The Honors Thesis is an original piece of student research. Working under an advisor, students produce a document, generally 50-100 pages in length (depending upon the discipline), that provides an overview of their research. In order to receive a grade for the Honors Thesis course, students must complete an open defense of their project. In some disciplines, the Honors Thesis is a creative or alternative media project. This is quite acceptable and even encouraged.
Students wanting to write an Honors Thesis should be engaged in a research project no later than three semesters prior to their intended defense date. The Honors College recommends the following process for preparing for an Honors Thesis:
Two semesters prior to intended defense date: Students should contact several professors in the thesis discipline to talk about their ideas. Alternatively, the student should be encouraged to take an Honors contract in a class that explores their thesis topic in a preliminary way.
One semester prior to intended defense date: Student should be working with the professor who would act as the primary reader for the thesis. This can be done through an independent study or more informally. Toward the end of the semester, the student should submit a thesis proposal to the primary reader. This should be a 500-word description of the projected thesis. Once this is approved the primary reader, a meeting should be set with the Honors College Director to enroll the student in a section of "Honors Thesis." Note: This meeting should occur no later than three weeks before the end of the semester prior to the one in which the student will complete the thesis.
The semester of intended defense date: Student should be enrolled in the course section "Honors Thesis" and continue working on the thesis. The student and primary reader should negotiate a meeting schedule throughout the semester and clearly delineate what should be accomplished by each meeting period. Honors recommends that the primary reader meet with the student no less than every other week. The entire thesis should be submitted to the reader no later than three weeks before the end of the semester. Theses are defended on the last Tuesday of classes. And an electronic copy of the thesis, with the appropriate cover page (obtained through Honors) and in the proper format is due on the day of the defense.