Students must submit their Honors Thesis or Project manuscripts to:

  1. their faculty sponsors for grading and
  2. the Commonwealth Honors College office using CHC PATHS for forwarding to the University Archives and receipt of Commonwealth Honors College credentials.

Grading Deadline

For both individually contracted and seminar Honors Theses and Projects, students must meet their instructors’ expectations and timelines. The instructors will align their policies with those of their departments and the Undergraduate Registrar’s office. INCs are granted for extenuating circumstances only; students may not assume that extensions of any kind will be granted.

A final draft of the thesis document or the project manuscript should be submitted to the student’s Thesis Committee or Thesis Seminar instructor prior to the oral defense or class presentation (  Comments and corrections should be incorporated and approved by the Thesis committee or Thesis seminar instructor before submitting the archive-ready document to Commonwealth Honors College using PATHS.

Commonwealth Honors College Credential Deadlines

  • For timely graduation clearance, Honors Thesis documents or Project manuscripts and artifacts should be submitted on PATHS by or before the last day of classes in the semester of graduation.

Faculty approvals by your research committee and the department Honors Program Director(s) must be completed in a timely manner to allow for you to be cleared for graduation. If you anticipate needing additional time, you may consider changing your graduation date in SPIRE. Please contact with any questions.

The Honors Thesis document or Project manuscript and any affiliated artifacts must be submitted in digital form to the Honors College through CHC PATHS for students to qualify for Commonwealth Honors College diploma and/or transcript credentials. Approved manuscripts and materials will be forwarded electronically to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Archives for permanent inclusion in the collection of undergraduate honors research.

The following caveats should be taken into consideration:

  • Delays due to extenuating circumstances may result in a grade of INC at the discretion of the Honors Thesis or Project committee chair or instructor.  If students are granted an INC, there is a 6 week grace period for resolving Y’s and INCs while remaining members of the original graduation class month/year.  Students who wish to graduate within this grace period should aim for completion within five weeks because administrative approvals need to make their way through the system in the sixth week.
  • Students who submit their work after the sixth week become eligible for the next graduation cycle, i.e., February, May or September.  Each graduation cycle has its own six week grace period. The student does not pay additional tuition unless new credits are registered.


Note regarding graduation ceremonies:  Students participate in the annual May Commonwealth Honors College Celebration of Excellence and UMass Commencement regardless of the month they were cleared for graduation (Feb, May or Sept).  Students who are scheduled to graduate in February of the following year may attend the current year’s ceremonies.

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Thesis and Project manuscripts must be submitted to the Honors College in digital format through CHC PATHS and are forwarded electronically to the Archives.

Honors Thesis and Project manuscripts are housed in the University Archives for public review through a computer station in the Archives reading room on the 25th floor of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Visitors to the Archives reading room may not remove or forward copies of undergraduate theses.  

Manuscripts must be formatted according to CHC Honors Thesis/Project manuscript formatting requirements which require that students upload a PDF of their manuscript to PATHS. Digital representations of Project artifacts that accompanying the Project manuscript may use a digital format appropriate in the field of study.  Formats recommended by the Library are noted in PATHS.  If the format used for the artifact is PDF, the artifact PDF may be appended at the end of the Project manuscript and uploaded as a single file. Alternatively, the manuscript and artifact may be uploaded separately. 


Extenuating circumstances such as patent applications or faculty grant requirements may mean that a student’s manuscript should not be available for public viewing for a specified length of time.  Students who believe this may apply to their manuscript should consult with their Thesis Chair or Thesis Seminar instructor.  The Thesis Chair or Thesis Seminar instructor may request an embargo of the manuscript through PATHS.  Embargoed manuscripts will be held in PATHS, will not be available for public review, and will not be forwarded to the University Archives until the end of the embargo time period.