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Honors Thesis
Timeline & Instructions

Writing an Honors Thesis is not a requirement to complete the Honors Program, but is recommended, especially for students who do not write a seminar or major research paper in their individual program of study.

The prior semester you will need to register for an independent study:

  • You may register for Honors Independent Study or an independent study in your discipline. This course serves as a preparation for your thesis. For example, if you are planning to conduct a study for your thesis, you will work on a literature review and research proposal in your independent study. You will not be able to write an honors quality thesis if you try and pack everything into one semester.

Before the beginning of the semester you are working on your thesis, you will need:

  • Three person committee:

    • Committee chair (a faculty member in your discipline).

    • A second faculty member within your discipline.

    • A third faculty member outside of your discipline - someone to add perspective.

  • To register for Honors Senior Thesis. Paperwork must be picked up from the registrar's office or downloaded from the homepage and signed by your committee chair.

  • A one to two page proposal of your thesis to be handed into your committee members - ideally before the end of the prior semester, although the first week of the semester is OK. You should have approval from your committee chair before you send out copies of your proposal to the rest of your committee.

The semester you are working on your thesis, you will need:

  • To work closely with your committee chair throughout the process. This is important to make sure that you don't fall behind.

  • To schedule ongoing meetings with your committee members to make sure everyone is on the same page. The last thing you want is for the committee to decide that although your thesis is good, it's not "honors" quality. Continuous dialogue helps to ensure that there are no surprises.

  • To set up a senior thesis defense before finals week. This is when you give a 30-minute presentation of your thesis and your committee asks you questions. Final comments are made about edits and the committee decides as a whole whether or not to accept your honors thesis. (It sounds scary, but it really isn't... unless you forget to check in with your committee members throughout the semester).

  • To submit an electronic copy of your final thesis to the Honors Program Director, Mary Jane Maxwell, Ph. D.

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