Brown awards two kinds of honors. The university awards Magna cum laude based on grades. The Computer Science Department awards Honors in Computer Science.The Computer Science Department's official rules concerning the awarding of honors in computer science state:
To be considered as a candidate for honors in computer science, a student must achieve an outstanding record in computer science courses. Furthermore, the student must complete a thesis under the supervision of a committee of two faculty members, one of whom must be in the CS department, and the committee must deem the thesis worthy of honors.
A student should choose a thesis advisor (who will be the chair of the student's committee) and begin work on the project (leading to the thesis) by no later than the end of the first month of her or his penultimate semester. By the end of the third week of the student's final semester, he or she must have chosen a second committee member, have prepared a one-page proposal for the thesis work, and have presented this proposal to the committee. If the committee approves the proposal and if the student has an appropriately outstanding record in computer science courses, then the student is considered an honors candidate. The committee should notify the department's director of undergraduate affairs of the student's status.
By no later than the day prior to the registrar's deadline for honor's theses (normally the first Friday of May for students graduating in the spring), the student must submit the completed thesis to the committee and defend it at a public presentation.
By "outstanding record" we mean mostly A's and no C's in courses used to satisfy concentration requirements.
There is no specific format requirements for the theses or project write-ups.
Students doing theses or projects may sign up for CS193 (fall) and/or CS194 (spring) in order to get academic credit for their research. It is also permissible for a student to do a thesis or project by expanding on a project done in a class. However, the thesis must significantly exceed the requirements of the class (as judged by the professor for the class, who should typically serve as the head of the committee in this case). Note that university rules stipulate that an honors project is two semesters of work.