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For Honors Scholars-Track I and II students, the senior honors project is the culmination of the honors experience. For Senior Honors Project-Track III students, it is their entry into the Honors Program. Track I, II and III students, working with a faculty mentor, earn six credit hours in honors for work that most often culminates in a thesis reflecting substantial scholarship and demonstrating outstanding research and writing skills. In some fields the culminating experience will be a creative work that demonstrates imagination and originality in addition to craftsmanship and professionalism in production.
All students, regardless of track, enroll in the project for three consecutive semesters under a 499 course number in the department of their major, with the sequence typically beginning in the middle of the junior year. The procedures for registering and for submitting the project proposal are detailed in the departmental project guidelines. Honors Program directors offer group informational sessions at the beginning of each semester to provide further details and answer questions; check the calendar for exact dates. Track I, II, and prospective Track III students are encouraged to attend.
During the first semester of independent study on the project, students, in consultation with their faculty adviser, are expected to write the proposal for the project, review the pertinent literature and identify two readers who will help guide the project. Students whose proposals have been approved for a senior honors project will register for the next 499 course the following semester. In that semester, most of the research and writing take place. Students then register for the third 499 course the following semester, complete the writing, make the necessary revisions after consultation with the faculty adviser and readers, and prepare the final document for submission to the Honors Program and the library. The project adviser will assign a grade at the end of each semester that reflects the progress made during that stage of the project. Check the calendar for exact submission dates for the project application/proposal and the completed project.
Admission to the Honors Program as Senior Honors Project-Track III is open to those juniors, including transfer students, with at least a cumulative GPA of 3.5 who give sufficient evidence of initiative, originality and intellectual maturity to warrant the expectation of distinction in the program. The minimum 3.25 GPA must be maintained through graduation to remain in good standing in the Honors Program. Failure to meet these standards or violation of the University Honors Code will be grounds for probation or dismissal.
(Refer to Maintaining Good Standing for important information.)
In the case of students who will be graduating in December, studying abroad, student teaching, or interning out of town for any of their final three semesters before graduation, they must begin the sequence of 499 courses earlier than the middle of their junior year. Some majors even require an earlier start; check your departmental guidelines or ask your liaison to be sure.
Students may do an honors project in their major or any related discipline in which they obtain the required permission from the dean of their major. To complete the Senior Honors Project Proposal, students must identify a faculty adviser (someone with whom they can work well) to guide the project. In consultation with the adviser, they develop a topic that can be properly narrowed for adequate coverage within the scope of an honors project, write the proposal for the project, review the pertinent literature and select two readers who will assist the adviser in guiding the project. For permission to undertake independent study for the senior honors project, students apply to the Honors Program through the department head's or school director's office and with the approval of the dean of the appropriate college.
Acceptance for participation is determined solely by the Honors Program director. Notification indicating a proposal has been approved are sent to the student, adviser, department head/school director and college dean. Applications received after the stated deadlines may be returned with the recommendation that the project be completed as Special Studies (490).
The nature of the research in some fields may demand a slightly varied procedure from that outlined above. In such cases procedures developed by the respective department will take precedence. Variations, in any event, are slight, and the basic principles established for the total number of credit hours (six), the submission of proposals in a student's junior year and independent research with individual faculty mentoring are constant.
Completed Theses: a comprehensive list from 1962 to the present, sorted by major