The mission of our Honors thesis is to provide a course for credit (HNRS 490) that allows Honors students to delve into a subject matter of their choosing in order to enhance their academic experience. The Honors thesis can be a traditional essay or it can be a creative project, such as an art installation with a critical explanation. It can be an extension of your major capstone class or it can be a standalone experience. It can be a way to produce a writing sample for graduate school on a topic of your choice or a way to combine your major and minor in an interesting project. Options abound. HNRS 490 may be taken as 0, 1, or 3 credit hours, and may be paired with Undergraduate Research. Students must complete either HNRS 490 or the Golson Seminar (HNRS 400) in order to fulfill the requirements of the Honors Diploma (student can take both courses if they choose).
Students may combine an Honors thesis with Undergraduate Research. To do so, set up an appointment to talk to the Honors Director regarding this option. You will then need to complete an Undergraduate Research Application and write-in “HNRS 490” as the UR course. Upon approval, you will then register for 3 credit hours in HNRS 490.
You may combine HNRS 490 with a major capstone class, but this will require your instructor’s permission. When you combine the Honors thesis with a capstone class, the general expectation is that you will go one step above and beyond what other students in the course are completing. For example, if everyone has to complete an essay, an option to turn this into an Honors thesis would be for you to then submit (and present, if accepted) your essay at a conference. You will work with your major capstone professor to determine what is appropriate. If you are combining your Honors thesis with a capstone course, then it is possible to register for 0 credit hours in HNRS 490.
How to Schedule HNRS 490
For an Honors thesis, you will need to identify a faculty mentor willing to work with you. You need to approach this faculty member as soon as possible since you will complete the thesis proposal before you register for classes for the next semester. After you submit the proposal and it is approved, you will then register for HNRS 490 when you register for classes with the provided CRN.
After you find a faculty member willing to work with you, you will need to fill out the thesis proposal.
The proposal asks for the following information:
- Name and contact information
- Proposed thesis title
- Faculty mentor name
- Thesis credit hours (0, 1, or 3)
- Semester you plan to complete the thesis
- If the thesis is combined with a major capstone or UR
- Proposed thesis description
- Proposed thesis form (e.g., essay, performance, etc.)