French Awards & Honors

The French Honors Program

The French Honors Program (FHP)

The goal of our French Honors Program is to provide academically talented and highly motivated undergraduates opportunities to engage in research with premier research faculty and to develop mentoring relationships focused on research.

Why participate in the Honors Program?

Participating in Honors-directed undergraduate research contributes to the intellectual, professional, and personal growth of the student. Honors students will explore interests they have developed during their regular coursework at UCSB or during their Junior Year Abroad. Students who choose to participate in the FHP will gain valuable research-related skills that can help them meet the demands of graduate or professional school. They learn these skills by:

  1. Identifying and developing research topics in any French and Francophone topics, whether in language, literature, and/or culture.
  2. Working collaboratively with their mentor toward accomplishment of a common goal.
  3. Communicating effectively in French, presenting and sharing their knowledge successfully in French.

Who can participate in the Honors Program? The Honors Thesis?

Admission in the FHP is highly selective. Seniors with a GPA of 3.5 in the major and 3.5 overall will be invited to participate in the French Senior Honors Program, which entails writing a 20-page senior honors essay as an Independent Study Project (up to 4 units course credit). Those who successfully complete this project (with a grade of A- or higher) will graduate with honors; their diplomas and transcripts will read “Distinction in the Major."

How to proceed?

To participate in this program, you should seek the guidance of a faculty member as soon as possible, and by early in the winter quarter at the latest. We strongly encourage you to start in the fall quarter of your senior year. Please submit a written proposal to the professor whom you would like to supervise your thesis. Once he/she has agreed to supervise your work in French literature and/or French interdisciplinary studies, please enroll in a French 199 with this professor (for a maximum of 4 units). These 4 Upper Division units are in addition to the 44 Upper Division Units for the French major and do not count toward these minimums. You will then begin preparing a Senior Honors Essay, which should be at least 20 pages long and in French. Up to 4 units will be awarded upon completion of your project.

The Hermione Chevallier Prize

Senior honors students who complete their projects by mid-May may submit their essays for consideration for the Hermione Chevallier Prize, a special recognition awarded annually to the best Honors essay dealing with French and/or Francophone topics in language, literature and culture. The Prize comes with a modest cash award. It is awarded at the annual Pi Delta Phi reception every Spring.

Pi Delta Phi

Pi Delta Phi is a nation-wide French honor society. Founded at the University of California of Berkeley in 1906, Pi Delta Phi, the national honor society, is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Its goals are:

  • to recognize outstanding scholarship in French language and literature
  • to increase knowledge of the contribution of French-speaking countries to world culture
  • to stimulate and encourage such cultural activities that will lead to a deeper appreciation of these countries

In 1976, our Department became the Theta Lambda chapter of Pi Delta Phi. Juniors and seniors with a 3.5 GPA in French and a 3.50 GPA overall will be invited to join. There is an annual initiation reception in May. At the lower division level, we also recognize the achievements of our best students. Every year, we award a small prize to the most outstanding non-major lower division students and invite them to participate at the annual Pi Delta Phi reception. Follow this link to know more about the history, purpose, constitution, membership, and chapters of Pi Delta Phi: http://www.pideltaphi.org/

Research faculty members who participate in the honors program consider students as partners in a learning community. We hope to welcome you soon in our Honors program, and to contribute to your intellectual and personal growth.