Honours program

The honours program offers an opportunity to undertake a concentrated program designed especially for an individual students interests in anthropology in their third and fourth years.

The program centers upon the completion of a supervised research project on a topic selected by the student (the honours essay) and active participation in Anthropology 499, the honours seminar.

Honours students do additional coursework, one of which is approved by the honours advisor as an ‘honours preparation’ course, normally done with the honours supervisor.

The conceptualization and completion of the honours essay, with associated fieldwork, data collection and interpretation, along with the additional coursework and honours seminar culminates in an invaluable experience.

Why take an honours program?

Honours program students receive training and qualifications superior to those in the regular anthropology degree program, and is marked on their transcript and during the graduation ceremonies.

Students hoping to attend graduate school or planning a professional career or should consider the department’s honours program.

Entry into most graduate programs in anthropology (and other disciplines) is facilitated by completion of the honours program.  The program also provides some advantages in obtaining private and public sector employment.

The honours program is an intellectually satisfying program for those undergraduates with demonstrated intellectual curiosity and qualifications in anthropology.

Honours advisor and Honours supervisor - what is the difference?

The honours advisor (anthhonours@uvic.ca) is responsible for advising students on the honours program elements of their degree, admissions to the honours program, and shepherding the honours cohort through the honours seminar.

Each honours student is individually guided by an honours supervisor, who is a professor in the department who has agreed to supervise and guide your research over the final year of your honours degree.

To participate in our Honours program, you may consult with the Anthropology Honours Advisor, anthhonours@uvic.ca, with any inquires about connecting with an honours supervisor, scoping out an honours essay project (something that is manageable), and discussion which course to use as you ‘honours preparation’ credit.

You need to be thinking about what you would like to do as an honours thesis project, and then contact a professor in our department who might be suitable to guide your work and ask if they would be your honours supervisor. The honours advisor can help you with this if you have questions. 

What should you do if considering the honours program?

Complete the honours application form which provides a detailed program plan proposal.  

New application forms for 2024-2025 coming in June/July 2024; please see the current forms for reference only: Application for Honours BA or Application for Honours BSc).

Please email your completed application to

New application deadline: December


Honours program questions?

If you have any questions about your honours application form, please contact the honours advisor (anthhonours@uvic.ca). The honours advisor does not have access to any of your program records, so if you have other questions about your program more generally, please contact the Anthropology Undergraduate Advisor (anthua@uvic.ca)

The details about which particular courses to take for the honours program in the Calendar are here for BA Honours and BSc Honours.

More details about the honours program are elaborated in our Undergraduate Handbook here.

Honours Adviser

anthhonours@uvic.ca (Dr. Brian Thom to 30 Jun 2023) (Dr. April Nowell from 01 Jul 2023)

The honours program application worksheet provides a detailed planning tool for preparing for the honours program.

Some of the key program criteria include:

For entrance to the program you need to:

  • have completed ANTH 100 and
  • have a combined GPA of 6.5 in ANTH 200, 240, 250 and 260
  • maintain an overall GPA of at least 5.5 in 300- and 400-level Anthropology courses

In addition to completing the requirements for a Major in Anthropology (BA or BSc), honours students must complete additional coursework (7.5 units) (as outlined in the Honours application form and the calendar).

Of these additional units, 1.5 units of 300- 400- level coursework will be declared as your honours “preparation course”, relevant to the topic that you have in mind. The “preparation course” is very often a course done with your honours supervisor. Your choice of “preparation course” must be confirmed by the honours advisor.

All honours student will enroll in Anth 499 (honours seminar) in their final academic term.

Please review UVic calendar for the requirements to enter, continue in the program and to graduate with Honours; see the Honours BA and Honours BSc.

For all Anthropology courses please see UVic Academic Calendar.

Honours essays are archived electronically in the University of Victoria Library. Find the essays here.