Honours Requirements and Deadlines

Students in the Gender and Women’s Studies program may fulfill the “honours exam” (i.e., the thesis) requirement in either of the two honours subjects. Usually the chosen subject will be the one in which the student has taken more classes. The honours requirement in Gender and Women’s Studies is satisfied by writing an honours thesis, which can be presented in a public forum toward the end of the academic year. 

Once accepted into the honours program, students will register for both GWST 4901.015 in the Fall term and GWST 4902.015 in the Winter term (Honours Thesis).

Fourth-year students writing their GWST honours thesis will attend seminar meetings in which issues relevant to the honours requirement will be covered. Attendance at the honours meetings is required of students registered in GWST 4901.015 and 4902.015 (Honours Thesis). The meetings will be conducted by the co-ordinator, and will take place in October, November, January and the first week of March.    

The deadline to apply for the Honours program is September 15th.

Download the FASS Honours Application Form [PDF]

Download the GWST Honours Thesis Form [PDF - 125 KB].

Honours thesis writing specifications

Honours Thesis: The honours thesis is a substantial piece of writing, 25 to 40 pages in length (or as agreed upon by supervisor), on a topic chosen by the student and also agreed upon by the supervisor. The supervisor is chosen by the student and is normally a cross-appointed member of the Gender and Women’s Studies program. It is the student's responsibility to approach potential supervisors and discuss their thesis topic in order to be sure the supervisor agrees to the topic chosen. The project should demonstrate mastery of the mechanics of writing, as well as skill at:

  1. defining a problem;
  2. researching the literature more widely than in a class paper;
  3. developing a critical attitude towards a chosen theoretical framework;
  4. sectioning a longer piece of writing;
  5. revising in response to critical feedback.


The student will give a public presentation of his/her work and will also submit the final written thesis, which will be read and evaluated by the supervisor and by a second reader. The co-ordinator of Gender and Women’s Studies will select the second reader based on the supervisor’s recommendation in October, after the first honours meeting. The final Honours Thesis grade will be calculated as follows: 15% public presentation and 85% final document.

Important deadlines

In the year before the graduating year (i.e., in the third year of a four-year degree):

  • February-April: Meet with the GWST co-ordinator to discuss admission to the honours program.
  • March: Roundtable for third-year students to discuss general requirements and procedures for completing the thesis. Honours students should try to submit their Honours Form to the Registrar’s office and approach a thesis supervisor before the end of the academic year.
The deadline to apply for the Honours program is September 15.

In fourth year, the first step is to submit to the GWST co-ordinator the GWST thesis form signed by both the student and the chosen supervisor, for the September 15 deadline.


  • Seminar meeting
  • Oral presentation of a topic
  • Review procedures and answer questions (working with a supervisor, revisions, etc.)
  • Applications to graduate school or professional programs (selecting schools, writing statements of intent, soliciting letters of reference)


  • Seminar meeting
  • Suggested completion of full research proposal (literature review, methods, research schedule)


  • Seminar meeting


  • The week after study break: draft of complete thesis due
  • Peer review of theses

First week of March:

  • Seminar meeting


  • Public presentation (all faculty invited)

April 1: Final copy of thesis due.