For a select number of students, the department confers the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Theater and Performance Studies. To qualify for departmental honors, students must meet the following requirements in addition to the other requirements of the TAPS major:

    • Applying to the honors program involves a written application, including a project proposal and transcript, which establishes the student’s work to date in the department and outlines the area of research that the student wishes to pursue. Students must have at least an overall University GPA of 3.3 and a 3.5 GPA in courses counting towards the major.
    • Students must have completed a significant portion of their major coursework before enrolling in honors. It is recommended that students have taken courses that have prepared them for advanced study in the proposed area of research.
    • Students enroll in TAPS 202 Honors Thesis, which is worth four units total. Students need to enroll in this course each quarter during the senior year (1 unit in Autumn; 1 unit in Winter; 2 units in Spring). It is graded S/NC (grade determined by the student’s adviser).
    • The honors thesis is due on May 15th in the Spring quarter and is double-marked by the primary adviser and one other Stanford faculty member.
    • Entry into the honors program does not guarantee an honors degree. The final decision to confer an honors degree is made by the student’s thesis adviser upon evaluating the quality of the thesis.


There are two ways to undertake an honors thesis. The first is to write a 40-50 page essay, presenting research on an important issue or subject of the student’s choice.

The second option is for a student to use their involvement in a creative project as a case study. In this situation, the honors thesis critically analyzes the creative work. Typically, the creative project is the student’s capstone, but subject to the advisor’s approval, a student may be able to write on a substantial creative project other than the capstone. This essay is shorter (about 30 pages) because the creative work constitutes part of the honors project.

Students are expected to work consistently throughout the year with their adviser, whom they identify at the time of application. Advisors can be selected from Academic Council faculty or artists-in-residence.