Juniors should begin thinking about the possibility of doing a Senior Honors Thesis in spring semester before registration. Here are some answers to questions regarding the process, and attached you will find a course proposal form that you will need to complete in order to work on a thesis.
What is the difference between University and Departmental Honors? All students completing an honors thesis receive Departmental Honors. Those students completing an honors thesis (499) in a department who are enrolled in the University Honors Program (and who have completed all other program requirements) receive University Honors. THERE IS NO SEPARATE THESIS FOR UNIVERSITY HONORS.
Who is eligible to do an Honors Thesis? Any second-semester junior or senior with a 3.5 cumulative GPA at the time of registration and with approval of the department may apply to do an honors thesis. You must register for at least one semester, but you may register for up to two semesters of honors thesis credit.
How do I apply to do an Honors Thesis? If you have the necessary grade point and an interesting project in mind, you must follow these steps:
How many credits of Honors Thesis may I earn? Check your departmental guidelines, but the general rule is 0-8 credits total. You may take 8 credits in one semester or 0 credits for two semesters as long as departmental rules allow it. For more information on departmental guidelines, see the Honors Program webpage under Thesis.
How do I successfully complete a thesis? Again, check your departmental guidelines, but the general rule is that you complete a thesis project and do an oral defense of your project with your chosen committee. You need to plan to finish all work and your defense at least four weeks before the end of the academic year. If you successfully complete and defend your honors thesis, then your faculty director will assign you a grade and alert the Registrar that you have received honors.
Are there any common pitfalls? The major thing to remember is that you MUST register for 499 credit!!! DO NOT use 490 or any other 491-498 number for Honors Thesis credit!!!