Department of Modern Culture and Media

Honors in MCM

Students wishing to culminate the concentration with a thesis and receive the degree with honors may apply for department approval to produce a creative, critical, or theoretical work in the senior year.

The thesis experience allows a student to get to know, and work closely with, a faculty member. The MCM Honors Program is intellectually demanding and time-consuming; students should be willing to devote a substantial part of their senior year to the thesis. Students work under the guidance of a department faculty advisor and second reader. Where appropriate, the advisor or the reader, but not both, may be in another department.

Students who qualify for honors in either concentration track are eligible to apply to do an honors project or thesis. Students should submit a letter of intent in their 6th semester, and a formal proposal, by the first day of their 7th semester. If approved, a student must then register for MCM1980 (taken in the 7th semester), a one credit course which can count towards their Focus Area requirements, and MCM1990 (taken in the 8th semester), a one-credit thesis course in which they complete the honors project/thesis.

Honors Director

Letter of Intent

The letter of intent is a prelude to your Honors thesis proposal. This letter should present a brief description of your thesis project. The description should be only a paragraph or two in length and provide your reader with a sense of your topic and your plans for beginning your work.

The letter of intent is not a substitute for the thesis proposal, which you will submit in the fall (May grads) or spring (December grads).

December Graduates

  • Letter of intent due to primary thesis advisor: October 1
  • Acknowledgement of approval of letter of intent due to MCM: October 15

May Graduates

  • Letter of intent due to primary thesis advisor: April 1
  • Acknowledgement of approval of letter of intent due to MCM: April 15

Honors Proposal

Qualified students should start thinking about their topic and thesis committee well before the proposal deadline. Because the thesis is the student’s individual research project and not one assigned by a faculty member for a course, students should spend some time formulating a research topic and research question prior to soliciting a primary thesis advisor. Interested students are also encouraged to discuss their ideas with the MCM undergraduate honors director.

Honors proposal must include:

  1. Detailed description (1-2 pages) of the honors thesis project
  2. Bibliography (1 page)
  3. Up-to-date transcript (Banner printout is acceptable). The transcript must indicate A-level work in at least half of the concentration courses. For S/NC courses, statements from relevant faculty members 
    certifying that work was of honors quality are required
  4. Signature of primary thesis advisor*
  5. Name of second reader (if not known at time of submission, student must choose a second reader by October 15.)

Proposals are due on the first day of class of the student's 7th semester. Proposals are screened by the MCM Honors Committee and will be reviewed by the MCM Honors Director. Students will be notified by the end of the registration period.

Submit Proposal for Theory-based     Submit Proposal for Practice-based

Note: For S/NC courses, students need statements from faculty members certifying their work was of "A" quality. This is only for the courses you are counting towards the MCM concentration requirements.  If you received an S* (with distinction) you don't need to get this statement because this is equivalent to an A. It can be a brief statement like this:

XXX took a production-related course in which they did honors-quality work.

Course No. & Title____________________________________

Honors Timeline

Honors is awarded by the College Curriculum Council based on a recommendation by the Honors Director in Modern Culture and Media. Honors is not awarded by the College retroactively. Students who fail to complete their thesis by the Modern Culture and Media department deadline will not receive honors, even if they complete all requirements at a later time. If a thesis is turned in late but before the end of the term, credit and a grade for the thesis work may still be granted; however, the student will not receive honors.

October 1 As a junior concentrator, submit your Letter of Intent to your primary thesis advisor in 6th semester.
October 15 Once you get approval from the faculty member that will serve as your primary thesis advisor, please forward approval email and letter of intent to  the Student Affairs Manager, Liza_Hebert@brown.edu
November 9-16 Honors Director will contact student to confirm pre-registration in MCM 1980. (end of pre-registration period)
January 26 Student submits formal honors proposal by 1st day of classes of the 7th semester.
February 8 Student is notified if their honors proposal is approved (last day to add a course without a fee)
March 15 Student submits name of second reader to Liza Hebert
May 1 First chapter/first stage due (students who meet goal may proceed with honors thesis)
September 6-14 Student registers for MCM 1990 Honors Thesis/Project in Modern Culture and Media (Part 2)
After registration ends, student meets with primary thesis advisor and second reader to develop timeline
October 15 First full draft of thesis due to primary thesis advisor and second reader
December 12 Final thesis or Final creative project due to primary thesis advisor
January 9 Primary thesis advisor and second reader reports due to Honors Director (submit via Google Forms)
April 1 Junior concentrator submits letter of intent to faculty advisor, serving as their primary thesis advisor in 6th semester.
April 15 Send approval email from your primary thesis advisor and letter of intent to Liza_Hebert@brown.edu
April 25 Student will be notified of approval and that they may proceed with pre-registration in MCM 1980.
September 7 Student submits formal honors proposal by 1st day of classes of the 7th semester.
September 16 Student notified of approval of honors proposal
October 15 Student submits name of 2nd reader to Liza Hebert
December 1 First chapter/first stage due to primary thesis advisor only. Students who meet this goal may proceed with their honors thesis.
January 25 - February 7 Student registers for MCM 1990 Honors Thesis/ Project in Modern Culture and Media (Part 2)
After the first day of spring semester classes, student meets with primary thesis advisor and second reader to develop timeline
March 15 First full draft of thesis due to primary thesis advisor and second reader
April 15 Final thesis due to primary thesis advisor, second reader, and Liza Hebert (Liza_Hebert@brown.edu)
April 22 Primary thesis advisor and second reader reports due to MCM (submit via Google Forms)
May 1 MCM report due to Registrar's office recommending students to graduate "with honors" + student notified of honors status by MCM
May 28 Student receives diploma indicating degree with honors

Students enrolled in the Brown | RISD Dual Program have the choice to which year (year 4 or 5) they would like to pursue honors. Students should carefully consider whether working on a thesis at Brown and a degree project at RISD would compliment each other if done simultaneously or if they'd be best pursued in different years. Contact mcm@brown.edu for more details and deadlines.