Graduation with Distinction is a term that accords recognition to students who have excelled in both Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies (GSF) coursework and a completed GSF thesis project developed over the final year and a half of study. Pursuing Graduation with Distinction in the Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies is separate from graduating with Latin Honors from Duke University.
GSF majors pursue Graduate with Distinction because writing a thesis project offers an opportunity to individually study in great depth a topic that a student began to explore in coursework and to develop a mentoring relationship with the faculty member(s) who supervise and guide the student. As a student pursues their ideas in depth, they place themselves in conversation with scholars who have also pursued the topic. In addition to being prestigious, success in this rigorous process indicates a distinct level of commitment, diligence, and accomplishment to graduate and professional programs as well as to employers. Students often feel an enormous sense of accomplishment in deeply pursuing a question of interest and grappling with the difficulties and possibilities of the writing process. They in addition become familiar with the fields and conversations that constitute gender, sexuality, and feminist studies.