The Honors Thesis is a senior year activity that presents students with a wonderful opportunity to experience first-hand the creative processes that are fundamental to universities. The thesis is the quintessential capstone experience that allows students to explore academic areas of their most passionate interests, engage in the process of discovery, make a creative contribution in their areas of interest and work one-on-one with a faculty thesis adviser who is an expert in the area. Completion of a Senior Honors Thesis is required for graduation as a University Honors Scholar and as a Discipline Honors Scholar.
The Honors Thesis encourages students to pursue an area of personal interest in greater depth than that allowed by formal classes. Students are encouraged to use their thesis for both graduate studies and post-graduate employment. The Honors Program does not require students to write a research or scholarly paper for their thesis. Many students choose other avenues or work to fulfill the thesis requirements. Art portfolios, lab research, music and theater recitals, children's books, business plans, design projects, films, and teacher unit plans have all been used to fulfill the Honors Thesis requirements.
The Senior Honors Thesis experience is supervised by a faculty adviser/mentor, with at least one additional committee member to assist students in their creative activities. The thesis has both writing and speaking components. The length and style of the writing component varies by the type of Honors thesis. The speaking component consists of a 15-30 minute formal oral presentation or a poster presentation at a university-sponsored event or professional conference before the student’s committee and responses by the student to questions from the committee. Honors students are encouraged to coordinate their Honors thesis with a departmental thesis, design project, creative artistry, scholarship, and/or capstone requirements.
HONR 399, Honors Pre-Thesis, is a required one credit course designed to provide students with the necessary information to successfully complete the thesis requirement. It should be taken one to two semesters before the student registers for HONR 499, the Senior Honors Thesis. Students are encouraged to take HONR 499 the semester BEFORE they intend to graduate. More information on the Senior Honors Thesis can be found in the Honors Thesis Guide.
Some students need a little help getting started on their thesis. Honors staff members are happy to help students find examples of projects from a variety of majors and in several formats using our electronic thesis library. No appointment is necessary; just ask for help at the front desk. A sample list of thesis titles is also available.
A paper copy of the thesis is no longer required. Instead, an electronic copy must be submitted to the Honors Office.