Graduation: Graduating with Distinction

The Graduation with Distinction program recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence through the successful completion of a substantive written project evaluated by a committee of three faculty members. While two candidates for graduation with distinction might, for example, work in the same laboratory and hence on related thesis topics, the thesis project is expected to be the work of each individual and evaluated separately by an appropriate committee of three faculty member. Traditionally, pursuit of graduation with distinction has been undertaken in the student’s major area of study. Indeed, all academic departments and programs offering a major, as well as Program II, have established procedures for conferring graduation with distinction on students who meet their standards and requirements. In Spring 2009, the Arts and Sciences Council approved an expansion of the Graduation with Distinction program beyond Distinction in the major to permit qualified students to undertake a thesis or other substantive project worthy of Distinction in an area outside that of the major (or Program II). 

Henceforth, successful candidates for Distinction will be recognized by earning the right either to:

  • Graduation with Distinction in the Major (or in Program II) or
  • Graduation with Distinction (for a project not associated with the student’s major).

Each is described in detail below. This recognition is separate and distinct from Latin Honors.

Graduation with Distinction in the Major (or in Program II)

In general, qualified students seeking to graduate with Distinction in a major (or in Program II) will participate during their junior and/or senior years in a seminar and/or a directed course of reading, laboratory research, or independent study that results in substantive written work.  Each student's overall achievement in the major or in Program II, including the thesis project, is assessed by a three-member faculty committee.  The Graduation with Distinction program permits the awarding of Distinction at one of three levels: Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction, though departments and programs vary with respect to the levels of Distinction they recognize.

Requirements of Graduation with Distinction in the Major:

Graduation with distinction (outside the major).

Beginning in Fall 2009, qualified students seeking to graduate with Distinction on the basis of a thesis or other substantive scholarly project not anchored in a major but rather based upon course work taken in a certificate program, a minor or some other elective field of study may apply for admission to the Graduation with Distinction program. Each student’s overall achievement in the field, and in particular the thesis project, is assessed by a three-member faculty committee. Graduation with Distinction may be awarded at one level only: Distinction.

Graduation with Distinction is not intended to supplant Graduation with Distinction in the Major, and therefore will not be considered for double honors (i.e., Distinction awarded in two units for a single thesis).  Nor will a student be considered an eligible candidate for Graduation with Distinction who is eligible for Graduation with Distinction in the Major based on the same thesis. However, a student could be eligible for Graduation with Distinction in the Major and for Graduation with Distinction based on separate theses. 

For more information and the application for Graduation with Distinction (not in a major), open the following document:

Graduation with Distinction - Double Honors for a Single Thesis Written for Two Separate Departments/Programs

In support of interdisciplinary efforts at Duke, the Curriculum Committee approved in Fall 2002 an option to permit a student to pursue double honors for a single thesis written for two separate departments or programs, an option distinct from that of completing two entirely separate theses and earning honors in each. In doing so, the Committee established certain guidelines that all departments/programs choosing to offer the double honors option must use. Students earning double honors will have both distinctions indicated on their transcript and have their names cited in both departments’/programs’ lists in the Commencement program. Whether or not to include this option as part of their Graduation with Distinction program rests with the individual academic departments and programs. 

In order for a student to pursue double honors, the following guidelines must be met:

Relevant Deadlines

Trinity College sets no common deadline for students to submit their honors theses to their respective honors committee. However, departments and programs are expected to report to the Dean's Office by the last day of classes in the semester in which the thesis is due the names of the students who will graduate with distinction. Accordingly, departments, programs and/or honors committees should set their own deadlines for receipt of thesis projects in final form. Such dates should be early enough to insure that committees have adequate time to read, review, and evaluate the projects and be able to report to the dean's office by the last day of classes the names of students who have earned the right to graduate with distinction.

Why Pursue Distinction?

All qualified students in Trinity College are encouraged to pursue a thesis project leading to either Graduation with Distinction in the Major or Graduation with Distinction in a field unassociated with a major simply for the sake of the rewards that accrue from pursuit of independent academic research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The opportunity to forge a close personal and working relationship with one or more professors in one's field of intellectual interest is invaluable per se, and the mentor's familiarity with the student's work and potential can also be enormously helpful when the student is applying to post-graduate programs of study.  Distinction, whether in the major or not, is thus not only an honor that is noted on the transcript, but can also represent a high point in the student's academic career and be beneficial to one's subsequent scholarly pursuits.

For more information about the Graduation with Distinction in the Major and the Graduation with Distinction programs contact:

Academic Dean Rachael Murphey Box 90050, 011 Allen Building Phone: 919-684-2130 Fax: 919-660-0488

E-Mail:  [email protected]

   See also:

Duke maintains an active list of Undergraduate Honors Theses and student papers within its DukeSpace hub. Here, you can search through and access summaries, full documents, authors, subjects, advisors and more. 

By utilizing this hub, you can learn more about projects related to areas of research you're interested in, plus learn more about the advisor to see if that faculty member could be a good fit for your project.

Duke University Libraries

The Economics Honors Program

The Honors Program in Economics provides students with the opportunity and support to delve deeply into an intellectual interest of their own choosing through the completion of a meaningful, sustained research project. At the end of a two-semester process of defining their novel research question, designing their empirical or theoretical approach, executing the research, drafting, and revising, students have completed their honors thesis. This process typically occurs through the Honors Seminars, but can also occur through Undergraduate Research Labs or Independent Studies.  Each spring, students present their research in a poster format at the Department of Economics Honors Thesis Poster Session. Students graduating in 2018 and 2019 created the four posters displayed. 

The Effect of Cruise Ship Tourism on Child Health in Roatán, Honduras by Hemal Patel, Trinity ‘19

Evaluation of the Impact of New Rules in FCC’s Spectrum Incentive Auction by Elizabeth Lim, Akshaya Trivedi, Frances Mitchell, Trinity ’18

Incentives to Quit in Men’s Professional Tennis by Will Walker, Trinity ‘18

Investigating a Case of Alleged Collusion in Michigan Public Oil and Gas Lease Auctions by Lucas Do, Trinity ‘19

This exhibition was sponsored in part by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. 

duke economics honors thesis

Theses and Dissertations

Authors Titles Types By Issue Date Departments Affiliations of Duke Author(s) Subjects By Submit Date

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Data expeditions, divinity school, duke dissertations, graduate liberal studies, international master of environmental policy program, masters theses, national environmental policy act (nepa) education and certificate program capstone papers, nicholas school of the environment, sanford school master of public policy (mpp) program master’s projects, undergraduate honors theses and student papers, recent submissions.


Analyzing the bistability of the minimally bistable ERK network using the discriminant locus 


Employing Neural Language Models and A Bayesian Hierarchical Framework for Classification and Engagement Analysis of Misinformation on Social Media 


Supporting Underserved Landowners in the Southeast with Conservation and Economic Goals 


Magic school bus, deploy! Cleaner air and cost savings in North Carolina with electric school buses. 


Legacy Pb contamination in the soils of three Durham city parks: Do secondary forest organic horizons effectively blanket Pb in city park soils contaminated by historic waste incineration? 





Impacts of genetic variation and silvicultural treatments on loblolly pine water use .


Viability and improvement of constructive wildlife corridors in tropical forests, proposing a new method for evaluating corridors geospatially using MaxEnt 


A Site Prioritization for Shortleaf Pine Restoration in Duke Forest 


Co-effects of Transportation Means and Air Quality on Neurological, Pulmonary, and Cardiovascular Function 


Artificial Intelligence for added value in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of national export strategies 

Phonon anharmonicity and phase transitions in perovskites .


Altered Stakes: identifying gaps in the psychedelic-assisted therapy research informed consent process 

Blood pressure control by multi-component intervention: an exploratory mediation analysis of the singhypertension trial , optimizing the network sampling with memory algorithm .


Further Reduction of the Fundamental Mistuning Model Using Mistuned Aeroelastic Modes 


Synthesis of 3D Realistic High-resolution Lung Background Textures Using a Conditional Generative Adversarial Network (CGAN) 


Modeling and Design of Assured and Adaptive Cyber-Physical Systems 

Fighting for life: war trauma, healing, and ritual communities in the american pacific northwest , make your work available here.


2020-2021 Honors Theses

Olivia de Gaudemar ,  Stories of Violence and Peace: The Embodiment of violence in Colombia.  Research Advisor: Adam Rosenblatt (International Comparative Studies) 

Soraya Durand ,   Stories of Violence and Peace: The Embodiment of violence in Colombia.” Kathryn Mathers (International Comparative Studies) 

Anwuli Okonjo ,  Ije Umu-Nwanyi: Young Nigerian Women Activists, Nation-building, and the Politics of Imagination.  Research Advisor: Samuel Daly (African and African-American Studies & ICS) 

Stefanie Pousoulides ,   The Politics of Memory: The Meaning of Home to Armenian Genocide Survivors (1919-1991). Research Advisor: James Chappel (History) 

Sara Tavakolian ,   Imaginary Homelands: Constructing Belonging in the Iranian-American Diaspora.  Research Advisor: Negar Mottahedeh (Program in Literature) 

Allayne Thomas ,  Poetic Healing: How Diasporic Women of Color Navigate Exclusion and Practice Self-Care.  Research Advisor: Leo Ching (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies & ICS)

Miranda Wolford ,  Female Founders in Fintech: Navigating Gender in Money’s Newest Frontier.  Research Advisor: Emma Rasiel (Economics) 

Valeria Yin ,  Boundless Skies: Exploring How Asian Latin Americans Negotiate Belonging Across Borders.  Research Advisor: Susan Thananoparvan (Thompson Writing Program)  

Honors Thesis and Distinction

Honors program director :  professor philip stern, [email protected], applications and faculty recommendations for 2023-2024 are due wednesday, march 29, 2023.  apply here ..

Students pursuing distinction normally apply for a year-long senior honors seminar (HISTORY 495S/496S) in March of the junior year.  In special circumstances, students may also prepare a thesis outside this sequence. Either way, most students begin their thesis research during the summer before the senior year, and all students pursuing distinction work closely with a faculty thesis advisor, usually through an independent study each semester.

Thesis writers are expected to produce a well-written research essay substantially engaged with primary sources and engaged with ongoing historiographic conversations. Most theses run 80-120 pages.

Upon its completion, the thesis will be evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty to determine the honors level of the thesis:  Distinction, High Distinction or Highest Distinction.  The department also recognizes senior theses with two prizes:  the William T. Laprade Prize for most outstanding thesis, and the Raymond Gavins prize, awarded to an outstanding thesis in African-American history, the history of Civil Rights movements, and/or the history of the US South.

Students will also have the opportunity to archive their thesis work in the Duke University Library.

The Graduation with Distinction program is the most challenging – and rewarding – undergraduate experience that the History Department offers.

What is a Senior Thesis?  

The thesis is your own work of original scholarship. The process begins when you select a question that you wish to explore in more detail and that promises larger insights into an historical time period, event, or issue. While much of the research and writing is done on your own, you work in consultation with your advisor – usually a history department faculty member – and receive critical direction and feedback from the thesis program director (another history faculty member) and other thesis writers in the weekly honors seminar (HISTORY 495S and 496S).

The benefits are both professional and personal. Writing a thesis demonstrates your capacity to become an expert in your chosen topic, develop extensive independent research skills, and to make an original contribution to historical scholarship. Just as important, the senior thesis program offers the rare opportunity to engage in a creative process that will challenge you to both gain and produce new knowledge.

The thesis is due in April of the Senior Year.

Thesis writers usually begin research during the summer before senior year. It is important to have some research in hand by the start of the fall semester because the seminar begins with writing assignments that require a significant research base. A first draft of the thesis is usually due in March and the final version in April, but you will be informed of submission deadlines.  Duke  and the History Department offer ample funding opportunities, such as for travel to archives or the acquisition of required research materials.  

To maximize the creative process as well as provide intellectual and emotional support, thesis writers will take the year-long Senior Thesis Seminar.  This seminar substitutes for the Capstone Seminar that all History majors are required to take.  Students participating in the Senior Thesis program must also take at least one independent study with their thesis advisor.  They may also take up to one additional independent study with the same advisor or (after consultation with the History DUS) a separate faculty member.  While the thesis seminar will provide a general framework and deadlines to shepherd you through the various stages of the project, thesis writers should take advantage of these independent studies to continue research and work on their writing.

The Thesis Seminar Experience

1) Full-year admits to the thesis seminar:

2) Second-semester admits to the thesis seminar:

Enhanced Research Experience

Most students pursue Distinction through the Honors Thesis Seminar. However, there are some circumstances in which students may need instead to work independently on a research project. For these students, the History Honors program offers a separate track known as the Enhanced Research Experience.

What qualifies as an ERE project?

ERE candidates will be invited to present at one or more of the Honors seminar workshops so that they can benefit from group feedback.  The timing will be determined by the nature of their project.

Requirements of ERE

Please submit your proposal well in advance of the semester in which you plan to complete your ERE project, and no later than the end of the previous semester.

If you have a question about the ERE, please write to the Honors Program Director .

How your thesis will be evaluated?

Submitted theses will be evaluated by the Honors Committee, based on the following criteria:

For Honors with Distinction, students are expected to: 

Exceptional theses may be granted High or Highest Distinction, and they will be considered for the annual LaPrade Prize. On top of the basic expectations, these theses must meet one or more of the following criteria:  

Get to Know Your Professors

The more you interact with your professors, the better sense you will have of their interests and approach, which are important considerations in selecting an advisor. In turn, professors are more likely to take you on as an advisee if they know your work.

Explore Historical Research

To write a history thesis, you'll need to conceptualize a historical problem, to identify primary sources that can help you answer that problem, to contextualize and assess the evidence contained in those sources, and to construct an effective analytical argument based on that evidence. Gateway seminars and the upper level research seminars furnish great opportunities to learn the historian's craft and see whether you like this kind of work.

See Study Abroad as an Opportunity

While abroad, you can define new interests and pursue research far from Duke’s campus. Before you go, you might schedule an appointment with the librarian at Perkins who specializes in your area so that you can use your time abroad to take maximum advantage of archives and resources unavailable through Duke.

Develop Competency in a Foreign Language

Many prospective thesis writers in history would like to tackle a historical problem concerning the non-English speaking world. In many cases, students without extensive foreign language skills are able to do just that, either by relying on English-language sources, sources translated into English, or some combination of the two. But your range of options will be far, far greater if you come into the senior year with a solid ability to read a foreign language.

Identify and Frame a Question

You should choose a topic, question, or set of issues that matters to you. You will then refine that question into something that is feasible with the time and sources available.

The best honors theses generally consider very focused topics, through which authors can explore broader questions of historical and contemporary importance.  You can see a wide range of past theses   here .

You will need to ground your thesis in primary sources, which may be written (such as documents), visual (such as posters), aural (such as recordings), or a combination (such as films). For topics in recent history, you might also consider collecting oral histories, although in most cases you will need to seek approval from Duke Institutional Review Board (IRB) before you begin your interviews.  The librarians at Perkins-Bostock can provide indispensable guidance for tracking down primary sources at Duke and beyond.  Many thesis students also take advantage of the vast archival holdings in Duke's Rubenstein Rare Books & Manuscript Library .

Your thesis should make a contribution to historical knowledge. If you frame your research appropriately — by choosing a compelling historical question for which adequate sources are available — your thesis will meet this standard. In some cases, you may look at sources that no one has considered before. In other cases, you make look at the same sources used by numerous other historians, but extract evidence from them that they have overlooked, or ask questions of them that no one has previously thought to pose.

The Proposal

Your proposal should take the form of an application essay,  approximately three to four pages in length.  Please include your name, phone number, email address, and the name of your faculty advisor. Make sure that your proposed advisor is both willing and able to oversee your research.  The completed application can be submitted here .  Faculty advisors should send their letters of recommendation directly to [email protected] . See top of this page for current deadlines.

The body of the proposal should cover the following main elements:

(1, 2) Your title and topic

In two to three paragraphs, identify the historical problem that you propose to investigate, suggest how you propose to investigate it, and explain why anybody should care about it. In doing this, you should be able to craft a title for your overall project.

(3) Your primary sources

Here, in a further two to three paragraphs, you should show that you have begun to identify accessible sources that will allow you to answer the questions you would like to pose. Will your research be rooted in a particular archive or archives? Digital collections? Bodies of printed or visual sources?You should also indicate how you intend to make use of those sources. You can find leads to possible sources can come from several places, including the bibliography and footnotes of relevant historical scholarship, online databases and catalogs available through the Duke library portal, and consultations with your faculty advisor as well as library or archival staff.

As you think about available primary sources, remember that nothing inherent in the source makes it “primary” — it all depends on the questions you ask of the source.

(4) Your secondary sources

Writing a piece of original research involves joining a conversation already taking place about your topic. You want to familiarize yourself not only with what already has been said but also with the terms of the discussion. Engaging some of the relevant scholarly debates distinguishes a more engaged, analytical research project from a merely descriptive one.

(5) Your bibliography

List the primary and secondary sources you have identified to date.

The proposal you submit constitutes only a starting point; a way to show your seriousness of purpose and viability of your task. Research likely will take you in unexpected directions and topics may shift significantly, but the proposal offers a good vantage point from which to begin.

Finding that vantage point need not be a lonely task. Enlist the help of librarians, the honors program director, and other faculty members in addition to your advisor. One of the most rewarding aspects of the thesis experience is the chance to work closely with other scholars. Those students who make the most of the advising process generally craft the best proposals, and get off to the best start with their research.

(6) Your Funding Application

If you would like to apply for departmental research funding—for example, to undertake archival travel over the summer—please include (a) a detailed budget, (b) a 1-2 paragraph description and justification of your request, and (c) if applicable, a list of other funding sources for which you have applied (and whether they have been received).

Relevant Deadlines

Junior year, spring semester.

Summer after Junior Year

Thesis research, senior year.

Every year many History Senior Honors Seminar students conduct research away from Durham, including travel outside the United States. Rising seniors often undertake such trips during the summer before the senior year with additional research travel undertaken while enrolled in the honors seminar (during Fall and Spring Breaks, as well as between semesters). Even if your sources are concentrated in Durham, it may be advisable to stay to begin your research in early summer or to apply for support to return at some point over the summer. Additionally, almost all History honors students will incur non-travel related research costs (such as photocopying) that can be covered by the program.

There are several opportunities for funding that students can pursue to support their research. A good place to begin is with the Undergraduate Research Support Office  . 

The History Department has funds for summer research as well – both for rising seniors to do thesis research and for rising sophomores and juniors interested in exploratory research.  All applications and expenses must be approved prior to expenditure; if awarded funding, the department will work with you on the best way to disburse funds for your particular request.

Pre-Thesis Research

We invite students who might be considering a thesis earlier in their junior years, as well as students in their first and second years, to submit proposals to pursue preliminary research on a topic that might develop into an honors thesis. We will prioritize proposals to pursue primary research (such as archival or library research, oral history projects, developing digital resources, or obtaining access to primary sources held by private individuals and organizations), but also will consider proposals for training in languages or methodologies that might further your future research. We also will prioritize declared History majors, although the competition is open to non-majors. Please submit a two-page proposal describing your research and/or training plans and a one-page budget including travel, living, and research expenses as well as a note indicating any other funding for which you have applied. You should also arrange to have a History faculty member submit an email supporting your research plan.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and should be submitted to [email protected] with the subject line "Pre-Thesis Funding Request"

The Honors Program strongly encourages applicants to pursue such support. The application process will not only sharpen the thinking behind your honors project, but also prepare you for planning and writing proposals in the future. Receiving support for your research will both enhance your thesis and provide concrete evidence of achievement for your resume. Please note that deadlines for many Duke competitions are in early March. The Honors Program Director is available to offer comments and suggestions on your applications.

Evaluation process for Thesis Seminar Experience: 

Thesis advisors may:

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Special services that the library provides for students working on a Senior Honors Thesis.

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Student Honors and Laurels for 2020

Congratulations to the following student award winners from Duke University units in 2020.

African & African American Studies  

John Hope Franklin Award for Academic Excellence: Elizabeth DuBard Grantland

Karla FC Holloway Award for University Service: Beza Gebremariam

Mary McLeod Bethune Writing Award: Jenna Clayborn

Walter C. Burford Award for Community Service: Kayla Lynn Corredera-Wells

Art, Art History & Visual Studies       

Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Visual Art Award: Paulina Asturias

Nancy Kaneb Art History Award: Ashleigh Cheryl Elizabeth Smith and Jessica Chen

Sue and Lee Noel Prize in Visual Arts: Kyle Paul Harvey

Visual Studies Initiative Award: Charles Shepard Berman, Cyan Jade DeVeaux, Paloma Jasmine Rodney and Sonia Fillipow

Arts of the Moving Image      

Outstanding Undergraduate Filmmaker Award: Joshua Alex Yip

Asian & Middle Eastern Studies        

Outstanding AMES Honors Thesis: Jessica Marlow

Asian Pacific Studies Institute

Sirena WuDunn Memorial Scholarship: Yutao Gong, Michael Tan, Alethea Toh and Qingning Zhang

ACC Plaque for Excellence, Scholarship and Athletics: Eoin P. Gronningsater and Alyssa Jean Marsh

Biology Faculty Award : Katja Helgeson Kochvar, Tanmayi Deepak Vashist and Frederick Max Xu

Edward C. Horn Memorial Prize for Excellence in Biology: Nathan Christopher Shaul

Excellence in Plant Science Prize: Barbara Lynn Weaver

James B. Rast Memorial Award in Comparative Organismal Biology: Lucy Michelle Greenwald

Maggie Schneider Award in Marine Biology: Alexandra Eva DiGiacomo

Biostatistics and Bioinformatics        

Chair's Academic Recognition Award: Elizabeth Lydon

Outstanding Master's Project Award-Clinical & Translational Research: Andrea Fay Carmack

Outstanding Master's Project Award-Data Science: Yiqi Yao

Outstanding Master's Project Award-Methodology: Noah Thomas Graham

Overall Academic Excellence Award: Xianglin Zhao

Student Leadership Award: Elizabeth Lydon


American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry: Azim Dharani

American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry: Jea Hyun Kim

American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry: Jenny Lee

Department of Chemistry Award: Kunal Shroff

Merck Index Award: Bryce Filip Starr and Elena Anne Puccio

Classical Studies         

Classical Association of the Middle West and South Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Classical Studies: Sean Kassim Fern Rafique

David Taggart Clark Prize in Classical Studies: Gretchen Elise Wright and Katherine Brookshire Owensby

Outreach Prize: Saumya Sao

Computer Science      

Alex Vasilos Award: Caroline Linjun Wang and Sachit Menon

DeNardis Award: Belanie Nagiel and Shrey Gupta

Cultural Anthropology           

Judith McDade Prize in Cultural Anthropology: Isabel Panno Shepard

Paul Farmer Award for Justice and Social Responsibility: Kayla Corredera-Wells

Julia Wray Memorial Dance Award: SarahAnne Perel and Connie Zhou

Clay Taliaferro Dance Award: Cordelia Hogan

Dance Writing Award: Cordelia Hogan

Doctor of Physical Therapy    

ACAPT National Student Honor Society: Bryce Joseph Olsen, Jessica Danielle Mah, Meghan Babcock Hartman, Melissa Carolyn Minniti, Morgan Mummey Semmel and Sierra Alexandra Muir

Cultural Diversity Award:  Yusra Shaukat Iftikhar

Diversity and Leadership Scholarship: Aakriti Agrawal, Andy Seraphin, Logan James Couce, Luis Felipe Freile, Madeline Anne Roberts, Poli'ala Alexis Warwick, Vaclav Bednar, Yusra Shaukat Iftikhar

Duke DPT Student Excellence Scholarship: James Mitchell Lane, Jessica Danielle Mah, Lisa Hannah Shirafuji, Logan James Couce and Meghan Babcock Hartman

F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship: Bryce Joseph Olsen, Courtney Grace Perkins, and Melissa Carolyn Minniti

Helen Kaiser Duke Physical Therapy Alumni Association Award: Yusra Shaukat Iftikhar

Helen Kaiser Physical Therapy Scholarship: David Matthew Rowland and Nicolette Rae Ingel

Jan Gwyer Student Recognition Award for Academic, Clinical, and Scholarly Excellence: Lisa Hannah Shirafuji

Robert Bartlett Student Recognition Award for Service and Leadership Excellence: James Mitchell Lane

Documentary Studies

Julia Harper Day Award for Documentary Studies: James Alden Robinson

Duke Divinity School  

Award for Excellence in Bible: Caleb Neal Punt and Timothy Stephen Holm

Frederick Buechner Writing Award: Shelley Catherine Leazer

Heitzenrater Award for Excellence in History: Jennifer Young Tu

Hoyt Hickman Award for Excellence in Liturgics: Hannah Marie Sipes

Jameson Jones Preaching Award: Camille Arianna Loomis and Orlander Ray Thomas

McMurry Richey Award in Field Education: Claire Elizabeth Latimer-Dennis and Saul Gastelum Flores

McMurry Richey Award in Missions: Howard Cha Young Kim

McMurry Richey Student Pastor: Orlander Ray Thomas

Duke Global Health Institute 

DGHI Award for Exemplary Global Health Leadership: Andrea Leigh Koris, Laura Mkumba and Yadurshini Raveendran

Madeline Boccuzzi Outstanding Master of Science in Global Health Student Award: Godfrey Kisigo

Michael Merson Undergraduate Student Leadership Award in Global Health: Vincenzo Malo and Miranda Metz

Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute   

Oliver W. Koonz Human Rights Prize: Erin Kay Williams, James Alden Robinson and Selin Ocal

Duke Service-Learning           

Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award: A xel Aldair Herrera Ramos

Office of Durham and Regional Affairs

Lars Lyon Volunteer Service Award :  Victoria Bevard

Earth and Ocean Sciences     

Thomas V. Laska Award: Jennifer Susan Marsh


Best Thesis: Ralph Ignacio Lawton

Duke Department of Economics Master's Program Award for Academic Excellence: Haolin Wu and Haoqi Tong

Duke Department of Economics Master's Program Award for Leadership: Sahil Khatkar, Samuel Andres Dinamarca De Kok and Yuhan Zheng


D.T. Stallings Award: Milan Peyton Hamilton and Michelle Ping Qiou

Dr. Phail Wynn Jr. Leadership in Education Award: Milan Peyton Hamilton and Raisa Reed

Virginia S. Wilson Excellence in Teaching Award: Kaitlyn Howie

Academy of American Poets Prize: Daniela Stephanou

Award for Most Original Honors Thesis: Alice Dai and Valerie Elaine Muensterman

Barbara Hernnstein Smith Award for Outstanding Work in Literary Criticism or Theory:  Brennen Michael Neeley and Megison Montgomery Hancock

George P. Lucaci Award for Creative Non-Fiction: Julia Wang, Natalie Abrams and Rayan Tofique

Louis J. Budd Award for Outstanding Work in American Literature: Arjun Jay Arora

Reynolds Price Award for Fiction: Caroline Waring

Stanley E. Fish Award for Outstanding Work in British Literature: Joel Richard Mire

Terry Welby Tyler, Jr Award for Poetry: Sophia Claire Laettner


Sara LaBoskey Award: Margaret Katherine Overton

Evolutionary Anthropology   

Mossé Awards for Excellence in Research in Evolutionary Anthropology: David Jimenez-Vallejo and Jennifer Jin Han

Forever Duke Student Leadership Award     

Forever Duke Student Leadership Award: Morgan Avery Bird, Francisco Crespo, Daniel James Gardner, Rose Kimberly Graves, Avani Gupta, Rashmi Joglekar, Samuel Lester, Tinashe Edward Nyanhete, Shyam Pradheep, Renee Ragin, Timothy John Skapek , Lusine Stepanyan , Diamond J. Zambrano and Linda Zhang

Fuqua School of Business      

Alan D. Schwartz Award for Mentorship: Matthew Joseph Nilles

Asa T. Spaulding, Sr. Award for Leadership: Mary Claudia Fernandez

Deans' Recognition Awards: Amelia Paige Wise, Andres Nicolas Chenlo, Dawn Marshall Warren, Brittany Elizabeth Beavers, Carolyn Elizabeth Naughton, Elizabeth Claiborne Ulman, Eyal Gibstein, Federico Lupo del Bono, John Alexander MacDonald, Jonathan Thanh Khiet Pham, Jordan Michael Katz, Kedar Meghashyam Khanolkar, Kiersten Alexis Chresfield, Mariana Quintanilha Imbroisi Mattos, Mary McCallen Moser, Michael Bennett Belick, Michael Joseph Espericueta, Rachel Shannon Shapiro, Samuel Greene Klein and William Hollister Armour

Distinguished Service Award: Anna Elizabeth Sturkey, Han-Chieh Chang, Katherine Lynn Bell and Mengfu Zou

Fuqua HSM Leadership Award: Sravya Ravali Durbha, Kevin Louis O’Brien, Mariel Jean Lambrukos and Jameelah Melton

Keohane Leadership Award: George McCall Jenkinson and Sahana Qaundinya

The Breeden Award in Finance: John Brady Stovall and Willam Henry Hodges III

Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

Dora Anne Little Award: Erin Kay Williams

Graduate School

Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching: Hannah Lee Rogers, Chelsea Elizabeth Conner Garber and Cherie Conley

William T. Laprade Prize: Helena Emire Guenther

International Comparative Studies Program 

Distinguished Thesis Award: Ivan Bradley Robles

International Master of Environmental Policy          

Student Leadership Award: Yidan Chu

Highest Achieving Student Award: Kameron Eric Schroeder

Linguistics Program   

The Distinguished Thesis Award in Linguistics: Meredith Stern Manson and Katherine Brookshire Owensby                                               

Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

Julius Abele Awards, Undergraduates: Tyler Edwards, Cartier Robinson, De’Ja Wood, James Mbuthia Ndung’u, Corey Pilson, Bruny Kenou, Kelyce Allen and Kiamya Philson

Julius Abele Awards, Graduates: Chavis Jones, Morine Cebert, Jewel Scott, Renata Poulton Kamakura, Rheaya Willis, Gwenaelle Thomas and Kirsten Simmons


Excellence In Research Award: Alexandru Damian, Anne Blythe Davis and Onkar Singh Gujral

Julia Dale Prize in Mathematics: Alexandru Damian and Onkar Singh Gujral

Karl Menger Award: Albert Shaoyang Xue, Alexandru Damian, Junghyun Hwang, Junmo Ryang, Kelly Zhang, Shicheng Rao and Vinit Ranjan


Alpha Omega Alpha    Amanda Rose Lucier, Cody Shaw Nelson, Reynolds Seyferth, Elizabeth Pennington Howell, Heather Rose Frank, Helen Anastasia Daifotis, Kevin Helmkamp, Kelly Lynn Buchanan, Malhar Piyush Patel, Margaret Marie Coates, Melissa Hannah Ross, Nathan Jacob Brajer, Nicole Hitesh Dalal, Rebecca Lee Vernon, Samuel Augustus Hofacker and Victoria Ann Wickenheisser

Arnold P. Gold Foundation Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award: Robert Matthew Gramer

Brenda Armstrong Living the Dream Award: Arakua Naa Korkoi Welbec k, Peter Sandalio Callejo-Black and William Lamar Grant, Jr.

Clinical and Translational Science Award: Alan Zambeli-Ljepovic and Priscila P. Cunha

Clinical and Translational Science Institute: Motolani Oyeyemi, Robert Matthew Gramer, Seung Yong Ji and Terrell Jamar Jones

Dean's Merit Scholarship: Celia Elizabeth Reynolds, Charlton Tsai, Cosette DeChant Champion, Elisabeth Reynolds Seyferth, Heather Rose Frank, James Hilton Powers, Malhar Piyush Patel, Margaret Marie Coates, Melissa Hannah Ross, Meredith Anne Achey, Nathan Jacob Brajer, Raeann Lanae Whitney, Rebecca Lee Vernon, Sarah Katherine Nullmeyer, Seung Yong Ji, Sydney Elizabeth Reed, Thomas Isaac Neufeld and Tiffany Wei Dong

Dean's Recognition Award: Aarti Maitreya Thakkar , Deborah Motolani Oyeyemi, Jennifer Drucker Varner, Meredith Anne Achey, Oludamilola Adeola Aladesanmi, Raeann Lanae Whitney and Victoria Lee Robinson

Dean's Tuition Scholarship: Joshua S. D'Arcy, Megan Marie Smith, Nnamdi Amilo, Peter Sandalio Callejo-Black, Priscila P. Cunha and Terrell Jamar Jones

Donald B. Hackle Fellowship: Celia Elizabeth Reynolds and Jonathan Lloyd Bell

Doris Duke Award: Aarti Maitreya Thakkar, Amanda Rose Lucier, Jennifer Drucker Varner and Sruti Pisharody

Dr. Bernard Carrol Research Award: Alexander J. Hish

Duke Institute for Health Innovation Award: Christelle Kim Tan, Heather Rosett, Joshua Kevin Helmkamp, Karishma Sriram, Kristin M. Corey, Malhar Piyush Patel and Morgan Geraghty Simons

Eugene A. Stead Student Research Scholarship: Andrew Buhl Barbour, Chelsea Noel Handfield, Cierra Sooin Hong, Maya Japira Torain, Melissa Hannah Ross, Meredith Anne Achey, Raeann Lanae Whitney, Victoria Ann Wickenheisser and Vinay K. Giri

Fogerty Fellowship:  Elena Rhys Cutting

Howard Hughes Medical Institute - National Institutes of Health Research Scholar Program: Kelly Lynn Buchanan

HVTN RAMP: William Lamar Grant, Jr.

Ideal Physician Award: Elizabeth Pennington Howell

Ovarian Cancer Scholarship: Cassie L. Hobbs

Palumbo Family Award: Victoria Ann Wickenheisser

Poindexter Scholar: Chelsea Noel Handfield, Cierra Sooin Hong and Margaret Marie Coates

R. Randall Bollinger Surgical Scholarship: Elisabeth Reynolds Seyferth

Rauch Family Foundation: Robert Matthew Gramer and Samuel Augustus Hofacker

Senior Scholarship – Anlyan: Amanda Rose Lucier, Charlton Tsai,  Elizabeth Pennington Howell, Joshua Kevin Helmkamp, Melissa Hannah Ross, Nicole Hitesh Dalal, Rebecca Lee Vernon, Victoria Ann Wickenheisser and Vinay K. Giri

Senior Scholarship – Barham: Alexandra V. Bocharnikov and Kelly Lynn Buchanan

Singapore Fellowship: Qi Yu

Vice Dean's Research Award: Jennifer Drucker Varner

Military Science         

Distinguished Military Graduate: Ethan Charles Eichelman, Katherine Louise Koprowski, William Jackson Swofford, Jackson Stone Wahl and Laurynn Garcia

George C. Marshall Award: William Jackson Swofford

Navy Federal Credit Unit All-American ROTC Finalist: Katherine Louise Koprowski

Ann-Marie Parsons Memorial Prize: Brian Thomas Weil

Ciompi Quartet Award in Chamber Music: Caroline Linjun Wang and Daniel Love Fawcett

Duke Symphony Orchestra Conductor's Award: Robert Meese and Zoey Yunhee Kang

Henry Schuman Music Prize: Richard Clayton Delp

Julia Wilkinson Mueller Prize for Excellence in Music: Amber Tiffany Wolf and Robert Meese

Paul R. Bryan Award: Jill Kathleen Jones , Jeffrey Wenjie Gu and Ryan Patrick Culhane

William Klenz Prize in Music Composition: Osman Eren Gumrukcuoglu


Outstanding Senior Thesis in Neuroscience: Vivian Wei Chen and Kunal Shroff

Office of Health Professions Advising

Raymond Lublin, M.D. Award: Bryce Filip Starr

Office of the Provost

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award: Grace Smith

Political Science         

Alona E. Evans Prize in International Law: Lama Cheri Hantash and Maximilian Moser

Elizabeth G. Verville Award: Francesca Philips and Julia Flynn Searby

Ole R. Holsti Award in American Foreign Policy and International Relations: David Frisch

The Jerry B. and Callie Irene Stone Award: Elise Noelle Sweezy and Esha Shah

The Robert S. Rankin Award for Leadership and Academic Achievement: Robert Wharton Carlson

The Robert S. Rankin Award in American Government and Constitutional Law: Breanna Bradham

The Robert S. Rankin Award in American, National, State, and Local Governments: Kevin Michael Solomon  

Pratt School of Engineering   

American Society of Civil Engineers Outstanding Senior Prize: Rachael Ellen Lau

Aubrey E. Palmer Award: Kathryn Anne White

Charles Ernest Seager Memorial Award: Samantha Rebecca Archer and Siyuan Chen

Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award: Kerry Marguerite Castor and Grant Ethan Mak

da Vinci Award: Claire Jie Dong, Angus Li,  William Ming Tian and Chris Jiayang Zhou

David Randall Fuller Prize: Joshua Robert France  and Aditya Prasad Mathur

Edward D. "Ned" Light Memorial Award: Aditi Madan Pilan i

Eric I. Pas Award: Tiffany Michelle Wei

George Sherrerd III Memorial Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering: Feroze Kamal Mohideen and Junyu Liang

Helmholtz Award: Chris Jiayang Zhou

Howard G. Clark Award for Excellence in Research: Sabrina Wei Qi, Alexander William Wilson, Robert Wahlstedt, Adrienne Alice Hawkes, Maya Uday Sheth, Bradley Robert Foster and Andrew Ho-Fai Yeung

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Faculty Award: Zachary Bernstein, Ian Keith Eldridge-Allegra, Kathleen VanderKam

Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award: Feroze Kamal Mohideen and August Tianyin Ning

Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award: Kaijie Chen, Benjamin Zachary Edelstein and Katherine Carey Tighe

Raymond C. Gaugler Award in Materials Science and Engineering: Jiwoo Song

Theo C. Pilkington Memorial Award: Bradley Robert Foster

Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award: Samantha Rebecca Archer,  Sarah Catherine Bland, Claire Jie Dong, Ian Keith Eldridge-Allegra, Angus Li,  William Ming Tian and Chris Jiayang Zhou

William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award: Alexander William Weck


Karl E. Zener Award for Outstanding Performance of an Undergraduate Major in Psychology: Ceren Ebrem

The Jerome S. Bruner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research: Maria Elizabeth Naclerio

Program II      

The Vagwala Award for Service and Leadership to Program II: Olivia Neely

Sanford School of Public Policy         

Best Honors Thesis: Tyler Jonathan Kopp

Joel Fleishman Distinguished Scholar Award: Hayden Lynn Manseau

Terry Sanford Leadership Award: Kaylee Lynn Brilhart

Religious Studies        

Best Paper Award: Ana Gabriela Ramirez

Romance Studies       

Guido Mazzoni Prize in Italian: Katelyn Dorothy Luck

Richard L. Predmore Award in Spanish: Carter Lovvorn

Robert J. Niess / Alexander Hull Award in French: Eli Weed, Maria Espinosa Arguello and Sophia Claire Laettner

School of Nursing       

Annie Beery Bieber Award for Outstanding Leadership Award: Robyn Marie Mical

Distinguished PhD Dissertation: Cherie Conley

Outstanding DNP Scholarly Project Award: Brandi Lynn Gibson

Ruby L. Wilson Excellence in Clinical Practice Award: Jeremy Michael Lawson

Graduate Teaching Award: Crystal Elaine Peoples

Vorsanger-Smith Graduate Scholar Award: Kevin Robert Kiley and Zimife Uche Umeh

Undergraduate Highest Academic Achievement Award: Claudia Jean LaRose

Ida Harper Simpson Award: Olivia Falchi Simpson

Linda K. George Award: Daisy Almonte

Statistical Science      

BEST Award for Undergraduate Research in Statistical Science: Chiwan Kim

Student Affairs           

Distinguished Leadership and Service Award: Building Alliances Through Collective Engagement: Sujal Manohar

Distinguished Leadership and Service Award: Commitment to Diversity: Joanne Qiaoan Zheng

Distinguished Leadership and Service Award: Demonstration of Integrity: Harrison Sean Labban

Distinguished Leadership and Service Award: Expanding the Boundaries of Learning: Anna Cunningham and Gaurav Uppal

Distinguished Leadership and Service Award: Respect for Community: Andrew Jacinto Oliver

William J. Griffith University Service Award: Outstanding Contribution to the Duke Community: Annie Chen Yang, Axel Aldair Herrera Ramos , Ana Gabriela Ramirez, Cole Alexander Rizki, Pingyi Zhu, Shyam Pradheep

William J. Griffith University Service Award: Outstanding Contribution to the Durham and Local Community: Axel Aldair Herrera Ramos and George Dominick Shae Crawley IV

William J. Griffith University Service Award: Outstanding Contribution to the Global Community: Ana Gabriela Ramirez

Theater Studies

Harold Brody Award for Excellence in Musical Theater: Adam Seth Beskind

John M. Clum Distinguished Theater Studies Graduate Award: Megison Montgomery Hancock

Reynolds Price Award for Best Original Script for Stage, Screen, or Television: Valerie Elaine Muensterman

Outstanding Acting Student Award: Samantha Steger

Award for Excellence in Directing: Maria Zurita Ontiveros

Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Bascom Headen Palmer Literary Prize: Caroline Gioiosa Waring

Robert E. Pristo Filmmaking Awards:   Katelyn Auger, Chinonyelum Egbuna, Chloe Kaczmarek, Alex Morelli and James Robinson

Undergraduate Awards         

Faculty Scholar Award: Kayla Lynn Corredera-Wells, Kevin Michael Solomon, Valerie Elaine Muensterman and Jay Wolf Zussman. Honorable Mentions: Emre David Cardakli, Jill Kathleen Jones and Alexandru Damian

Phail Wynn Leadership Award: Robin Shawn Yeh

Offive of the Vice Provost for the Arts

Benenson Award in the Arts: Autumn Blamoville; Anthony Cardellini; Jessica Chen; Fella Derris; Rachel Hsu; Kendall Jefferys; Daniel Kim; Kora Kwok; Shaina Lubliner; Thandolwethu Mamba; Sujal Manohar; Robert Meese; Valerie Muensterman; and Robin Yeh 

Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Creative Arts and Performing Arts: Thandolwethu Mamba

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  1. Honors Program

    The Honors Program was created to provide economics majors with the opportunity to delve deeply into an intellectual interest they have developed while at Duke and engage in a meaningful, sustained research project. The capstone of this program is a research paper — the honors thesis — completed during the senior year of the economics major.

  2. Showcases, Awards & Past Theses

    The Department of Economics is pleased to be able to offer the Allen Starling Johnson, Jr. Best Thesis Prize, given yearly in recognition of outstanding research by an undergraduate and through the honors program. All theses that earn Distinction are published and available through Perkins Library.

  3. PDF Economics Honors Thesis

    Economics Honors Thesis: Japan's furusato nouzei (Hometown Tax): Which areas get how much, and is it really working? Kay Hasegawa Honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Graduation with Distinction in Economics in Trinity College of Duke University Duke University; Durham, North Carolina 2017

  4. Honors Theses

    The Duke University Archives accepts departmentally-approved honors papers (also called senior honors theses) for permanent storage and makes these honors papers available to scholars throughout the world. The University Archives also collects those graduate theses produced by students of the University's professional schools. Finally, the University Archives collects those theses and ...

  5. Graduation: Graduating with Distinction

    In support of interdisciplinary efforts at Duke, the Curriculum Committee approved in Fall 2002 an option to permit a student to pursue double honors for a single thesis written for two separate departments or programs, an option distinct from that of completing two entirely separate theses and earning honors in each.

  6. PDF Identifying Supply and Demand Elasticities of Iron Ore

    Honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Graduation with Distinction in Economics in Trinity College of Duke University 1 The author is a Duke economics major planning to graduate in May 2012 and can be contacted at [email protected], 919-450-7316 . 2

  7. Honors Theses

    Honors Theses | Undergraduate Research Support Office Honors Theses Duke maintains an active list of Undergraduate Honors Theses and student papers within its DukeSpace hub. Here, you can search through and access summaries, full documents, authors, subjects, advisors and more.

  8. The Economics Honors Program

    The Honors Program in Economics provides students with the opportunity and support to delve deeply into an intellectual interest of their own choosing through the completion of a meaningful, sustained research project. At the end of a two-semester process of defining their novel research question, designing their empirical or theoretical approach, executing the research, drafting, and revising ...

  9. Theses and Dissertations

    Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers. Theses and papers by Duke undergraduates. Recent Submissions. ... View More Subject Biomedical engineering (367) Statistics (271) Biology (261) Genetics (256) Neurosciences (249) Economics (242) Cellular biology (236) Public health ...

  10. 2020-2021 Honors Theses

    2020-2021 Honors Theses. Olivia de Gaudemar, ... Research Advisor: Emma Rasiel (Economics) ... 210 East Duke Building 1304 Campus Drive Campus Box 90405 Durham, NC 27708 (919) 660-4351. Courses. Core Courses. Global & Region Courses. Foreign Language. Academics.

  11. DOC Table 1: BioTAP Rubric I, assessment of scientific writing issues

    Honors theses should address non-specialist readers with an understanding of basic economics—specifically, any faculty member in the economics department regardless of sub-discipline. Although faculty are experts within their field of research, they are rarely familiar with the language and conceptual nuances of other highly-specialized ...

  12. Honors Thesis and Distinction

    The department recognizes the most outstanding senior thesis of the year by awarding the William T. Laprade Prize. To earn Graduation with Distinction a committee of at least three faculty must evaluate the thesis. The committee will determine the honors level of the thesis: Distinction, High Distinction or Highest Distinction.

  13. ECON 495S/496S: Honors Seminars I & II: Getting Started

    Examples of past Economics Honors Theses can provide some ideas for topics that you might want to pursue.; The JEL Classification Codes provide an outline of subjects in economics. You can drill down from a broad to a narrower topic to get ideas for a theses topic. The Journal of Economic Literature Literature (JEL) organizes its reviewed articles using this system, and these descriptors are ...

  14. Honors Thesis Seminar

    Honors Thesis Seminar | Statistical Science Honors Thesis Seminar STA 498S Forum for conducting original research culminating in a substantive research project suitable for submission as an honors thesis. Department consent required. Enroll Consent Department Consent Required Typically Offered Occasionally

  15. Student Honors and Laurels for 2020

    Duke Department of Economics Master's Program Award for Leadership: ... Award for Most Original Honors Thesis: Alice Dai and Valerie Elaine Muensterman. Barbara Hernnstein Smith Award for Outstanding Work in Literary Criticism or Theory: Brennen Michael Neeley and Megison Montgomery Hancock.