In order to be awarded Honors by our department, the student must complete an Honors project. In order to be eligible to initiate an Honors project, the student must:

  • Have 75 s.h. of earned credit; and be a declared major in Cinematic Arts.
  • Maintain a University of Iowa g.p.a. of at least 3.33 and a g.p.a. of at least 3.50 in the major.
  • Prepare a written proposal during the semester prior to the two-semester Honors Project. This proposal should outline both the nature of the work and why it represents work beyond that offered in normal course offerings. The student must then obtain an endorsement for this project from the faculty member who will serve as the advisor for the thesis project. A copy of this proposal, signed by the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, will remain on file in the main office for tracking purposes.

The first step students must take is to write and request a meeting with their desired faculty advisor to discuss the potential of an Honors Project. This meeting must take place no later than mid-April of the student's Junior Year. The advisor must be a faculty member who has already taught the student and has seen and acknowledged promise in the student's work. The faculty member must be both willing and able to join the honors project as an advisor. Do not delay in making connections with your instructors, as sometimes faculty have commitments for their time that might prevent them from being able to serve as advisor.

After these eligibility requirements are met and the Honors Proposal has been approved, the student must register with the thesis advisor for two consecutive semesters of an Honors Tutorial course (CINE:4198 - Honors Project I and CINE:4199 - Honors Project II) at 3 s.h. per semester. 

At the beginning of the first semester, the student and the thesis advisor will determine a meeting schedule with all relevant interim progress goals and important deadlines highlighted. Once approved by the thesis advisor, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Honors project will be completed. This document should outline the standards of quality and expectations of achievement for the project at each deadline, as well as a grading policy and rubric for grade assessment. To be awarded Honors in the major a student must earn a minimum grade of A- for each section of CINE:4198 and CINE:4199, as well as any additional course required for the Honors track (see details below). Students who do not earn an A- in the first semester of CINE:4198 and CINE:4199 may choose to continue working on the project, but will NOT be awarded an Honors designation upon completion.

At the beginning of the second semester, if the student has continued to meet all of the eligibility requirements, the student and the thesis advisor solicit one other faculty member to join the project as a second member of the thesis committee.

At this time, the thesis advisor will remind all concerned about the deadline for the submission of the project for evaluation and response, which can be no later than the thirteenth week of this second semester of thesis work. The student is responsible for meeting all application and thesis title-page submission deadlines from CLAS (Honors Thesis or Project Submission).

If the committee reports a successful outcome to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and if the student has maintained a UI g.p.a. of 3.33 through the final semester and maintains a major g.p.a. in Cinematic Arts of at least 3.50, then the student is awarded Honors by the department.

NOTE: Some areas for thesis projects may require additional prerequisite work. In Film and Video production, for example, the student must have reached the advanced level, equivalent to the course CINE:4890 - Media Production Workshop, before becoming eligible for Honors work.

Film/Video Production Honors Projects

Cinema majors may elect to work on an Honors Thesis Film or Video in their senior year. Honors Thesis projects in Production are yearlong projects that generate three credit-hours per semester and must be completed in the Fall and Spring terms consecutively. Honors students wishing to complete a Thesis film or video should identify an Honors Advisor in Cinematic Arts and submit a proposal no later than mid-April of their Junior Year. If approved, the student registers for CINE:4198 - Honors Tutorial and works independently in the fall semester, meeting with Honors Advisor as determined by the Honors MOU. In the spring semester, in addition to registering for a second semester of Honors Tutorial with the faculty advisor, the student attends (they register for honors credit) CINE:4890 - Media Production Workshop to have the benefit of additional faculty and peer feedback. (In the event the Honors Advisor is also the instructor for MPW, the student will register for CINE:4198 - Honors Tutorial with another faculty member.) Before being awarded credit, the student must submit a written Honors Thesis (12-20 pages) that supports the Honors Film or Video and have public screening of the work.

Screenwriting Honors Projects

Cinema majors may elect to work on an Honors Thesis in Screenwriting in their senior year. Honors Thesis projects in Screenwriting are yearlong projects that generate three credit-hours per semester and must be completed in the Fall and Spring terms consecutively. Honors students wishing to complete a Thesis in screenwriting should identify an Honors Advisor in Cinematic Arts and submit a proposal no later than mid-April of their Junior Year. If approved, the student registers for CINE:4198 - Honors Tutorial and works independently in the fall semester, meeting with Honors Advisor as determined by the Honors MOU. In the spring semester, in addition to registering for a second semester of Honors Tutorial with the faculty advisor, the student should register for CINE:4836 - Advanced Screenwriting: Long Form (if offered) or CINE:4890 - Media Production Workshop to have the benefit of additional faculty and peer feedback. Before being awarded credit, the student must submit a written Honors Thesis (12-20 pages) that supplements the Honors Screenwriting project and have public reading of the work.

Film Studies Honors Projects

Cinema majors may elect to work on an Honors Thesis in Film Studies during their senior year. An Honors Thesis is a yearlong project that generates 3 credit hours per semester by a student registering for two consecutive semesters of CINE:4198 - Honors Tutorial. Honors students wishing to complete a Thesis should identify a faculty Honors Advisor in Cinematic Arts and submit a formal proposal (1-3 pages, with a preliminary bibliography and/or filmography) no later than mid-April of their Junior Year. If approved, the student begins work on the project (locating materials, viewing, listening, notetaking, drafting portions of the Thesis) during the following fall semester, meeting with their Honors Advisor as determined by the Honors MOU. By the start of the spring semester, when the student and Advisor solicit one additional faculty member to join the project as a second member of the Honors Committee, a draft of the Thesis should already be well underway. A complete draft of the Thesis (ranging from 25-50 pages, to be negotiated) must be submitted to the Honors Committee by the ninth week of the semester. A final version of the Thesis must be submitted no later than the thirteenth week of the semester (with exact dates to be confirmed as far in advance as possible). A final meeting with the Honors Committee may be arranged if desired. If the Committee reports a successful outcome to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the student will be awarded Honors by the department.