to analyze literature and film.
Course texts will include Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler and Zusak, The Book Thief. Films
will include The Wizard of Oz, Sherlock Jr., The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stranger than Fiction, Singin’ in
the Rain, and Cinema Paradiso. Critical texts will include Plato, The Republic; Wilde, “The Decay of
Lying”; Wellek & Warren, “The Nature and Modes of Narrative Fiction”; Lynn, Texts and Contexts;
Rushdie, The Wizard of Oz; and Spadoni, A Pocket Guide to Analyzing Film.

ENG 1023H Authorship: Plato to Artificial Intelligence
Prof. Lauren Fitzgerald
F 10:00-12:30

This course explores a topic that you might be surprised to learn will come up frequently in your work as
a college student, representations of authorship over the last ~2500 years. From a historical perspective,
and because depictions of this process have changed significantly over the centuries, we’ll consider how
famous authors have described where ideas for writing come from: Is it divine inspiration? The world
around them? Imitation of previous authors? Hard work and craftsmanship? An expression of who we
are? Collaborations with others? We’ll also address more recent perspectives on who gets to be called an
author: For instance, why is there a debate about whether Shakespeare authored his works? Are
women writers part of the authorial tradition? What about college students? Most important, we’ll look at
why this topic matters to you, right now. Ever wonder why, as a student, you must produce original
writing, usually on your own, when the writing that people do on the job and/or the internet can be
anonymous, collaborative, imitative, and even, strictly speaking, plagiarized? We’ll tackle this question
too and raise many others about the far-reaching topic of authorship.
This course explores representations of authorship over the last ~2500 years, including famous authors’
accounts of where ideas come from, who gets to be called an author (Shakespeare? Women? College
students?), and the role of originality v. plagiarism.

MUS 4930H The Late Style
Prof. Daniel Beliavsky
F 10:00-12:30

As listeners and readers, we yearn to understand the works of art that help define our worldview. We pose
and explore the fundamental questions: do great artists develop linearly, evolving continuously from
earliest works through a middle period and ultimately to a late period? Or, does the creative impulse
operate multi-dimensionally, searching for outlets in nuanced ways where artistic temperaments intersect
with the cultural milieu?
Starting with the final study of the great polymath critic, Edward Said, this course will examine the late
works of Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Stravinsky, and Gould. The overarching concern is to determine if
there is a definable unity in these ultimate works or if these late styles constitute fragmented elements. As
Edward Said wrote in support of a Late Style, it is a moment when artists, who are fully in command of
their medium, nevertheless abandon communication with the established social order of which they are a
part and achieve a contradictory, alienated relationship with it. The late works, accordingly, are a form of
exile from their milieu.

NES 4930H Topics: Ancient Mesopotamian Religion
Prof. Shalom Holtz
F 9:30-12

Some of the oldest attempts to articulate the relationship between humans and the divine come from the
lands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Texts going back as far as the third millennium BCE, or
almost to writing's very beginnings, encompass, in one way or another, the realm we moderns consider
"religious." The remains of architecture and visual art complement what the texts tell us through
words. For first year students, the goal of this seminar is to enter the modern academic discourse on these
ancient texts and artifacts. To that end, we will study primary sources (texts will be read in translation)
together with representative published interpretations of these sources by contemporary authors. We will
also take up the broader theoretical questions inherent in bridging the gaps between us and the ancient
materials: can we get these materials to "talk religion," should we, and, if so, how?


Students Admitted to the Program

To remain in good standing, students must:

  • Take 6 Honors Courses, typically 1 per semester
  • Maintain GPA 3.5 or Higher
  • Complete Honors Thesis
  • Complete at least 94 on-campus credits

Current Yeshiva College Students Applying for Admissions

Students currently attending Yeshiva College who wish to apply to enter the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program must fill out an application form.

Criteria for admission:

  • A 3.7 GPA while at the college
  • Competent writing: the grade of A or A- in two courses in Composition or Literature
  • At least two strong recommendations from your college instructors.
  • In addition, it is advantageous to have achieved at least a 1400 on the SATs or a 32 on the ACTs.
  • Interest in completing the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program

Criteria for All Types of Honors Courses

As one goal of virtually all honors courses, regardless of field, the Honors Committee welcomes especially articulate communication and self-expression in person and in writing. In addition, to receive approval from the Committee, you must design your Honors Course to meet some of the following criteria:

  • Sophisticated, challenging thinking: critical, analytic, quantitative, scientific, interdisciplinary, and/or creative. 
  • Active employment of current discourse, methods, techniques, and theories in the relevant field or fields of inquiry. 
  • Critical investigation of primary as well as secondary sources. 
  • Independent learning with opportunities to exercise intellectual initiative. 
  • Pursuit of one or more research projects. 
  • Experiences that take advantage of the rich cultural, intellectual, institutional, and environmental resources of the New York area. 
  • Synthesis of discourse, knowledge, methods, theories and/or modes of thinking from two or more disciplines. 
  • Intensive writing and revision which facilitate growth as a thinker and as a writer, with publishable writing as an ultimate goal. 
  • Substantive participation by students in relevant professional activities such as a conference. 

The Senior Honors Thesis is the capstone project at the end of every Honors scholar’s Yeshiva College career. It is an opportunity to find mentorship from a favorite professor, investigate a pet interest with one-to-one guidance, and improve upon an academic resume. Thesis students will push their writing and analytical skills to their limits as they explore a question that matters to them in a meaningful, satisfying, and hopefully exciting way.  

A well-written and original thesis of high quality may substantially improve your chances for admission to the top graduate and professional programs around the country and abroad. Students who have completed theses have been successful in winning high academic honors: 50% of the valedictorians of Yeshiva College are graduates of the program, and honors students have garnered a disproportionate number of the graduation awards each year. They also have become very competitive in applying for the most prestigious fellowships: the winners of Rhodes, Goldwater, NSF Graduate Fellowships, and most of Wexner Fellowships have all been graduates of the program. These have been published as scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, chapters of books, or even books in their own right in the humanities and/or Jewish Studies.

The process of writing a thesis involves the following steps (described below)

The Thesis Writing Process
Steps Timeframe
Finding a Mentor Spring semester 3rd year
Drafting the Proposal Summer after your third year
Submitting the Proposal September 4th year
From Proposal to Thesis October-April 4th year
Thesis Submission May 4th year

This calendar is tentative and the specific circumstances of a student (field of research, post graduate plans), etc might require to move forward or backwards those deadlines, so please read the document carefully. 

For more information, please contact the Honors Program at

Finding a Mentor: Academic Matchmaking

Writing a thesis should grow organically out of your regular academic program.  Specifically, while you are taking classes or working in a lab, keep mental notes about ideas you would want to explore further or people whose work interests you.   As you think, consider who might mentor you through the process. To find a mentor, you can:

  1. Choose your mentor first, and find out what he or she is working on. Ask the potential mentor if you can join his or her research team by contributing to one aspect of his or her project. Working with the mentor, you can find a topic for your project that fits within the mentor’s research.
  2. Choose a topic, and then find a mentor willing to work with you. Consider the topics that interest you and will help you further your intellectual, academic, and career goals. Then find a professor who has both the expertise and the inclination to help you conduct the research that interests you.

It is quite acceptable to tell a professor that you are interested in doing research in his/her field of expertise, but that you do not have a specific project in mind. This will give him/her the opportunity to suggest several research possibilities for you to consider. You can begin researching who might be a suitable mentor here, via our faculty webpages.

The Honors Program can help you with ideas for professors whose interests match yours. If no appropriate professor is on the YC faculty, the Honors Program can help you find a professor at another college.

Drafting the Proposal: Getting Your Feet Wet

In its written form, the honors thesis proposal is the crucial first step for every student who aspires to complete this final requirement of the honors program. It sets forth in a concrete way the student’s commitment to write a thesis, the topic to be studied, and the faculty member who will serve as mentor. There is no “one form fits all” in the case of the honors thesis proposal nor is there a set length. However, every thesis proposal must have the following several elements:

  • Cover Sheet. This sheet should be filled out and signed by both the student and the mentor. The faculty mentor must indicate his/her approval of the proposal. You can find that document here.
  • A Working Title. While the title may be modified as time moves on, in its initial form, it should clearly indicate the topic and scope of the thesis.
  • The Thesis Statement. The thesis statement should discuss what it is the student wishes to accomplish in the thesis and/or the question(s) he wishes to answer. Depth of discussion is not the objective here, i.e. the proposal should, in summary fashion, go over previous scholarship, provide a sense of the methodology to be pursued, e.g. a thesis in the social sciences might employ a questionnaire if statistical analysis is the goal, and clarify how the thesis will contribute to the current state of research in any field of academic/intellectual endeavor.
  • Bibliography. Finally, the proposal should have a bibliography of primary and secondary sources appended which indicates that the student has investigated published books and articles relevant to the thesis topic. This bibliography should follow the citation format of the particular academic field of the thesis and thesis writers should familiarize themselves with such prior to submitting their proposal.

Submitting the Proposal and Other Paperwork: Conscientiousness Rewarded

Once your proposal is finished you will need to submit it to the Honors Program, along with any other relevant paperwork. Upon submission of the proposal, you will need the following paperwork:

  • Paperwork signup sheet
  • Finished proposal with expected bibliography

Once your proposal has been reviewed and accepted, the Honors director will sign you up for the remaining thesis courses. While HON 4978H must be worth 1 credit, you may choose how many HON 4980H is worth. You will usually take HON 4980H in your penultimate semester and 4981H in your final semester. These two courses should add up to a total of 4 credits. You may decide on the credit value for each class once your proposal is accepted.

This means that if you sign up HON 4980H for 2 credits in your penultimate semester, you will sign up HON 4981H for 2 credits in the final semester. If, on the other hand, you sign up HON 4980H for 1 credit in the penultimate semester, you will need to sign up HON 4981H for 3 credits in the final semester. Note that in some cases, it is possible to assign all 4 credits to HON 4981H in the final semester.

From Proposal to Thesis: Writing the Thesis

During the thesis writing process, you should meet regularly with your mentor. While there is no formal requirement, in general, a schedule of more regular meetings leads to steadier progress on the thesis. The mentor should help you to determine deadlines for individual pieces of the project. He or she should also guide you through the general aspects of thesis writing like time management, organization, introduction and conclusion writing, research documentation, revision and editing, and oral presentation.

Please note while you write what past graders have said about the thesis. When asked about the qualities of a successful thesis, they answered that a thesis should be an original, compelling, sustained argument, written effectively, lucidly, correctly and interestingly.

Thesis Submission: The Home Stretch

Theses must begin with a cover page and follow formatting guidelines available here. A signed publication consent form must accompany your submission. 

Once we receive your thesis, the evaluation process starts. Your thesis will have two different readers, each one of which will submit a review, and a grade for the work. One of them will be your thesis mentor, while the other will be designated by the program in consultation with you and your mentor. They might suggest some minor modifications. The final grade will be assigned by the program and it is arrived at by averaging the grades submitted by the readers. In the very unusual case of a discrepancy between the grades proposed by the two readers by more than a full letter grade, the program might request the opinion of a third reader.

There is a graduation dinner/luncheon to celebrate the achievement of the graduating honors students. It takes place at the end of the year usually the day before commencement so that parents and family members can attend, and students have the opportunity to give a short presentation of the highlights of their research.

The final version of the thesis is bound and kept in the honors library and also is stored electronically in the Yeshiva University Library. Since the electronic version is accessible from outside the University, students have to give a consent for this publication.

See past theses in the Honors Library, and the YU Library, and follow the link to see last year’s Honors Dinner Program with titles of all the theses.

Important FAQs

  • Does the thesis have to on a topic related to my major?
    For many students, the answer is yes. But, it is not unusual for a student to choose a topic from an academic field in which he is minoring, or one connected to some other interest of his, for example Jewish studies.
  • May I choose a mentor who is not a member of the YU faculty?
    Although most students find a mentor within the YU community, over the years some have chosen to work with someone from, for example, Columbia, NYU, Bar- Ilan University, and the University of Pittsburgh. You will need to identify who your external mentor is and get approval from the honors program before beginning your thesis research and writing. The honors program will be in regular contact with the external mentor to make sure that the process goes smoothly and that we share the same expectations from the thesis. And, in many cases, it will designate an internal mentor as a liaison between the external mentor and the program.
  • May a collection of short stories, a novella, a portfolio of artwork, or the making of a film, for example, fulfill the requirements for completion of an honors thesis?
    Several recent thesis writers have submitted works of fiction, a photographic essay, or musical piece as part of the thesis, always under the mentorship of a faculty member, and as part of an academic project. We encourage these types of submissions, and can help explain the specific requirements.
  • May I begin my thesis work before the beginning of my fourth year on campus?
    By all means, we strongly encourage it. At the beginning of your third year on campus, you should start to think about possible topics and mentors.
  • By when must a thesis be submitted?
    Students should submit the thesis during the last week of classes, prior to reading week, in the semester in which they plan to graduate.
  • May I finish writing the thesis during the summer?
    If you are in no hurry to get your diploma in May, then you may continue your writing over the summer. If you wish to receive a September diploma, then your thesis should be completed and submitted by mid-August.

All forms below are PDFs.

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