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The Quantitative Sciences Honors Program allows exceptional students to engage in in-depth scholarly work that extends beyond the curricular requirements of the Quantitative Sciences major. The honors thesis is considered a culmination of intellectual development in the QSS major and should reflect a synthesis of quantitative theory, methodology, and the accompanying substantive (track) curriculum in the major. 

Students will work closely with scholars in their chosen field to conduct research and write a thesis of original scholarship that exemplifies theory-driven, methodologically sound, data-based inference and application in that field. Students may apply to participate in the program for their last two semesters before graduation.

Admission will be given to qualified students within one month following submission deadlines. Meeting the minimum requirements for applying does not guarantee acceptance into the honors program.

Requests for late admission to the program require a petition to the QSS Honors Director and Honors Administrator explaining the request for late admission.

Deadline to Submit Materials

Students who meet the minimum requirements for consideration may submit materials through the application no later than April 30th of the year preceding spring graduation or November 30th of the year preceding winter graduation.

Please see the "Requirements" section for eligibility rules and the "How to Apply" section for detailed instructions about the application process.

Kevin McAlister Headshot
Kevin McAlister
Honors Director
PAIS 579
Sadie Hannans, Program Coordinator Headshot
Sadie Hannans, Program Coordinator
Honors Administrator
PAIS 569


Requirements for Admission into the QSS Honors Program

  • A declared QSS major by the end of the first semester of student's junior year
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.5
  • A minimum QSS or PPA GPA of 3.5
  • A specific, well-defined project developed under the direction of a committed faculty supervisor 
Requirements for
Completion of Honors

  • Successful completion of QTM 495A: Honors Research 
  • Successful completion of QTM 495B: Honors Research 
  • Successful completion of a graduate-level course or 400-level senior seminar approved by the Honors Director 
  • Researching and writing an Honors Thesis
  • Successful completion of an oral examination on the student's Honors Thesis
  • 54+ credit hours (includes 50 credit hours associated with the BS degree and additional credit hours associated with writing the thesis)
  • You must maintain a 3.5 overall GPA and 3.7 major GPA to successfully complete the QSS Honors Program

How to Apply

  • Review the admission requirements above
  • Identify three faculty member who will be on your honors thesis committee 
    • Your committee chair or committe co-chair must be a QTM faculty member.
    • If you want to work with a non-QTM faculty member as your supervisor, then you will identify them as a co-chair to your committee. In this case, the supervisor will take on traditional chair responsibilities.
    • One of the three faculty members must be from your disciplinary track department
  • Work with your faculty supervisor (the committee chair or co-chair) to develop a brief abstract for your thesis project
  • You will need to identify a graduate-level course or senior seminar that you intend to enroll in during the Fall or Spring of the year that you plan to complete honors. When you have selected this course, please fill out the QTM Honors course petition form.  The QTM Honors Director must approve this course; do not enroll until you have received approval.  Please note that this form must be submitted no later than one week before the end of the add/drop/swap period of the semester in which you are taking this class in order for the class to be approved by the honors director. 

Admission will be given to qualified students within one month following these deadlines. Meeting the minimum requirements for applying does not guarantee acceptance into the honors program. Requests for late admission to the program require a petition to the QSS Honors Director and Honors Administrator explaining the request for late submission.

What Your Senior Year Schedule Will Look Like

The following schedule assumes a May graduation.

Fall Semester

  • You will complete QTM 495A: Honors Research (4 cr), which addresses methodological issues and offers practical guidance in thesis design and research.
  • You may choose to take a graduate-level course or 400-level senior seminar in the fall or spring semester. This course must be a minimum of 3 credit hours on a topic relevant to the thesis. This course must be approved by the Honors Director.

Spring Semester

  • You must assemble an honors thesis committee that includes your faculty advisor (the committee chair) and two other Emory faculty members.
  • You will complete QTM 495B: Honors Research (variable credit, up to 8 hours), which includes the thesis writing portion of the QSS Honors Program. 


Levels of Honors

Successful completion of the program will include a public presentation of the thesis and an oral examination. Examiners will recommend the degree of honors—honors, high honors, or highest honors—to the Honors Committee according to College specifications, on a document that certifies the status to the registrar for printing in the commencement program and on the student diplomas. Fourragères indicating the degree of honors are presented to successful candidates by the college and are worn at commencement.

Honors (cum laude)

Represents satisfactory completion of the program, with an overall average of 3.50.

High Honors (magna cum laude)

Represents completion of the program with outstanding performance, including an overall average of 3.50 and a thesis of quality sufficient for oral presentation to scholars in the candidate's field.

Highest Honors (summa cum laude)

Represents completion of the program with exceptional performance, including an overall average of 3.50 and a thesis of a quality suitable for publication.