Honors Program

LAS majors and second majors with an overall GPA of 3.2 and a GPA of 3.5 or better in LAS courses are encouraged to participate in the Departmental Honors Program. This program provides mentoring and intensive instruction to students who wish to enrich their knowledge of Latin America and enhance their undergraduate experience through a research project and completion of a Senior Honors thesis.  Students in the program receive academic distinction (cum laudemagna cum laude, or summa cum laude), allowing them to become more competitive when applying for graduate study, professional schools, and other careers. 

The Honors Program helps student deepen their knowledge and skills in an area of individualized research.  Honors students deepen their knowledge in Latin American Studies through participation in an independent study (LTAM 497) and by developing a research project directed by a faculty advisor (LTAM 499).  The program also provides students with guidance and mentorship in developing a career path, applying for funding opportunities, and making professional plans after graduation.

LAS awards cum laudemagna cum laude, or summa cum laude status to the diploma of students who complete the program for their work in LAS.  It is in addition to, and separate from, any other level of Honors that the student receives from the Honors College, or that UNM assigns based on the GPA.  The level of honors achievement in this program is determined by the student’s advisor.

Steps to Enroll in the Honors Program

  • Consult with LAS Director to see if you are eligible for the Honors Program, discuss possible research topics, and talk about possible faculty advisors.
  • Complete all general education and lower division requirements of the LAS major and your minor before entering the honors program.
  • Identify an honors thesis advisor from among the LAS faculty.
  • Approach a prospective faculty advisor to discuss research topic and availability for supervision.
  • Design a thesis project in consultation with your faculty advisor.
  • Apply to the honors program by submitting a letter of commitment from your faculty advisor.  The advisor’s letter should provide: (1) a project title, (2) brief statement of the research activity, (3) a projected timeline with benchmarks for progress, (4) a list of methods, skills, and/or techniques that will be necessary for you to develop in order to complete the research, and (5) an assurance that the resources necessary for completion of your project will be available to you.
  • You must submit the LAS Honors Program Application Form to the Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Advisor at least three semesters before your anticipated graduation date.  As noted above, your advisor’s letter must be included with this form.

Honors Program Requirements

  • Complete LTAM 360 before or concurrently with required Individual Study course (LTAM 497).
  • Complete 3 credit hours of LTAM 497 during the first semester of the senior year.
  • Complete 3 credit hours of Senior Honors Thesis (LTAM 499) under the direction of your faculty advisor during the last semester (could be earlier) of your senior year. 
  • Submit a complete draft of your Thesis to your advisor at least five weeks prior to the last Friday of instruction in the semester you will graduate. Your advisor will return your draft Honors Thesis to you within one week, with edits and suggested revisions.  We recommend that you schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss the recommended edits and revisions.
  • Submit the final draft of your Thesis, including all necessary revisions, to the Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Advisor on, or before, the Friday three weeks prior to the end of instruction of your final semester. The Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Advisor will submit your Thesis to the Clark Field Archive and Library where it will be stored permanently.
  • On acceptance of your Thesis, your advisor will recommend that you be awarded one of the following levels of distinction. This will appear on your diploma:

cum laude – 3.50 to 3.74 GPA and a minimum grade on thesis of B+

magna cum laude – 3.75-3.89 GPA and a minimum grade on thesis of A-

summa cum laude – 3.9-4.0 and a minimum grade on the thesis of A+

Your advisor must submit an Assignment of Honors Form at least two weeks prior to the last Friday of Instruction of the semester of your graduation. This is necessary to ensure that final approvals can be obtained and forwarded to the Office of the Secretary for UNM Convocation, and the UNM Registrar, for the purposes of recording your Assignment of Honors in your transcript and on your diploma.