If you have developed an especially well-focused research interest, explore the possibility of doing an Honors thesis. The thesis process (described in Appendix A, "The Honors Charter and By-laws") is a two-semester commitment to rigorous research. Writing a thesis will demonstrate your academic preparation and maturity to graduate schools, scholarship committees, and top employers. If your plan for a thesis is approved, your first semester (Research for Thesis) can substitute for one colloquium. Start your planning for a thesis before junior year if possible.
Students who are full or associate members of the Honors Program in good standing may elect to write an Honors thesis. Guidelines for writing an Honors thesis:
A. During the semester before the student intends to enroll in the Research for Thesis course, an Honors thesis proposal must be approved by an Honors thesis advisor and the Honors Director. If the thesis advisor is also an Honors Director, the student must choose an appropriate outside reader from the University faculty, subject to the approval of the Honors Director. In general the Honors thesis advisor should be a member of the Honors Faculty, subject to the approval of the Honors Director. The proposal should meet the following criteria, as applicable:
B. The student must enroll in Research for Thesis for three credit hours and complete a prospectus as the first half of the thesis project. This prospectus will consist of the following criteria, as applicable:
C. After approval of the prospectus by the Honors Directors and the Honors thesis advisor, the student must enroll in Honors Thesis for three credit hours and form an Honors thesis committee. The thesis committee should consist of the thesis advisor and two additional experts, chosen from the faculty or other suitable professionals. The committee must be approved by the Honors Director.
D. The final thesis must be approved by the thesis committee and the Honors Directors. The final paper is due one calendar month prior to the end of the semester and should be of suitable quality for publication with minimal revision.
E. The thesis will be defended in a public oral examination administered by the thesis committee and at least one Honors Director.
F. A thesis or paper written for another department will not be accepted for the Honors thesis option, unless approved by the Honors Director.