Honors Thesis Project
The Honors Thesis project is an opportunity to follow your curiosity and to ask and answer a question in your major through methods of your field. A written work in the end, this document is created through research and hands-on independent study under the guidance of a thesis director in your major. The Honors Thesis project is completed over the course of two semesters in thesis courses; however, research often begins prior to official enrollment in the thesis courses, either through on-campus jobs or through prior independent study.
Formats for the Honors Thesis Project
- Scholarly Paper – May apply to all disciplines. The scholarly paper is based on original research. You will formulate an original question concerning your discipline and will investigate and analyze this question through a consideration of original and secondary sources. The resulting analysis should make a creative contribution to the relevant literature.
- Research Paper – Applies to disciplines in which students conduct research that produces original data, including the physical, biological, or social sciences. The Research Paper is based on data from experiments, surveys, or scholarly research and includes treatment of relevant literature. It may include laboratory or field work.
- Business Plan – Applies to disciplines in which the student is trained to work in business and may include disciplines outside the College of Business with the permission of the major department. The student will conceptualize a business and conduct relevant research to formulate a plan for marketing, finance and implementation.
- Field Report – May be used by students engaged in full-time experiential requirements in the major, such as those required by the College of Education. The thesis project should place the experience in the context of discipline specific literature.
- Portfolio – Applies primarily to students in the arts. It includes a formal compilation of the student’s artistic work as well as a written explanation of the work and relevant literature.
- Performance – Students primarily in music and the dramatic arts may base their thesis project on a presentation of creative artistry. This format will also include a written explanation of the work and relevant literature.
- Design Project – Students in engineering will work in this format. The design project includes an analysis of a physical problem, the formulation of a design solution, and the production of the design. The thesis project includes a written explanation of the work and the relevant literature.
Thesis projects are each defended before a committee of three faculty members. The defense is a high-level evaluation of your project, and consists of pointed questions with regard to the content of your document, and it usually takes place during the second semester of thesis coursework. The chair of the committee is your thesis director; the second member must be a faculty member from your major department, and the third member must be a faculty member from outside your department. Generally, you will decide the makeup of the committee in consultation with your thesis director.