The Honors Thesis is a culminating work in an Honors’ student university career. Foremost, it provides Honors students in their senior year an opportunity to explore, in depth, a question that they find interesting and that may or may not be related to their major course of study. Students are encouraged to make explore approaches to engaging ideas that they may have not had significant opportunity to do through out the college career. It is also students’ opportunity to provide evidence of what has been learned through the experience of being part of the Honors Program.
Students who receive a B or higher on their thesis, who have maintained an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher and who have no violations of academic integrity will receive University Honors.
The Honors Thesis:
- Must be completed in the student’s senior year
- Must address a question or issue that requires an interdisciplinary approach to answer well
- Must display an intellectual intensity transcending that of a usual undergraduate term paper or creative term paper
- Must culminate in some product (e.g., a written thesis (suggested page length of 30 pages) or creative work in the arts)
- Must be structured or written according to relevant professional standards
- Must be supervised by a faculty member who should be chosen by identifying a general area the student is interested in and then finding a faculty member who may be qualified to supervise this work. Or, the student may want to ask a faculty member with whom the student has a good relationship or wants to work with further. Students should strive to find an advisor who is not in a discipline of the student’s major.
- Is a culminating experience of the Honors Program and, as such, could not have just as easily been done by someone who has not taken Honors courses.
- May count toward capstone requirement in major department with permission of major department
- Honors thesis is expected to exceed requirements of a capstone in a major department
- If it will also count toward major capstone, must have two advisor for thesis (one within major and one outside)
- May be collaborative with a research or artistic mentor only if the product represents true individual achievement of the student. That is, the student should not simply be doing research for someone else, but should be clearly working on and developing an individual product that is not primarily the work of the mentor.
- Must clearly demonstrate scholarly or essential creative nature of the product
- Must provide evidence that the student has been challenged
- Includes an oral presentation at the end of the semester, which the thesis advisor and director of the Honors Program will attend and is open to anyone else who is interested to attend. The attendees will ask questions of the presenter related to method, results and implications of thesis.
- Requires those working on a thesis to participate in regular gatherings with others working on theses (regardless of the product being worked on). At these meetings students will share with each other the progress on their work, share struggles they are having and get support and feedback from others going through the same general process. These gatherings will happen, generally, monthly and will be organized and attended by the Director of the Honors Program. The times for these meetings will be determined after registration for the semester in which the thesis is to be done. This will be on Fridays at 11:00 am every three weeks or so, and/or meetings scheduled by requested by Honors Program Senior to Honors Director.
- Requires the presentation of a poster communicating the ideas and methods of the project at the Honors Award Ceremony in May (assuming that there is no pandemic and we actually have the Award Ceremony)
Any questions regarding any aspect of the Honors thesis project should be directed to the Honors Director.