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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.

Thesis Process

The Honors thesis journey begins with enrolling in Honors Pre-Thesis, HONR 399 (1 credit). This course will help students to select a topic of study, choose a faculty thesis adviser, and develop an Honors Thesis Preliminary Proposal. HONR 399 is a series of class meetings and activities that will guide you through the requirements of the Honors thesis. The class will address the following areas:

  • Selecting a thesis topic and thesis committee (faculty thesis adviser and at least one additional faculty committee member)
  • Exploring the methods of creating your thesis
  • Writing the thesis paper
  • Preparing for the thesis presentation
  • Connecting the thesis with your post-graduate plans
Steps Who Can Edit/Review
1. The student creates a draft.
*If the student clicks Save Draft, the student goes to Step 2.
*If the student clicks Submit Draft To HONR399 Instructor, the student goes to Step 3.
Student
2. The student edits and submits the draft to the 399 instructor.
*If the student clicks Save Draft, the student stays at Step 2.
*If the student clicks Submit Draft To HONR399 Instructor, the student goes to Step 3.
Student
3. The 399 instructor reviews draft.
*If the 399 instructor approves the draft, the student goes to Step 4.
*If the 399 instructor denies the draft, the student goes back to Step 2.
399 Instructor
4. The student can edit the draft and submit the final to the thesis adviser.
*If the student clicks Save Draft, the student stays at Step 4.
*If the student clicks Submit Final, the student goes to Step 5.
Student
5. The thesis adviser reviews the final and selects Approve/Deny/See Me.
*If the thesis adviser approved the final, both the student and the 399 instructor are notified.
*If the thesis adviser selects Deny or See Me, only the student is notified and goes back to Step 4.
Thesis Adviser

 

Preliminary Proposal Online Form

You should register for Honors thesis credit, HONR 499 (3 credits) in the semester you intend to complete your thesis (typically your senior year). It is advisable to plan to complete your thesis in the first semester of your final year. HONR 499 is similar to an independent study in that you are working directly with your faculty thesis adviser to create the learning experience. Therefore, it is important for you and your faculty thesis adviser to outline your goals, timeline, and expectations of the thesis before the beginning of the semester. There are no official class meetings for HONR499; instead you will have periodic meetings with your thesis adviser.

Steps Deadlines
Formal Proposal 3rd Week of the Semester
Penultimate Draft 13th Week of the Semester
Oral Presentation 15th Week of the Semester
Final Copy Last day of Finals Week
Thesis Evaluation Form Last day of Finals Week

 

Formal Thesis Online Form

The Honors Thesis Formal Proposal is a comprehensive statement about your thesis topic and plans. Students should begin working on the Honors Thesis Formal Proposal soon after completing the Honors Thesis Preliminary Proposal. You will work with your faculty thesis adviser to develop the formal proposal and it must be approved by her/him. It is recommended that you complete the Formal Proposal in the semester before you register for HONR 499.

If you wish to change your topic after submitting the formal proposal to the Honors Program, another formal proposal must be approved by your thesis adviser and submitted to the Honors Program before the third week of the semester for review by the Director of the University Honors Program.

Steps Who Can Edit/Review
1. Student creates Formal Proposal and submits to the Adviser.
*After submitting, the Form goes to Step 3
Student
2. Student resubmit Formal Proposal if denied by the Adviser (Step 3) or the Honors Director (Step 7).
*After submitting, the Form goes to Step 3
Student
3. Adviser reviews the Formal Proposal. Adviser also fills out the qualifications and financial support for the Thesis.
*If the Adviser approves Formal Proposal and is automatically qualified, the Form goes to Step 5
*If the Adviser approves Formal Proposal but is not automatically qualified, the Form goes to Step 4
*If the Adviser denies Formal Proposal, the Form goes back to Step 2
Adviser
4. Honors reviews the Adviser qualifications.
*If the Honors Program approves the Adviser, the Form goes to Step 5
*If the Honors Program does not approve the Adviser, an Email for the next steps will be sent out to the Student, and the Form stays on Step 4
Honors Staff
5. Committee Members fill out their qualifications.
*If all your Committee Members are automatically qualified, the Form goes to Step 7
*If any of your Committee Members are not automatically qualified, the Form goes to Step 6
Committee Members
6. Honors reviews the Committee Members qualifications.
*If the Honors Program approves the Committee Members, the Form goes to Step 7
*If any of your Committee Members are not approved by the Honors Program, an Email for the next steps will be sent out to the Student, and the Form stays on Step 6
Honors Staff
7. Honors Director reviews the Formal Proposal.
*If the Honors Director approves the Formal Proposal, the Form goes to Step 8
*If the Honors Director denies Formal Proposal, the Form goes back to Step 2. The Honors Director will also fill out the Missing Items, which one can see in Details
Honors Staff
8. Student submits Presentation date.
*When filling this out, Student should also fill out the Presentation Form
*After submitting, the Form goes to Step 9
Student
9. Adviser grades the Thesis, submits the Oral Presentation Assessment Form and writes evaluation comments after the presentation.
*After submitting, the Form goes to Step 10
Adviser
10. Committee Members fill out evaluation comments.
*After submitting, the Form goes to Step 11
Committee Members
11. Student submits Final Copy.
*After submitting, the Form goes to Step 12
Student
12. Honors Director reviews the Final Copy​​​​​​.
*If the Honors Director approves Final Copy, you have completed the Honors Thesis
*If the Honors Director denies Final Copy, the Form goes back to Step 11
Honors Staff

***Must be submitted to Thesis Committee by the end of the 13th week of the semester***

The penultimate draft is the polished, second to last copy of the Thesis. The thesis adviser will compile comments and feedback given by the committee members and forward them to the student after the thesis presentation. The student will incorporate changes (if any) made by the faculty thesis adviser into the final thesis copy.

Make sure to fill out online Thesis Presentation Form at least one week before your Thesis Presentation.

Thesis Presentation Form

Make sure to also fill out your Presentation Date in your online Formal Thesis Form.

Formal Thesis Online Form

***Must be presented by the end of the 15th week of the semester***

The Honors thesis presentation differs from a graduate thesis defense in that it is shorter and intended to be a celebration of your learning experience. The presentation is approximately 15 - 20 minutes in duration followed by a question and answer session with the committee. Remember to work with your faculty thesis adviser on the desired format.

Students whose thesis is artistry (vocal recitals, dance performances, plays, films, or art portfolios) must also have a presentation followed by a question and answer session. In these cases, students typically present their formal reflection paper.

Early in the semester, students should work with their major department to select a time with the committee and reserve a room for the presentation.

Faculty, staff, students, family members, and other interested individuals are welcome to attend and it is expected that they will contact the student and/or adviser before the presentation date. Students preparing to give a thesis presentation are strongly encouraged to attend another student’s thesis presentation prior to scheduling their own presentation.

Make sure to fill out online Thesis Presentation Form at least one week before your Thesis Presentation.

Thesis Presentation Form

Make sure to also fill out your Presentation Date in your online Formal Thesis Form.

Formal Thesis Online Form

Following the formal oral presentation and question and answer session, the committee will excuse the student and audience, discuss the grade for the paper and presentation, and complete the Honors Thesis Oral Presentation Assessment Form. The committee will then give feedback to the student about his/her presentation. The adviser will then submit the Grade and the Oral Presentation Assessment Form using the online Formal Thesis Form.

The student must bring a copy of the Honors Thesis Evaluation Form to the formal presentation.

pdfdoc

***Must be submitted to the online Formal Thesis Form by the end of Finals Week***

The oral presentation assessment form must be submitted to the online Formal Thesis Form by your Adviser. Only after that a student will be able to submit their final copy. Please note that the thesis adviser determines the final grade and completes the oral presentation assessment for HONR 499. If the form is not submitted by the deadline for submitting grades at the end of the semester, the student will receive an “Incomplete” grade. This may delay the official graduation date, as students cannot graduate with an incomplete grade on their transcript.

The student must bring a copy of the Honors Thesis Evaluation Form to the formal presentation.

pdfdoc

***Must be submitted to the online Formal Thesis Form by the end of Finals Week***

1) Students whose theses require a significant written component (e.g., research paper, scholarly paper, business plan, etc.) will submit an electronic final thesis copy to the University Honors Program office.

Specifications for the final copy of the Honors thesis:

  • follow a writing style appropriate for the type of research, design project, or scholarship focus of the thesis
  • style, standards, and length are determined by your thesis adviser

2) Students completing Honors theses that fall outside the boundaries of a traditional research paper (e.g., music recital or art portfolio) will submit to the Honors Program office some form of permanent record of their creative activity (e.g., video, portfolio, or audio CD) and an electronic copy of the seven page, typed formal reflection paper.

Reflection paper must include:

  • an explanation of the topic area and reasons for choosing it
  • the steps taken to complete the project
  • a description of the final work
  • an assessment of the importance of the creative activity and how it contributed to the learning process and/or prepared you for a career
  • a brief reflection about the overall thesis experience

HONR 399

Forms

Honors 399 Portal

Additional Resources

Honors Thesis GuideThesis Adviser GuideCommittee Member Guide


HONR 499

Forms

Honors 499 Portal Formal Proposal TemplateThesis Presentation FormThesis Improvement Grant Application

Thesis Evaluation Form

*Only students registered for Senior Thesis during the Fall 2021 semester should use this form. The rest of the students need to use Oral Presentation Assessment Form.  

pdfdoc

Oral Presentation Assessment Form

Additional Resources

Honors Thesis GuideFall 2021 Thesis Titles Spring 2021 Thesis Titles Spring 2022 Thesis TitlesThesis Adviser Guide Committee Member Guide Approved Thesis Advisors