Honors Thesis or Project

There are two organizational structures for honors theses and honors projects: They are honors theses or projects that are (1) individually arranged by student and faculty research committees using contract forms and (2) those that are guided by  instructors' preapproved syllabi and taught as seminars.  The requirements for each are virtually the same.

 

Regardless of whether individually arranged or guided within a seminar format, the Honors Thesis or Project is a comprehensive research effort of original scholarship. Typically completed in the senior year, it offers students an opportunity to work closely with faculty members on advanced research topics or creative endeavors. A thesis involves developing and working toward answering a research question, while a project involves an alternative academic enterprise of equivalent intensity and scope, e.g. creative work (art theater music), engineering invention, case study, and so on.   

 

The Honors Thesis or Project must be six or more credits of sustained effort on a single topic. Whether the intended end result is a thesis or project, each begins with creative inquiry and systematic research, includes documentation of substantive scholarly effort, and each culminates in an oral defense or other form of public presentation.  The flow chart below maps a sequential overview of individually arranged honors theses and project expectations (on the left) and of honors thesis or project seminar expectations (on the right). Note: The honors thesis and project seminars were previously called “capstone courses.)

 

INDIVIDUALLY CONTRACTED AND SEMINAR HONORS THESIS AND PROJECT EXPECTATION FLOW CHARTS

 

Honors Thesis/Project -
individually contracted

Honors Thesis/Project -
seminar

Students choose to pursue an individually contracted Honors Thesis or Project under the guidance of a faculty committee. Students define their learning goals in a research proposal that takes the place of a syllabus in providing structure and setting expectations.

Students choose to pursue Honors Theses or Projects by enrolling in faculty-initiated seminars.  They complete their theses or projects in a community of classmates within the structure of traditional classrooms.  Research expectations are outlined in course syllabi.

Some of these seminars are specifically designed to welcome interested students from other majors, e.g., Japan 499C/499D, "The Samuri."  Multidisciplinary Honors (MH) students often avail themselves of such opportunities.

Provided that the seminars are offered in cognate fields, Departmental Honors (DH) students may explore the possibility of substituting these in lieu of the standard Departmental Honors 499 requirement.  DH students would use the "Petition for Exception" form for these requests.  Authorization is at the discretion of DH Honors Program Directors.

Select a research topic and assemble a Research Guidance Committee (Research Chair and Research Committee Member)

Choose an Honors Thesis or Project seminar from the online Honors Course Guide

Register Part I

Via contract form and proposal submitted to Honors College office:

 

 

  • Draft and attach a preliminary proposal responding to the questions which accompany the 499Y contract form

 

  • Submit completed/signed form and proposal to the CHC office for review and registration

 

*Some departments have proposal templates which supersede ours.  Be sure to check with your Honors Program Director and your Honors Thesis/Project Research Chair for alternative or supplementary guidelines.

Register Part I

Usually on SPIRE

Note:  Registration for some seminars may be via application or permission of instructor. Such stipulations will be noted in SPIRE and in the  Honors Course Guide. 

Grading Part I

Grading 499Y Honors Research (Thesis/Project Part I)

Grading Part I

Grading Honors Thesis/Project Seminar Part I

Register Part II

Via contract form submitted to Commonwealth Honors College office:

 

 

  • Draft and attach a final proposal responding to the questions which accompany the 499T/P contract form

 

  • Submit completed/signed form and proposal to 201 CHC for review and registration

 

*Some departments have proposal templates which supersede ours.  Be sure to check with your Honors Program Director and your CE Research Chair for alternative or supplementary guidelines.

Register Part II

Usually on SPIRE

Note:  Registration for some seminars may be via application or permission of instructor. Such stipulations will be noted in SPIRE and in the  Honors Course Guide.


 

Oral Defense

Type of oral defense is determined by Honors Thesis/Project committee

Oral Presentation

As determined by Honors Thesis/Project seminar professor; may be presentation to the class, professional conference or other appropriate venue

Grading Part II

Grading Honors 499T/P Thesis/Project

Grading Part II

Grading Honors Thesis/Project Seminar Part II

Submit Honors Thesis/Project Documentation
 

Submit Honors Thesis/Project Documentation