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 Program recommends the following process for preparing for an Honors Thesis:
Two semesters prior to intended defense date: Contact several professors in the thesis discipline to talk with them about your ideas. Alternatively, take an honors contract in a class that explores your thesis topic in a preliminary way.
Semester prior to intended defense date: Be working with the professor whom you would like to act as the primary reader for your thesis. You can do this through an independent study or more informally. Toward the end of the semester, you should submit a thesis proposal to your intended primary reader. This should be a 500-word description of your projected thesis. Once this is approved by your primary reader, the two of you should set up a meeting with the Honors Director to enroll you in a section of "Honors Thesis." Note: You should have this meeting no later than three weeks before the end of the semester prior to the one in which you want to complete the thesis.
Semester of intended defense date: Enroll in "Honors Thesis" and continue working on your thesis. You and your primary reader should negotiate a meeting schedule throughout the semester and clearly delineate what should be accomplished by each meeting period. Honors recommends that you meet no less than every second week. The entire thesis should be submitted to your readers by 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.