Honors in the Arts – FAQs


What is the format of the program?

Admitted students participate in weekly workshops during all three quarters of senior year to develop their honors capstone project. These instructor-led workshops are offered for two to five units of credit, and must be taken for a letter grade. HIA students also work with a faculty advisor and a grad student mentor who will offer personalized guidance throughout the capstone year. Course work and the final symposium presentation are graded by the workshop instructor, and the capstone project is graded by the student's faculty advisor, in conversation with the workshop instructor, grad mentor, and faculty director. Students must receive at least an A- on the capstone project in order to receive honors.

What is a honors capstone project?

Honors capstone projects are typically creative projects involving an arts practice element in any field or discipline (visual art, creative writing, music, dance, theatre, fashion, game design, multimedia, etc.). Capstone projects may also be scholarly research projects involving an interdisciplinary approach. The capstone project should be informed by a student's major and/or other areas of study. The capstone project can be completed individually or as part of a team, and projects with the potential for real world impact are especially encouraged.

I am a Computer Science/Biology/Engineering/Economics/Other major. I would like to compose music/write a play/make a piece of visual art. Does my capstone project have to be about Computer Science/Biology/Engineering/Economics/Other?

Your project does not have to be about your major, but it should connect to your major or other areas of study you have already completed through themes, methodology, discourse, or subject matter. The Honors in the Arts capstone should build on your previous studies and integrate the knowledge you've gained over the course of your degree with creative practice.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students in any major are able to apply in spring quarter of their junior year, as long as they will not graduate before spring of the following year. Students can apply individually or as part of a team-based project.

I'm interested in pursuing the Honors in the Arts capstone as part of a team project. Is this possible?

Yes, team-based projects are encouraged. If you are applying as a team, each applicant's proposal should highlight their specific contribution to the project, and should include a description of the roles and responsibilities each team member will take on during the project lifecycle. Each team member will need to submit their individual transcript, preparation courses, academic reference, and project proposal. However, team members can submit the same project abstract and should agree on a single faculty advisor. Please contact Jessi Pipert (jpipert@stanford.edu) if you have questions regarding team-based projects.

I’m interested in this program, but I’m not a junior yet. What should I do to prepare?

Students wishing to participate in the Honors in the Arts program are required to take at least three courses that prepare them to successfully execute an interdisciplinary arts capstone project. You should plan to complete at least two of these courses prior to entering the program. Courses will normally be at least two units and will have been taken for a letter grade.

Students may also consider pursuing the new Interdisciplinary Arts Minor as a pathway to HIA. Learn more about the Inter-Arts Minor here.

What do I need to apply?

To apply you will need to submit a project proposal that includes specific prompts, a portfolio of relevant work, and an unofficial transcript. Be prepared to list your three preparatory courses, to provide a brief abstract of your project, and to provide the name of a faculty member who will serve as a reference and is willing to complete a recommendation form. If your GPA is below 3.4, you will also need to submit a GPA petition. Students are also required to secure a faculty advisor for their project and submit this Advisor Consent Form to artsinstitute@stanford.edu with your application.

My GPA is below 3.4. Am I ineligible to apply?

A minimum overall GPA of 3.4 will normally be required for admission into the program. However, we understand that while GPA is one indicator of assessing overall merit, innovative thinking does not necessarily get reflected in GPA. We want applicants who are interested in excellent, searching work. Applicants will be able to provide additional information demonstrating how their qualifications can be judged outside of their GPA.

Can I do HIA along with a different Honors program?

Yes. However, you should plan to complete two separate projects.

I'm required to do a capstone for my major. Can my HIA project fulfill this requirement?

Possibly! Some programs (like HumBio) allow HIA to fulfill their capstone requirement, but this decision is at your department's discretion. Students are not permitted to submit their HIA project for units in another class. Please reach out to Jessi Pipert (jpipert@stanford.edu) for more information.

I'm doing the inter-arts minor. Can I do HIA as well?

Usually, declared inter-arts minors who gain admittance to HIA will drop the minor. In some cases, it is possible to complete both the inter-arts minor and HIA, but it requires an adjust study plan to be approved by the faculty direct. Contact Jessi Pipert (jpipert@stanford.edu) for more information.

Can I do the Honors program and go abroad?

HIA students must be enrolled in the workshop during all three quarters of senior year. However, it may be possible to attend the workshop remotely during one academic quarter, pending approval of the workshop instructor and faculty director. For more information, please contact Jessi Pipert (jpipert@stanford.edu).



Stanford Arts Institute