The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Honors Theses

What this handout is about.

Writing a senior honors thesis, or any major research essay, can seem daunting at first. A thesis requires a reflective, multi-stage writing process. This handout will walk you through those stages. It is targeted at students in the humanities and social sciences, since their theses tend to involve more writing than projects in the hard sciences. Yet all thesis writers may find the organizational strategies helpful.


What is an honors thesis.

That depends quite a bit on your field of study. However, all honors theses have at least two things in common:

  • They are based on students’ original research.
  • They take the form of a written manuscript, which presents the findings of that research. In the humanities, theses average 50-75 pages in length and consist of two or more chapters. In the social sciences, the manuscript may be shorter, depending on whether the project involves more quantitative than qualitative research. In the hard sciences, the manuscript may be shorter still, often taking the form of a sophisticated laboratory report.

Who can write an honors thesis?

In general, students who are at the end of their junior year, have an overall 3.2 GPA, and meet their departmental requirements can write a senior thesis. For information about your eligibility, contact:

  • UNC Honors Program
  • Your departmental administrators of undergraduate studies/honors

Why write an honors thesis?

Satisfy your intellectual curiosity This is the most compelling reason to write a thesis. Whether it’s the short stories of Flannery O’Connor or the challenges of urban poverty, you’ve studied topics in college that really piqued your interest. Now’s your chance to follow your passions, explore further, and contribute some original ideas and research in your field.

Develop transferable skills Whether you choose to stay in your field of study or not, the process of developing and crafting a feasible research project will hone skills that will serve you well in almost any future job. After all, most jobs require some form of problem solving and oral and written communication. Writing an honors thesis requires that you:

  • ask smart questions
  • acquire the investigative instincts needed to find answers
  • navigate libraries, laboratories, archives, databases, and other research venues
  • develop the flexibility to redirect your research if your initial plan flops
  • master the art of time management
  • hone your argumentation skills
  • organize a lengthy piece of writing
  • polish your oral communication skills by presenting and defending your project to faculty and peers

Work closely with faculty mentors At large research universities like Carolina, you’ve likely taken classes where you barely got to know your instructor. Writing a thesis offers the opportunity to work one-on-one with a with faculty adviser. Such mentors can enrich your intellectual development and later serve as invaluable references for graduate school and employment.

Open windows into future professions An honors thesis will give you a taste of what it’s like to do research in your field. Even if you’re a sociology major, you may not really know what it’s like to be a sociologist. Writing a sociology thesis would open a window into that world. It also might help you decide whether to pursue that field in graduate school or in your future career.

How do you write an honors thesis?

Get an idea of what’s expected.

It’s a good idea to review some of the honors theses other students have submitted to get a sense of what an honors thesis might look like and what kinds of things might be appropriate topics. Look for examples from the previous year in the Carolina Digital Repository. You may also be able to find past theses collected in your major department or at the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library. Pay special attention to theses written by students who share your major.

Choose a topic

Ideally, you should start thinking about topics early in your junior year, so you can begin your research and writing quickly during your senior year. (Many departments require that you submit a proposal for an honors thesis project during the spring of your junior year.)

How should you choose a topic?

  • Read widely in the fields that interest you. Make a habit of browsing professional journals to survey the “hot” areas of research and to familiarize yourself with your field’s stylistic conventions. (You’ll find the most recent issues of the major professional journals in the periodicals reading room on the first floor of Davis Library).
  • Set up appointments to talk with faculty in your field. This is a good idea, since you’ll eventually need to select an advisor and a second reader. Faculty also can help you start narrowing down potential topics.
  • Look at honors theses from the past. The North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library holds UNC honors theses. To get a sense of the typical scope of a thesis, take a look at a sampling from your field.

What makes a good topic?

  • It’s fascinating. Above all, choose something that grips your imagination. If you don’t, the chances are good that you’ll struggle to finish.
  • It’s doable. Even if a topic interests you, it won’t work out unless you have access to the materials you need to research it. Also be sure that your topic is narrow enough. Let’s take an example: Say you’re interested in the efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and early 1980s. That’s a big topic that probably can’t be adequately covered in a single thesis. You need to find a case study within that larger topic. For example, maybe you’re particularly interested in the states that did not ratify the ERA. Of those states, perhaps you’ll select North Carolina, since you’ll have ready access to local research materials. And maybe you want to focus primarily on the ERA’s opponents. Beyond that, maybe you’re particularly interested in female opponents of the ERA. Now you’ve got a much more manageable topic: Women in North Carolina Who Opposed the ERA in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • It contains a question. There’s a big difference between having a topic and having a guiding research question. Taking the above topic, perhaps your main question is: Why did some women in North Carolina oppose the ERA? You will, of course, generate other questions: Who were the most outspoken opponents? White women? Middle-class women? How did they oppose the ERA? Public protests? Legislative petitions? etc. etc. Yet it’s good to start with a guiding question that will focus your research.

Goal-setting and time management

The senior year is an exceptionally busy time for college students. In addition to the usual load of courses and jobs, seniors have the daunting task of applying for jobs and/or graduate school. These demands are angst producing and time consuming If that scenario sounds familiar, don’t panic! Do start strategizing about how to make a time for your thesis. You may need to take a lighter course load or eliminate extracurricular activities. Even if the thesis is the only thing on your plate, you still need to make a systematic schedule for yourself. Most departments require that you take a class that guides you through the honors project, so deadlines likely will be set for you. Still, you should set your own goals for meeting those deadlines. Here are a few suggestions for goal setting and time management:

Start early. Keep in mind that many departments will require that you turn in your thesis sometime in early April, so don’t count on having the entire spring semester to finish your work. Ideally, you’ll start the research process the semester or summer before your senior year so that the writing process can begin early in the fall. Some goal-setting will be done for you if you are taking a required class that guides you through the honors project. But any substantive research project requires a clear timetable.

Set clear goals in making a timetable. Find out the final deadline for turning in your project to your department. Working backwards from that deadline, figure out how much time you can allow for the various stages of production.

Here is a sample timetable. Use it, however, with two caveats in mind:

  • The timetable for your thesis might look very different depending on your departmental requirements.
  • You may not wish to proceed through these stages in a linear fashion. You may want to revise chapter one before you write chapter two. Or you might want to write your introduction last, not first. This sample is designed simply to help you start thinking about how to customize your own schedule.

Sample timetable

Avoid falling into the trap of procrastination. Once you’ve set goals for yourself, stick to them! For some tips on how to do this, see our handout on procrastination .

Consistent production

It’s a good idea to try to squeeze in a bit of thesis work every day—even if it’s just fifteen minutes of journaling or brainstorming about your topic. Or maybe you’ll spend that fifteen minutes taking notes on a book. The important thing is to accomplish a bit of active production (i.e., putting words on paper) for your thesis every day. That way, you develop good writing habits that will help you keep your project moving forward.

Make yourself accountable to someone other than yourself

Since most of you will be taking a required thesis seminar, you will have deadlines. Yet you might want to form a writing group or enlist a peer reader, some person or people who can help you stick to your goals. Moreover, if your advisor encourages you to work mostly independently, don’t be afraid to ask them to set up periodic meetings at which you’ll turn in installments of your project.

Brainstorming and freewriting

One of the biggest challenges of a lengthy writing project is keeping the creative juices flowing. Here’s where freewriting can help. Try keeping a small notebook handy where you jot down stray ideas that pop into your head. Or schedule time to freewrite. You may find that such exercises “free” you up to articulate your argument and generate new ideas. Here are some questions to stimulate freewriting.

Questions for basic brainstorming at the beginning of your project:

  • What do I already know about this topic?
  • Why do I care about this topic?
  • Why is this topic important to people other than myself
  • What more do I want to learn about this topic?
  • What is the main question that I am trying to answer?
  • Where can I look for additional information?
  • Who is my audience and how can I reach them?
  • How will my work inform my larger field of study?
  • What’s the main goal of my research project?

Questions for reflection throughout your project:

  • What’s my main argument? How has it changed since I began the project?
  • What’s the most important evidence that I have in support of my “big point”?
  • What questions do my sources not answer?
  • How does my case study inform or challenge my field writ large?
  • Does my project reinforce or contradict noted scholars in my field? How?
  • What is the most surprising finding of my research?
  • What is the most frustrating part of this project?
  • What is the most rewarding part of this project?
  • What will be my work’s most important contribution?

Research and note-taking

In conducting research, you will need to find both primary sources (“firsthand” sources that come directly from the period/events/people you are studying) and secondary sources (“secondhand” sources that are filtered through the interpretations of experts in your field.) The nature of your research will vary tremendously, depending on what field you’re in. For some general suggestions on finding sources, consult the UNC Libraries tutorials . Whatever the exact nature of the research you’re conducting, you’ll be taking lots of notes and should reflect critically on how you do that. Too often it’s assumed that the research phase of a project involves very little substantive writing (i.e., writing that involves thinking). We sit down with our research materials and plunder them for basic facts and useful quotations. That mechanical type of information-recording is important. But a more thoughtful type of writing and analytical thinking is also essential at this stage. Some general guidelines for note-taking:

First of all, develop a research system. There are lots of ways to take and organize your notes. Whether you choose to use note cards, computer databases, or notebooks, follow two cardinal rules:

  • Make careful distinctions between direct quotations and your paraphrasing! This is critical if you want to be sure to avoid accidentally plagiarizing someone else’s work. For more on this, see our handout on plagiarism .
  • Record full citations for each source. Don’t get lazy here! It will be far more difficult to find the proper citation later than to write it down now.

Keeping those rules in mind, here’s a template for the types of information that your note cards/legal pad sheets/computer files should include for each of your sources:

Abbreviated subject heading: Include two or three words to remind you of what this sources is about (this shorthand categorization is essential for the later sorting of your sources).

Complete bibliographic citation:

  • author, title, publisher, copyright date, and page numbers for published works
  • box and folder numbers and document descriptions for archival sources
  • complete web page title, author, address, and date accessed for online sources

Notes on facts, quotations, and arguments: Depending on the type of source you’re using, the content of your notes will vary. If, for example, you’re using US Census data, then you’ll mainly be writing down statistics and numbers. If you’re looking at someone else’s diary, you might jot down a number of quotations that illustrate the subject’s feelings and perspectives. If you’re looking at a secondary source, you’ll want to make note not just of factual information provided by the author but also of their key arguments.

Your interpretation of the source: This is the most important part of note-taking. Don’t just record facts. Go ahead and take a stab at interpreting them. As historians Jacques Barzun and Henry F. Graff insist, “A note is a thought.” So what do these thoughts entail? Ask yourself questions about the context and significance of each source.

Interpreting the context of a source:

  • Who wrote/created the source?
  • When, and under what circumstances, was it written/created?
  • Why was it written/created? What was the agenda behind the source?
  • How was it written/created?
  • If using a secondary source: How does it speak to other scholarship in the field?

Interpreting the significance of a source:

  • How does this source answer (or complicate) my guiding research questions?
  • Does it pose new questions for my project? What are they?
  • Does it challenge my fundamental argument? If so, how?
  • Given the source’s context, how reliable is it?

You don’t need to answer all of these questions for each source, but you should set a goal of engaging in at least one or two sentences of thoughtful, interpretative writing for each source. If you do so, you’ll make much easier the next task that awaits you: drafting.

The dread of drafting

Why do we often dread drafting? We dread drafting because it requires synthesis, one of the more difficult forms of thinking and interpretation. If you’ve been free-writing and taking thoughtful notes during the research phase of your project, then the drafting should be far less painful. Here are some tips on how to get started:

Sort your “evidence” or research into analytical categories:

  • Some people file note cards into categories.
  • The technologically-oriented among us take notes using computer database programs that have built-in sorting mechanisms.
  • Others cut and paste evidence into detailed outlines on their computer.
  • Still others stack books, notes, and photocopies into topically-arranged piles.There is not a single right way, but this step—in some form or fashion—is essential!

If you’ve been forcing yourself to put subject headings on your notes as you go along, you’ll have generated a number of important analytical categories. Now, you need to refine those categories and sort your evidence. Everyone has a different “sorting style.”

Formulate working arguments for your entire thesis and individual chapters. Once you’ve sorted your evidence, you need to spend some time thinking about your project’s “big picture.” You need to be able to answer two questions in specific terms:

  • What is the overall argument of my thesis?
  • What are the sub-arguments of each chapter and how do they relate to my main argument?

Keep in mind that “working arguments” may change after you start writing. But a senior thesis is big and potentially unwieldy. If you leave this business of argument to chance, you may end up with a tangle of ideas. See our handout on arguments and handout on thesis statements for some general advice on formulating arguments.

Divide your thesis into manageable chunks. The surest road to frustration at this stage is getting obsessed with the big picture. What? Didn’t we just say that you needed to focus on the big picture? Yes, by all means, yes. You do need to focus on the big picture in order to get a conceptual handle on your project, but you also need to break your thesis down into manageable chunks of writing. For example, take a small stack of note cards and flesh them out on paper. Or write through one point on a chapter outline. Those small bits of prose will add up quickly.

Just start! Even if it’s not at the beginning. Are you having trouble writing those first few pages of your chapter? Sometimes the introduction is the toughest place to start. You should have a rough idea of your overall argument before you begin writing one of the main chapters, but you might find it easier to start writing in the middle of a chapter of somewhere other than word one. Grab hold where you evidence is strongest and your ideas are clearest.

Keep up the momentum! Assuming the first draft won’t be your last draft, try to get your thoughts on paper without spending too much time fussing over minor stylistic concerns. At the drafting stage, it’s all about getting those ideas on paper. Once that task is done, you can turn your attention to revising.

Peter Elbow, in Writing With Power, suggests that writing is difficult because it requires two conflicting tasks: creating and criticizing. While these two tasks are intimately intertwined, the drafting stage focuses on creating, while revising requires criticizing. If you leave your revising to the last minute, then you’ve left out a crucial stage of the writing process. See our handout for some general tips on revising . The challenges of revising an honors thesis may include:

Juggling feedback from multiple readers

A senior thesis may mark the first time that you have had to juggle feedback from a wide range of readers:

  • your adviser
  • a second (and sometimes third) faculty reader
  • the professor and students in your honors thesis seminar

You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of incorporating all this advice. Keep in mind that some advice is better than others. You will probably want to take most seriously the advice of your adviser since they carry the most weight in giving your project a stamp of approval. But sometimes your adviser may give you more advice than you can digest. If so, don’t be afraid to approach them—in a polite and cooperative spirit, of course—and ask for some help in prioritizing that advice. See our handout for some tips on getting and receiving feedback .

Refining your argument

It’s especially easy in writing a lengthy work to lose sight of your main ideas. So spend some time after you’ve drafted to go back and clarify your overall argument and the individual chapter arguments and make sure they match the evidence you present.

Organizing and reorganizing

Again, in writing a 50-75 page thesis, things can get jumbled. You may find it particularly helpful to make a “reverse outline” of each of your chapters. That will help you to see the big sections in your work and move things around so there’s a logical flow of ideas. See our handout on  organization  for more organizational suggestions and tips on making a reverse outline

Plugging in holes in your evidence

It’s unlikely that you anticipated everything you needed to look up before you drafted your thesis. Save some time at the revising stage to plug in the holes in your research. Make sure that you have both primary and secondary evidence to support and contextualize your main ideas.

Saving time for the small stuff

Even though your argument, evidence, and organization are most important, leave plenty of time to polish your prose. At this point, you’ve spent a very long time on your thesis. Don’t let minor blemishes (misspellings and incorrect grammar) distract your readers!

Formatting and final touches

You’re almost done! You’ve researched, drafted, and revised your thesis; now you need to take care of those pesky little formatting matters. An honors thesis should replicate—on a smaller scale—the appearance of a dissertation or master’s thesis. So, you need to include the “trappings” of a formal piece of academic work. For specific questions on formatting matters, check with your department to see if it has a style guide that you should use. For general formatting guidelines, consult the Graduate School’s Guide to Dissertations and Theses . Keeping in mind the caveat that you should always check with your department first about its stylistic guidelines, here’s a brief overview of the final “finishing touches” that you’ll need to put on your honors thesis:

  • Honors Thesis
  • Name of Department
  • University of North Carolina
  • These parts of the thesis will vary in format depending on whether your discipline uses MLA, APA, CBE, or Chicago (also known in its shortened version as Turabian) style. Whichever style you’re using, stick to the rules and be consistent. It might be helpful to buy an appropriate style guide. Or consult the UNC LibrariesYear Citations/footnotes and works cited/reference pages  citation tutorial
  • In addition, in the bottom left corner, you need to leave space for your adviser and faculty readers to sign their names. For example:

Approved by: _____________________

Adviser: Prof. Jane Doe

  • This is not a required component of an honors thesis. However, if you want to thank particular librarians, archivists, interviewees, and advisers, here’s the place to do it. You should include an acknowledgments page if you received a grant from the university or an outside agency that supported your research. It’s a good idea to acknowledge folks who helped you with a major project, but do not feel the need to go overboard with copious and flowery expressions of gratitude. You can—and should—always write additional thank-you notes to people who gave you assistance.
  • Formatted much like the table of contents.
  • You’ll need to save this until the end, because it needs to reflect your final pagination. Once you’ve made all changes to the body of the thesis, then type up your table of contents with the titles of each section aligned on the left and the page numbers on which those sections begin flush right.
  • Each page of your thesis needs a number, although not all page numbers are displayed. All pages that precede the first page of the main text (i.e., your introduction or chapter one) are numbered with small roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, v, etc.). All pages thereafter use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.).
  • Your text should be double spaced (except, in some cases, long excerpts of quoted material), in a 12 point font and a standard font style (e.g., Times New Roman). An honors thesis isn’t the place to experiment with funky fonts—they won’t enhance your work, they’ll only distract your readers.
  • In general, leave a one-inch inch margin on all sides. However, for the copy of your thesis that will be bound by the library, you need to leave a 1.25-inch margin on the left.

How do I defend my honors thesis?

Graciously, enthusiastically, and confidently. The term defense is scary and misleading—it conjures up images of a military exercise or an athletic maneuver. An academic defense ideally shouldn’t be a combative scene but a congenial conversation about the work’s merits and weaknesses. That said, the defense probably won’t be like the average conversation that you have with your friends. You’ll be the center of attention. And you may get some challenging questions. Thus, it’s a good idea to spend some time preparing yourself. First of all, you’ll want to prepare 5-10 minutes of opening comments. Here’s a good time to preempt some criticisms by frankly acknowledging what you think your work’s greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Then you may be asked some typical questions:

  • What is the main argument of your thesis?
  • How does it fit in with the work of Ms. Famous Scholar?
  • Have you read the work of Mr. Important Author?

NOTE: Don’t get too flustered if you haven’t! Most scholars have their favorite authors and books and may bring one or more of them up, even if the person or book is only tangentially related to the topic at hand. Should you get this question, answer honestly and simply jot down the title or the author’s name for future reference. No one expects you to have read everything that’s out there.

  • Why did you choose this particular case study to explore your topic?
  • If you were to expand this project in graduate school, how would you do so?

Should you get some biting criticism of your work, try not to get defensive. Yes, this is a defense, but you’ll probably only fan the flames if you lose your cool. Keep in mind that all academic work has flaws or weaknesses, and you can be sure that your professors have received criticisms of their own work. It’s part of the academic enterprise. Accept criticism graciously and learn from it. If you receive criticism that is unfair, stand up for yourself confidently, but in a good spirit. Above all, try to have fun! A defense is a rare opportunity to have eminent scholars in your field focus on YOU and your ideas and work. And the defense marks the end of a long and arduous journey. You have every right to be proud of your accomplishments!

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Atchity, Kenneth. 1986. A Writer’s Time: A Guide to the Creative Process from Vision Through Revision . New York: W.W. Norton.

Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. 2012. The Modern Researcher , 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Elbow, Peter. 1998. Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process . New York: Oxford University Press.

Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. 2014. “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing , 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Lamott, Anne. 1994. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life . New York: Pantheon.

Lasch, Christopher. 2002. Plain Style: A Guide to Written English. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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  • Honors Undergraduate Thesis
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Thesis Proposal Examples

The Honors Undergraduate Thesis program requires students to submit a research proposal to the Office of Honors Research prior to advancing to the Thesis semester.

Generally, a scientific research proposal will include a brief introduction to the research topic, a literature review, and a methodology that will explain how the student plans to meet the objectives of the research. A proposal in the Arts and Humanities will generally include an introduction and a creative work (e.g. screenplays, short stories, artwork) or theoretical analysis.

Students will create a signature cover page for the thesis proposal that will list the entire committee and HUT Liaison. The Thesis proposal cover page template can be found here .

The following are examples of substantially researched, properly formatted research proposals and their respective signature pages. These examples should be used for reference only and not necessarily as templates. Students should his or her Thesis Chair and committee regarding the structure of the proposal, information that should be present, and documentation style.

What is a Thesis Proposal?

A thesis proposal is a document that outlines the thesis topic, defines the issues that the thesis will address, and explains why the topic warrants further research. It should identify a problem and provide a proposed solution to that problem.

Proposals representative of the sciences (both hard sciences and social sciences) should generally include the following:

  • A brief introduction, which will define the thesis topic and explain the purpose of the thesis.
  • A literature review that outlines the most relevant readings and theories which pertain to the thesis topic.
  • A methodology section, which should include the research questions, hypotheses, participants, materials, and procedures.
  • A bibliography or reference list. Most of the sources should be from peer reviewed articles or books. As with other academic papers, the use of internet sources should be limited.

For students conducting more theoretical or comparative analyses, the structure could also take the form of chapters that define and specify each concept, and a concluding chapter that brings all of these ideas together.

For students in the arts, a proposal and thesis may take the form of a creative project. In this instance, the proposal may include:

  • A brief introduction, which includes the thesis statement, general intent of project, what the project should accomplish, and justification for considering the project a legitimate endeavor.
  • A literature review, which includes any supporting literature that justifies the intention of the project.
  • A method for accomplishing the project. Include any necessary background or equipment needed for the project, where the project will be conducted, and a proposed timeline for completion.
  • A bibliography or reference list.

An alternative structure would be for students who are writing their own short stories, novellas, or screenplays.

Here, the thesis should include a clear mastery of the skill set by producing chapters of the novella, poetry selections, or the working/final screenplay. [/accordion-item][/accordion]

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All Honors Students end their program with an Honors Thesis: a sustained, independent research project in a student’s field of study. Your thesis must count for at least 4 credits (some majors require that the thesis be completed over 2 semesters, and some require more than 4 credits). The thesis is an opportunity to work on unique research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. It often provides a writing sample for graduate school, and is also something you can share with employers to show what kind of work you can do. 

What is an Honors thesis?

Most of your work in college involves learning information and ideas generated by other people. When you write a thesis, you are engaging with previous work, but also adding new knowledge to your field. That means you have to know what's already been done--what counts as established knowledge; what's the current state of research; what methods and kinds of evidence are acceptable; what debates are going on. (Usually, you'll recount that knowledge in a review of the literature.) Then, you need to form a research question that you can answer given your available skills, resources, and time  (so, not "What is love?" but "How are ideas about love different between college freshmen and seniors?"). With your advisor, you'll plan the method you will use to answer it, which might involve lab work, field work, surveys, interviews, secondary research, textual analysis, or something else--it will depend upon your question and your field. Once your research is carried out, you'll write a substantial paper (usually 20-50 pages) according to the standards of your field.

What do theses look like?

The exact structure will vary by discipline, and your thesis advisor should provide you with an outline. As a rough guideline, we would expect to see something like the following:

1. Introduction 2. Review of the literature 3. Methods 4. Results 5. Analysis 6. Conclusion 7. Bibliography or works cited

In 2012 we began digitally archiving Honors theses. Students are encouraged to peruse the Honors Thesis Repository to see what past students' work has looked like. Use the link below and type your major in the search field on the left to find relevant examples. Older Honors theses are available in the Special Collections & Archives department at Dimond Library. 

Browse Previous Theses

Will my thesis count as my capstone?

Most majors accept an Honors Thesis as fulfilling the Capstone requirement. However, there are exceptions. In some majors, the thesis counts as a major elective, and in a few, it is an elective that does not fulfill major requirements. Your major advisor and your Honors advisor can help you figure out how your thesis will count. Please note that while in many majors the thesis counts as the capstone, the converse does not necessarily apply. There are many capstone experiences that do not take the form of an Honors thesis. 

Can I do a poster and presentation for my thesis?

No. While you do need to present your thesis (see below), a poster and presentation are not a thesis. 

How do I choose my thesis advisor?

The best thesis advisor is an experienced researcher, familiar with disciplinary standards for research and writing, with expertise in your area of interest. You might connect with a thesis advisor during Honors-in-Major coursework, but Honors Liaisons  can assist students who are having trouble identifying an advisor. You should approach and confirm your thesis advisor before the semester in which your research will begin.

What if I need funds for my research?

The  Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research  offers research grants, including summer support. During the academic year, students registered in credit-bearing thesis courses may apply for an  Undergraduate Research Award for up to $600 in research expenses (no stipend).  Students who are not otherwise registered in a credit-bearing course for their thesis research may enroll in INCO 790: Advanced Research Experience, which offers up to $200 for research expenses.

What if I need research materials for a lengthy period?

No problem! Honors Students can access Extended Time borrowing privileges at Dimond Library, which are otherwise reserved for faculty and graduate students. Email [email protected] with note requesting “extended borrowing privileges” and we'll work with the Library to extend your privileges.

Can I get support to stay on track?

Absolutely! Thesis-writers have an opportunity to join a support group during the challenging and sometimes isolating period of writing a thesis. Learn more about thesis support here .

When should I complete my thesis?

Register for a Senior Honors Thesis course (often numbered 799) in the spring and/or fall of your Senior year.

This “course” is an independent study, overseen by your Thesis Advisor. Your advisor sets the standards, due dates, and grades for your project. It must earn at least a B in order to qualify for Honors.

What happens with my completed thesis?

Present your thesis.

All students must publicly present their research prior to graduation. Many present at the  Undergraduate Research Conference  in April; other departmentally-approved public events are also acceptable.

Publish your thesis:

Honors students are asked to make their thesis papers available on . This creates a resource for future students and other researchers, and also helps students professionalize their online personas.

These theses are publicly available online. If a student or their advisor prefers not to make the work available, they may upload an abstract and/or excerpts from the work instead.

Students may also publish research in  Inquiry , UNH's undergraduate research journal.

University Honors Program

  • Honors withdrawal form
  • Discovery Flex Option
  • Honors Thesis Support Group
  • Designating a Course as Honors
  • Honors track registration
  • Spring 2024 Honors Discovery Courses
  • Honors Discovery Seminars
  • Engagement Meet-Ups (EMUs)

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Thesis Structure

This page outlines the stages of an honours thesis and provides links to other pages that will give you more information and some examples from past theses.

A diagram of possible steps to planning an essay.

Stages of a thesis (in order)

Write this last. It is an overview of your whole thesis, and is between 200-300 words.

See writing abstracts for honours theses for what to include in your abstract or see some example abstracts .


Usually longer than an abstract, and provides the following:

  • background to the topic;
  • brief review of current knowledge (Can include literature review in some schools);
  • indicates gap in knowledge, states aim of your research and how it fits into the gap;
  • can include hypotheses; can include an outline of the following chapters.

See thesis introductions exercises for more information.

  • Literature review

Often part of the Introduction, but can be a separate section. It is an evaluation of previous research on your topic, where you show that there is a gap in the knowledge that your research will attempt to fill. The key word here is evaluation.

See literature reviews for more information and examples to get you started on your literature review.

Often the easiest part of the thesis to write. Outlines which method you chose and why (your methodology); what, when, where, how and why you did what you did to get your results.

Here are some sample methods .

Outlines what you found out in relation to your research questions or hypotheses, presented in figures and in written text.

Results contain the facts of your research. Often you will include a brief comment on the significance of key results, with the expectation that more generalised comments about results will be made in the Discussion section. Sometimes Results and Discussion are combined: check with your supervisor and with highly rated past theses in your School.

Here are some suggestions for writing up results .

The Discussion section:

  • comments on your results;
  • explains what your results mean;
  • interprets your results in a wider context; indicates which results were expected or unexpected;
  • provides explanations for unexpected results.

The Discussion should also relate your specific results to previous research or theory. You should point out what the limitations were of your study, and note any questions that remain unanswered. The Discussion CAN also include Conclusions/Future Research. Check with your supervisor.

See our theses in discussion page for more information or try these exercises .

  • Conclusions

Very important! This is where you emphasise that your research aims/objectives have been achieved.

You also emphasise the most significant results, note the limitations and make suggestions for further research.

Conclusions can include Future Directions. Check with your supervisor.

For more information see conclusions in honours theses or sample conclusions .

Engineering & science

  • Report writing
  • Technical writing
  • Writing lab reports
  • Introductions
  • Writing up results
  • Discussions
  • Writing tools
  • Case study report in (engineering)
  • ^ More support

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Honors Program

Thesis examples.

  • Thesis Supervisor
  • Online Submission Instructions
  • Online Approval Instructions
  • Thesis Extensions
  • Publishing in Open Commons

At this point in your college career you are probably most used to projects that can be completed in the span of one semester. Your thesis project will likely span multiple semesters and may be larger than any project you’ve taken on in the past. For those reasons alone, it’s important to look at examples.

Examples can also help you:

  • Learn about potential topics
  • Think creatively and reflectively about your interests and how you will contribute to your field
  • Determine scope and scale of an Honors thesis (as opposed to a Master’s thesis or Doctoral dissertation)
  • Identify potential thesis supervisors
  • Understand methods that may be beneficial in completing your thesis

There are two ways to search:

  • UConn’s Open Commons contains many recent Honors theses.
  • by author’s last name
  • by author’s major
  • by thesis supervisor
  • by the thesis supervisor’s department

If a thesis is available in Open Commons, the title will be hyperlinked within the above PDF files.  Hard copy theses from and 2019 are currently stored in the Honors Program office but are moving soon to the Archives.  Theses from 2018 and older are in the University Archives located at the Dodd Research Center. If you wish to see an older thesis, you must make arrangements through Betsy Pittman at the University Archives Office.

Thesis from 2020 and newer are not available for viewing. They would only be available if the author posted it to Open Commons and it was linked in the PDF’s above.

Note: Questions about the PDFs may be directed to the Honors Program Office .

Department of Philosophy

Writing an Honors Thesis

An Honors Thesis is a substantial piece of independent research that an undergraduate carries out over two semesters. Students writing Honors Theses take PHIL 691H and 692H, in two different semesters. What follows answers all the most common questions about Honors Theses in Philosophy.

All necessary forms are downloadable and may be found in bold, underlined text below.

Who can write an Honors Thesis in Philosophy?

Any Philosophy major who has a total, cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 and a GPA of at least 3.5 (with a maximum of one course with a PS grade) among their PHIL courses can in principle write an Honors Thesis. In addition, students need to satisfy a set of specific pre-requisites, as outlined below.

What are the pre-requisites for an Honors Thesis in Philosophy?

The requirements for writing an Honors Thesis in Philosophy include

  • having taken at least five PHIL courses, including two numbered higher than 299;
  • having a total PHIL GPA of at least 3.5 (with a maximum of one course with a PS grade); and
  • having done one of the following four things:
  • taken and passed PHIL 397;
  • successfully completed an Honors Contract associated with a PHIL course;
  • received an A or A- in a 300-level course in the same area of philosophy as the proposed thesis ; or
  • taken and passed a 400-level course in the same area of philosophy as the proposed thesis .

When should I get started?

You should get started with the application process and search for a prospective advisor the semester before you plan to start writing your thesis – that is, the semester before the one in which you want to take PHIL 691H.

Often, though not always, PHIL 691H and 692H are taken in the fall and spring semesters of the senior year, respectively. It is also possible to start earlier and take 691H in the spring semester of the junior year and PHIL 692H in the fall of the senior year. Starting earlier has some important advantages. One is that it means you will finish your thesis in time to use it as a writing sample, should you decide to apply to graduate school. Another is that it avoids a mad rush near the very end of your last semester.

How do I get started?

Step 1: fill out the honors thesis application.

The first thing you need to do is fill out an Honors Thesis Application   and submit it to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for their approval.

Step 2: Find an Honors Thesis Advisor with the help of the DUS

Once you have been approved to write an Honors Thesis, you will consult with the DUS about the project that you have in mind and about which faculty member would be an appropriate advisor for your thesis. It is recommended that you reach out informally to prospective advisors to talk about their availability and interest in your project ahead of time, and that you include those suggestions in your application, but it is not until your application has been approved that the DUS will officially invite the faculty member of your choice to serve as your advisor. You will be included in this correspondence and will receive written confirmation from your prospective advisor.

Agreeing to be the advisor for an Honors Thesis is a major commitment, so bear in mind that there is a real possibility that someone asked to be your advisor will say no. Unfortunately, if we cannot find an advisor, you cannot write an Honors Thesis.

Step 3: Fill out the required paperwork needed to register for PHIL 691H

Finally, preferably one or two weeks before the start of classes (or as soon as you have secured the commitment of a faculty advisor), you need to fill out an Honors Thesis Contract and an Honors Thesis Learning Contract , get them both signed by your advisor, and email them to the DUS.

Once the DUS approves both of these forms, they’ll get you registered for PHIL 691H. All of this should take place no later than the 5th day of classes in any given semester (preferably sooner).

What happens when I take PHIL 691H and PHIL 692H?

PHIL 691H and PHIL 692H are the course numbers that you sign up for to get credit for working on an Honors Thesis. These classes have official meeting times and places. In the case of PHIL 691H , those are a mere formality: You will meet with your advisor at times you both agree upon. But in the case of PHIL 692H , they are not a mere formality: The class will actually meet as a group, at least for the first few weeks of the semester (please see below).

When you take PHIL 691H, you should meet with your advisor during the first 5 days of classes and, if you have not done so already, fill out an Honors Thesis Learning Contract  and turn in to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) . This Contract will serve as your course syllabus and must be turned in and approved no later than the 5th day of classes in any given semester (preferably sooner). Once the DUS approves your Honors Thesis Learning Contract, they’ll get you registered for PHIL 691H.

Over the course of the semester, you will meet regularly with your advisor. By the last day of classes, you must turn in a 10-page paper on your thesis topic; this can turn out to be part of your final thesis, but it doesn’t have to. In order to continue working on an Honors Thesis the following semester, this paper must show promise of your ability to complete one, in the opinion of your advisor. Your advisor should assign you a grade of “ SP ” at the conclusion of the semester, signifying “satisfactory progress” (so you can move on to PHIL 692H). Please see page 3 of this document for more information.

When you take PHIL 692H, you’ll still need to work with your advisor to fill out an Honors Thesis Learning Contract . This Contract will serve as your course syllabus and must be turned in to and approved by the DUS  no later than the 5th day of classes in any given semester (preferably sooner).

Once the DUS approves your Honors Thesis Learning Contract, they’ll get you registered for PHIL 692H.

At the end of the second semester of senior honors thesis work (PHIL 692H), your advisor should assign you a permanent letter grade. Your advisor should also change your PHIL 691H grade from “ SP ” to a permanent letter grade. Please see page 3 of this document for more information.

The Graduate Course Option

If you and your advisor agree, you may exercise the Graduate Course Option. If you do this, then during the semester when you are enrolled in either PHIL 691H or PHIL 692H, you will attend and do the work for a graduate level PHIL course. (You won’t be officially enrolled in that course.) A paper you write for this course will be the basis for your Honors Thesis. If you exercise this option, then you will be excused from the other requirements of the thesis course (either 691H or 692H) that you are taking that semester.

Who can be my advisor?

Any faculty member on a longer-than-one-year contract in the Department of Philosophy may serve as your honors thesis advisor. You will eventually form a committee of three professors, of which one can be from outside the Department.  But your advisor must have an appointment in the Philosophy Department. Graduate Students are not eligible to advise Honors Theses.

Who should be my advisor?

Any faculty member on a longer-than-one-year contract in the Department of Philosophy may serve as your honors thesis advisor. It makes most sense to ask a professor who already knows you from having had you as a student in a class. In some cases, though, this is either not possible, or else there is someone on the faculty who is an expert on the topic you want to write about, but from whom you have not taken a class. Information about which faculty members are especially qualified to advise thesis projects in particular areas of philosophy can be found  here .

What about the defense?

You and your advisor should compose a committee of three professors (including the advisor) who will examine you and your thesis. Once the committee is composed, you will need to schedule an oral examination, a.k.a. a defense. You should take the initiative here, communicating with all members of your committee in an effort to find a block of time (a little over an hour) when all three of you can meet. The thesis must be defended by a deadline , set by Honors Carolina , which is usually a couple of weeks before the end of classes. Students are required to upload the final version of their thesis to the  Carolina Digital Repository  by the final day of class in the semester in which they complete the thesis course work and thesis defense.

What is an Honors Thesis in Philosophy like?

An Honors Thesis in Philosophy is a piece of writing in the same genre as a typical philosophy journal article. There is no specific length requirement, but 30 pages (double-spaced) is a good guideline. Some examples of successfully defended Honors The easiest way to find theses of past philosophy students is on the web in the Carolina Digital Repository . Some older, hard copies of theses are located on the bookshelf in suite 107 of Caldwell Hall. (You may ask the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) , or anyone else who happens to be handy, to show you where it is!)

How does the Honors Thesis get evaluated?

The honors thesis committee will evaluate the quality and originality of your thesis as well as of your defense and then decides between the following three options:

  • they may award only course credit for the thesis work if the thesis is of acceptable quality;
  • they may designate that the student graduate with honors if the thesis is of a very strong quality;
  • they may  recommend  that the student graduate with highest honors if the thesis is of exceptional quality.

As a matter of best practice, our philosophy department requires that examining committees refer all candidates for highest honors to our Undergraduate Committee chaired by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. This committee evaluates nominated projects and makes the final decision on awarding highest honors. Highest honors should be awarded only to students who have met the most rigorous standards of scholarly excellence.

Honors & Theses

Closeup of faculty member typing

The Honors Thesis: An opportunity to do innovative and in-depth research.  

An honors thesis gives students the opportunity to conduct in-depth research into the areas of government that inspire them the most. Although, it’s not a requirement in the Department of Government, the honors thesis is both an academic challenge and a crowning achievement at Harvard. The faculty strongly encourages students to write an honors thesis and makes itself available as a resource to those students who do. Students work closely with the thesis advisor of their choice throughout the writing process. Approximately 30% of Government concentrators each year choose to write a thesis.

Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in Government  

You undoubtedly have many questions about what writing a thesis entails. We have answers for you. Please read  A Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in Government , which you can download as a PDF below. If you still have questions or concerns after you have read through this document, we encourage you to reach out to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Nara Dillon ( [email protected] ), the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Gabriel Katsh ( [email protected] ), or the Undergraduate Program Manager, Karen Kaletka ( [email protected] ).  


Updated January 2022

Honors English students, following Schreyer Honors College requirements, compose a thesis of significant scholarly research or creative writing. The thesis is completed in close consultation with a thesis supervisor during the semester before the student’s graduation semester, while the student is enrolled in English 494H.

In the graduation semester, students polish and submit their theses for approval by the thesis supervisor and the honors advisor and then submit them to Schreyer Honors College. Dates of final submission vary; please consult your honors advisor and the Schreyer website .

An Honors Thesis in English

An English honors thesis in scholarly research and interpretation should be an ambitious, well-researched, in-depth study focused on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the thesis supervisor.

An English honors thesis in creative writing should be a sophisticated and well-crafted creative project written in consultation with the thesis supervisor, a project that demonstrates the student’s increasing proficiency of their chosen creative genre(s).

The Critical/Literary Studies Thesis

A critical / literary studies thesis might arise from a range of possibilities: a course paper you would like to extend; an interest you were unable to pursue in class; a connection between two classes that you’ve made on your own; an author, set of works, or theme you want to explore in greater depth; a critical question that has been puzzling you; a body of literature that you want to contextualize; a topic relevant to post-graduate plans (e.g., law school, graduate school, marketing career, writing career, and so forth). Consider also your skill sets, your workload and experiences, and the timeline for completion. The questions you’re asking should be open to productive analysis, questions worth asking.

The topic should challenge you, so that you’re neither summarizing nor skimming the surface of the primary and secondary work under consideration. Chapters within the thesis should build upon each other and connect to an overarching theme or argument. The thesis should be as clear and concise as possible. Make sure the argument is structured, with each chapter and each paragraph having a clear role to play in the development of the argument.

Because the thesis is a scholarly product, it will demonstrate good research skills and effective use of secondary readings. It will also be grammatically correct. Your work will be entering existing critical conversations with other scholarship, so your research should be sufficiently completed prior to your finalizing the thesis plan. Your work should have properly formatted notes and bibliography, whether in Chicago, MLA, or APA style.

Note length stipulations: Honors theses in critical / literary studies may be as short as 8,000 words but no longer than 15,000 words. If the thesis is shorter or longer than these advised limits, explain your thinking and decision-making in the introduction of your thesis.

The Creative Thesis

The creative thesis will be an innovative, stylistically sophisticated work, attentive to language and voice. The work should develop a sustained narrative or theme. Most students who write creative theses produce a collection of short stories or personal essays, a novella, a memoir, a research-based piece of creative nonfiction or a collection of poems. It is very, very difficult to write a novel in one semester, so unless you already have a novel underway, writing a novel is probably not a realistic thesis project. Creative works should be unified (by theme, by topic, or in some other way).

Students should already have taken a 200-level creative writing workshop in the chosen genre(s) and a 300- or 400-level workshop in this same genre(s). (You can be signed up to take the 400-level workshop in 494H semester.) Ideally, students will have studied creative writing with the faculty member who will serve as supervisor, but note that this is a suggestion and not a requirement. Schedule an initial meeting with your prospective thesis supervisor to discuss your plans for the execution of your creative work.

Note this requirement! Creative works will offer an introductory reflective essay (five to eight pages) outlining the project’s aims and placing the project into the context of the style and/or themes of work by other authors. The introductory reflection should address how your creative project complements or challenges work done by others. It should 1) explain the goals of the project and 2) place it into the context of relevant creative or critical texts. Any works referred to in this essay should be documented using Chicago, MLA, of APA style.

Note length stipulations: Honors theses in creative writing may be as short as 8,000 words but no longer than 15,000 words. If the thesis is shorter or longer than these advised limits, explain your thinking and decision-making in the introductory reflective essay. 

The Thesis Supervisor

Schreyer Honors College requires thesis proposals to be submitted in early April of the year before graduation. For this reason, you must have a thesis supervisor by March, so that you can draft your proposal under the supervisor’s direction.

The first step in finding a thesis supervisor is having a meeting with your honors advisor in order to talk through your thesis interests. When identifying a thesis supervisor, consider professors with whom you have a good rapport; professors whose creative or scholarly interests seem like they might dovetail with your own; professors willing to oversee experimental work. You do not need an exact match with any given professor’s work or interests. For instance, a professor’s methodology might fit yours, even if the focus of their research differs.

Before approaching a potential thesis supervisor, meet with your honors advisor to confirm that this would be an appropriate fit for you. After meeting with your honors advisor, you will be making an appointment to meet with the potential thesis supervisor. During that meeting, you will offer some plans with concrete ideas. Be open-minded. Be prepared to listen to alternatives. Discuss the professor’s willingness to supervise the thesis. (Sometimes faculty are already committed to other projects.) If a faculty member cannot agree to supervise, use the opportunity to ask for further suggestions about your topic and a potentially appropriate supervisor, then check back in with your honors advisor.

Crafting the Thesis Proposal

For students graduating in the spring semester of any given year, thesis proposals are due in early April of the prior year. As with other deadlines, the Schreyer Honors College will prompt you to complete the thesis proposal form on the SRS site. Start planning the thesis as soon as a supervisor has been identified. Look at other proposals and at completed theses for good models. Read one or two award-winning theses to get a sense of the scope and depth of a successful thesis: < >.

Critical / literary studies thesis proposals will articulate the questions being asked, identify the primary and secondary materials to be used, and hypothesize about a general argument to be made. You might not have specified your conclusions yet, but a well formulated set of questions is key.

Creative thesis proposals will identify the genre(s) of writing, identify the writing method and approach, and situate the work within the critical context of that genre.

Both kinds of theses require, at the proposal stage, a bibliography (in standard documentation format) of sources consulted. This will reveal how your project is in conversation with other relevant work.

Once you have drafted the thesis proposal, consult with your proposed thesis supervisor and your honors advisor, allowing them sufficient time to offer suggestions. Do not submit a proposal without getting the approval of your thesis supervisor and honors advisor! Expect to get feedback on your plans. Give your thesis supervisor and your honors advisor time to respond to your proposal draft, because it’s complicated to make changes once you submit the form for them to sign off on.

Planning the Project

One semester prior to the ENGL 494 semester, consult with your thesis supervisor to develop a reading list to be completed before you start writing. For theses written in the fall (for May graduation), this will be summer reading; for theses written in the spring (for December graduation), this reading will have to be compacted over the holiday break.

For critical / literary studies theses, read in both primary (the literature, films, authors, or evidence you are analyzing) and secondary materials (articles and books about your topic).

For creative theses , read primary texts in your chosen genre, along with such secondary sources as reviews of these works and articles and books about writing and the writer’s life.

Finding primary materials. The primary materials you’re using should extend beyond what you’ve done in classwork, but do not take on too much. In the end, the quality of the analysis matters much more than pages generated. If you can sustain an analysis of a single novel for fifty pages, offer a thorough account of the secondary criticism on that novel and make a real contribution to that criticism. Note, however, that a twenty-five page plot summary of a single novel is not worthy of honors in English.

Finding secondary materials. Look for important secondary studies offering fresh and provocative approaches to your topic or genre as well as studies that articulate the relationship between your topic and general literary history.

Library and internet databases will assist your work . Library databases of both primary and secondary writings can assist your background research. Think flexibly about useful keywords for searching databases. Also, consider using the resources found in the notes of scholars whose work you have discovered. Using other scholars’ resources will assist your work in identifying pertinent additional primary and secondary sources. If two or three very current articles cite the same older work, you have probably found a foundational critical study.

Look into possible grants to assist your work. Schreyer Research Grants, Erickson Grants, and Liberal Arts Enrichment Grants are available. Consult with the Schreyer Honors College about summer research funding, research travel funding, and other ways to support ambitious research projects. Erickson grants and Liberal Arts Enrichment Grants are available to rising seniors who will incur expenses for their research. If you are a Paterno Fellow, ask the fellows assistant if grants might be available to assist your work. Also consult this link:

Preliminary Research/Writing and the 494H Semester

During the semester and/or break before the 494H semester, set a rigorous schedule for reading and note-taking. Of course, you will continue to read while you are writing during that semester. But concentrate now on getting the foundation for what you want to say.

Work on developing connections and ideas across your readings. Take the time to take notes! As you continue reading, you might find that your ideas and goals change. That’s a success! Be aware that if your original idea isn’t going anywhere, you need to keep pushing to find a new idea. If your sources aren’t helping you develop new ideas, find new sources.

Try putting findings or notes or creative materials into a preliminary outline of your thesis chapters, so that you can construct a fuller outline before you formally start writing during the 494H semester. Writing is a form of thinking, so start writing and see where your ideas go. Drafting helps refine both ideas and purpose.

Keep in contact with your thesis supervisor. You can use email for this, or zoom, if your professor prefers. Let your supervisor know about how your reading is going and any new ideas you have.

Strategies for success in the 494H semester

Remember you are getting three honors course credits for ENGL 494, so treat this time commitment seriously! Three credits total 135 hours, so use your time wisely. Incorporate time into your schedule for the multiple drafts of each section.

Set aside time each week for your thesis preparation and writing.

Plan to meet with your thesis supervisor on a regular basis (every other week is typical) throughout the semester. Set up a schedule and keep to it. Remember that the thesis supervisor has agreed to help you with your work, so respect your supervisor’s time. Don’t miss meetings or have nothing to show. Set deadlines for the submission of each chapter with your thesis supervisor.

Be responsible: Aim to allow your supervisor two weeks to read and respond to your written work. Be in regular communication with your thesis supervisor. Also, don’t make your thesis supervisor or the honors advisors track you down. Arrive at meetings promptly. If the honors advisor or thesis supervisor drops you a line by email, answer it promptly. Even if – especially if – you fall behind, stay in communication with thesis supervisor and with the honors advisor.

Remember that advice is given to you to help you improve. Listen to your thesis supervisor’s advice and suggestions. If your honors advisor, your second reader, offers suggestions, listen to these suggestions, too! Follow the advice or else respond in a mature and informed way. If you disagree with suggestions offered you, or if you wish to go in another direction, initiate a fruitful dialogue with your supervisor or honors advisor about the project. Let your supervisor and honors advisor know that you are listening.

The Graded Thesis Draft Submitted During the 494H Semester

A complete draft of your thesis is due at the end of the 494H semester.

The thesis supervisor evaluates your consistent progress toward completion, your regular communication about your work, and your effort to acknowledge and use the supervisor’s feedback. Your supervisor is the one who determines your grade, even though the honors advisors are the professors of record for the 494H course. Remember that the grade for 494H evaluates your draft, not the final thesis.

The grade for 494H evaluates the student in the following areas: 1) consistent progress in thesis planning, research, and writing; 2) regular communication with the thesis supervisor through the 494H semester; 3) attention, in revision, to the supervisor’s advice. Thesis supervisors will take into account any additional expectations particular to a thesis topic, the ambition and originality of the developing project, and, in the case of critical / literary theses, the student’s growing skills in employing secondary sources in original ways.

Revision and Submission of Thesis

The final thesis is due according to the Schreyer Honors College’s deadline, near the middle of the student’s final semester. The Schreyer Honors College’s deadlines are firm. The first Schreyer deadline is for formatting approval. Students are responsible for making sure to follow the most up-to-date formatting and submission guidelines on the Schreyer website. See the guidelines:

At the time the thesis is submitted to Schreyer for format approval, submit the final draft to your thesis supervisor and honors advisor. The honors advisor might require revisions concerning the clarity of presentation to non-specialist readers, grammar and usage errors, and so forth. You must have the approval of your supervisor and your honors advisor for your thesis to be approved by Schreyer, so be sure to take seriously the feedback offered at this point.

The second Schreyer deadline is for final submission, at which point your thesis supervisor and your honors advisor must approve your thesis. Follow the Schreyer guidelines for submitting the final version of your thesis and getting the digital signatures of approval from your thesis supervisor and your honors advisor.

For questions, please contact the English Honors Co-Advisors, Professors Claire Colebrook and Carla Mulford .

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thesis for honours

Economics Undergraduate Honors Theses

Examples of honors theses written by economics undergraduate students.

Posted with permission of the author. © 2019-2022 by the individual author. All rights reserved.

  • "The Causal Effect of ACA Subsidies on Insurance Coverage Status Among California Adults"  - William Vereyken
  • "Economic Impacts of Immigration Detention Centers Built Between 1990-2016 on U.S. Commuting Zones"  - Ekaterina Yudina

Spring/Summer 2022

  • "The Impact of Indiv. Mandate on High-Income, Non-elderly Indiv. Health Insurance Coverage Rates and Racial/Ethnic Disparities"  - YeJin Ahn
  • "An Economic Analysis of the 1997 Amhara Land Redistribution in Ethiopia"  - Ezana Anley
  • "Affirmative Action's Effect on Educational and Wage Outcomes for Underrepresented Minorities"  - Vishnu G. Arul
  • "Are the Effects of Racism Really That Black and White? A Study on the Effect Racism Has on the Productivity of Black   Footballers in the Premier League"  - Advik Banerjee
  • "An Empirical Analysis of Industrial Concentration and Prices: Can We Blame Inflation on Corporate Greed?"  - Anton Bobrov
  • "Tax Revenue Cyclicality and Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Counties From 1989 to 2019"  - Yiyang Chen
  • "The Impact of Economic Opportunities on African American Migration Patterns in Oakland"  - Fernando Cheung
  • "Impact of Tech Companies on Wages in the Local Economy"  - Niki Collette
  • "Warm Welcome: Evidence for Weather-based Projection Bias in College Choice"  - Maria Cullen
  • "Impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on Bilateral Trade with China"  - Pedro de Marcos
  • "Renaissance of the Black Homeowner: Impact Evaluation of Michigan's Renaissance Zones"  - Rupsha Debnath
  • "Lockdown Blues: The Effect of Social Norms on the Psychological Cost of Unemployment During the COVID-19 Pandemic"  - Dylan Hallahan
  • "How Education Affects Health Outcomes Across Genders"  - Jessica Li
  • "Is Increasing Diversity Inclusion Effective in Improving Companies' Performance in the Financial Services Industry?"  - Miranda Li
  • "The Future Financial Status of the Social Security Program"  - Chloe Manouchehri
  • "Does Recreational Marijuana Legalization Affect Hard-Drug Use? - Evidence from Cocaine Prevalence and Treatment Admissions"  - Arthur Weiss
  • "Relationship Between Economic Status and Money Spent on Private Education Leading to Economic Inequality in South Korea"  - Jiho Lee
  • "The Impact of Migrant Remittances on Rural Labor Supply: Evidence from Nepal"  - Amanda Wong
  • "Confirmation Bias: The Role of Messages and Messengers"  - Hongyu (Randol) Yao

Spring 2021

  • "Gender Equality and Economic Growth: Solving the Asian Puzzle"  - Zoya Ali
  • "Women in STEM: Moving Up or Falling Off the Academic Career Ladder?"  - Sophia J. Bai
  • "Time Dependence in Okun's Law at the State Level" - Sarah Baig
  • "Labor Regulation and the Impact on Firm Behavior in India" - Vatsal Bajaj
  • "Gender Representation in Academia: Evidence from the Italian Education System Reform" - Oyundari Batbayar
  • "Money & Marriage on the Elementary Mind: A High-Level Analysis of Inequitable Child Development in LA County" - Matthew J. Chang
  • "Unanticipated Unemployment Rate News on the Stock Market" - David Chi
  • "Should Physicians Be More Collaborative? Determining the Relationship Between Patient Participation and Treatment Plan Confidence Across a Spectrum of Illness Severity in the State of California" - Saif Chowdhury
  • "Modeling Optimal Investment and Greenhouse Gas Abatement in the Presence of Technology Spillovers" - Sabrina Chui
  • "Understanding the Influence of Marginal Income Tax Rates on Retirement Investment Habits"  - Daniel Cohen
  • "Infrastructure in India's Internal War: A District-Level Analysis of the Naxalite-Maoist Conflict" - Krunal Desai
  • "Do Eucalyptus Trees Increase Wildfires?"  - Lila Englander
  • "Understanding the Labor Outcomes of Hurricane Sandy" - Kevin Fang
  • "Does TikTok Show Viewers the Content Relevant to them?" - Ekaterina Fedorova
  • "The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Dependent Care Provision on Long-term Young Adult Labor Market Choices" - Anne Fogarty
  • "Orchestra Sex Disparity: Experimental Evidence from Audience Members" - Richard Gong
  • "The Big Three Medical Price Indexes: A Comparative Review and Analysis"  - Robert Hovakimyan
  • "Effect of Value-Added-Services on Customer Reviews in a Platform Marketplace" - Shankar Krishnan
  • "COVID19 Recession: Gender Layoff Gap Explodes" - Ember Lin-Sperry
  • "The Gender Wage Gap in China: Learning from Recent Longitudinal Data" - Donghe Lyu
  • "Local Graduation Policies as a Tool for Increasing College Eligibility: Evidence from Los Angeles" - Dan L. Ma
  • "Trust in Government and Lockdown Compliance in Sub-Saharan Africa" - Charles McMurry
  • "I Do (or Don't): The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on International Tourism" - Oliver McNeil
  • "International Shipping Consequences of a Navigable Arctic" - Jack Melin
  • "Investigating Dollar Invoicing Trends Using United Kingdom Export Data" - Aneesh Nathani
  • "Micro-Level Impact of Initial Public Offerings on Bay Area Housing Inflation" - Mina Nezam-Mafi
  • "Explaining EU's Oil Dependency Through the Response of the Portuguese Sector Indexes to Brent Oil Prices Fluctuations" - Pedro S. Nunes
  • "Dynamic Incentives and Effort Provision in Professional Tennis Tournaments" - Ruiwen Pan
  • "Examining the Effects of Minimum Wage Laws on Part-Time Employment" - Odysseus Pyrinis
  • "The Great Indian Identity Crisis? Exclusions & Intersectionality in the Indian Aadhaar System" - Aditi Ramakrishnan
  • "The 'Clutch Gene' Myth: An Analysis of Late-Game Shooting Performance in the NBA"  - Can Sarioz
  • "Estimating the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Jobs Within the Healthcare Industry" - Sidharth Satya
  • "Factors Influencing Telehealth Utilization: Evidence from California" - Emily Schultz
  • "Cash and Conflict: Evidence from the Indian Banknote Demonetization" - Nachiket Shah
  • "Determinants of the Number of Anti-Government Demonstrations: Evidence from OECD Countries" - Nina Singiri
  • "Hygiene Heroes: A Process Evaluation of Promoting Hygiene Practices in Tamil Nadu Schools" - Malika Sugathapala
  • "Exploring the Labour Patterns of Women and Mothers Through the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impact of School Closures and a New Kind of Recession"  - Renee Isabel Utter
  • "How Have Socioeconomic Achievement Determinants Changed in the Past Decade for First-Generation Chinese Immigrants in the U.S." - Haolin Wang
  • "The Impact of Quarantining on School Enrollment: Evidence from the Ebola Epidemic in Sierra Leone" - David Willigrod
  • "Weeding out Needy Households and Welcoming the Better Off? Impacts of Transactional Barriers on SNAP Participation Rates" - Kevin Woo
  • "Are Soccer Teams Being Inefficient? An Analysis of Sunk Cost Fallacy and Recency Bias Using Transfer Fee" - Junru Lyu
  • "The Effects of Access to Family Planning Facilities on Female Labor Market Outcomes"  - Marcus Sander
  • "Macroeconomic Volatility at the Zero Lower Bound: Evidence from the OECD" - Anthony Swaminathan
  • "How are Society's Conditions and Demographics Related to the Popularity of Chief Executive Carrie Lam  and the Hong Kong Government"  - Peter To

Spring/Summer 2020

  • "Parental Involvement: The Differential Impacts of Consent and Notice Requirements for Minors' Abortions" - Angela Ames
  • "Examining Local Price Levels and Income Distribution Over Time" - Josh Archer
  • "Estimating the Effect of Grandparent Death on Fertility" - Jason Chen
  • "Democracy in the Face of COVID-19: Have Less Democratic Countries Been More Effective at Preventing the Spread of This Pandemic ?" - Yi Chen
  • "Understanding the Effects of Conditional Cash Transfers on Indigenous People in Mexico" - Arushi Desai
  • "Microfinance and Payday Lending: Are they Solving a Problem or Creating One?" - Sophia Faulkner
  • "The Risk-Taking Channel of Monetary Policy and Foreign Banks" - Noah Forougi
  • "Ride of Die? Metropolitan Bikeshare Systems and Pollution" - Sean Furuta
  • "Internet's Important Involvement in Information Industry Integration in Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana (and others): How the emerging internet affected the economic geography of the information industry" - Keming (Alex) Gao
  • "The Relationship between Economic Crises and Long-Run Wealth Inequality" - Renuka Garg
  • "Voter Bias in the Associated Press College Football Poll : Reconducting a 2009 study with new data in a $1 Billion-dollar industry that has seen significant changes in the past decade"  - Brent Hensley
  • "Monopsony Exploitation in Major League Baseball: Using Wins Above Replacement to Estimate Marginal Revenue Product" - Jacob C. Hyman
  • "The Relationship Between Currency Substitution and Exchange Rate Volatility" - Jewon Ju
  • "Efficiency, Bias, and Decisions: Observations from a Sports Betting Exchange" - Alexander Kan
  • "The Effect of Medicaid Expansion on Substance Use Disorder Treatment Utilization: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act" - Christy Kang
  • "Analyzing the Relationship between Personal Income Tax Progressivity and Income Inequality" - Gevorg Khandamiryan
  • "The Effects of Occupancy Taxes on the Short-Term Rental Market: Evidence from Boston" - Alan Liang
  • "Corporate Types and Bank Lending in Contractionary Era: Evidence from Chinese Listed Companies" - Zishen Liu
  • "Financial Constraints on Student Learning: An Analysis of How Financial Stress Influences Cognitive Function in Children" - Simone Matecna
  • "The Effect of Workplace Inspections on Employment and Sales - A Regression Discontinuity Analysis" - Jeseo Park
  • "Lending Sociodynamics, Economic Instability, and the U.S. Farm Credit Crisis" - Erfan Samaei
  • "The Effect of Intangible Assets on Value Added: Evidence from microdata across small and large firms in Europe" - Tamara Sequeira
  • "Price Efficiency Differences Between Public and Private Utilities: An Empirical Analysis of US Electric Utilities" - Yechan Shin
  • "Effect of Campus Shootings on Academic Achievement: Examination of 2014 Isla Vista Killings" - Min Joo (Julie) Song
  • "First-Degree Price Discrimination: Evidence from Informal Markets in India" - Rishab Srivastava
  • "Who Benefits From Gentrification? A Case Study of Oregon Public High Schools" - Namrata Subramanian
  • "Estimating the Economic Impacts of Wealth Taxation in France" - Jeffrey Suzuki
  • "Transit-Oriented Development or Transit-Oriented Displacement? Evaluating the Sorting Effect of Public Transportation in Los Angeles County" - Yeeling Tse
  • "How State Abortion Policy Restrictiveness is Associated with Unintended Pregnancy Outcomes in the United States from 2014-2018" - Ruhee Wadhwania
  • "Global Food Security and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation"  - Aidan Wang
  • "The Relationship Between Pharmaceutical R&D Spending and NME Development" - Taylor Wang
  • "The Role of Individual Risk Attitude in Occupational Inheritance" - Yi Wang
  • "Labor Market Segmentation: Evidence from U.S. Janitorial Jobs Advertised in English and Spanish" - Zijun Xu
  • "Bias on the Brain: How Patient Gender Influences Use of Emergency Room Diagnostic Imaging" - Abigail Zhong
  • "Age Effects, Irrationality and Excessive Risk-Taking in Supposedly Expert Agents" - William Aldred
  • "Pricing Disparities for Minority Communities in Chicago: Rideshares and Taxis" - Matthew Cleveland
  • "Where My Negros At? Evaluating the Effects of Banning Affirmative Action on Black College Enrollment" - Ellie Koepplinger
  • "Race and Recession: How Minorities May Affect Downturns" - Alexander Szarka
  • "Understanding the Effects of Canadian International Food Aid on Production and Trade" - Patrick D. Tagari
  • "Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru: Heterogeneity Analysis by Gender and Educational Attainment" - Juan Sebastián Rozo Vásquez
  • "Effect of High-Speed Rail on City Tourism Revenue in China: A Perspective on Spatial Connectivity" - Lingyun Xiao

Archives (2009-2019)

Georgetown University.

College of Arts & Sciences

Georgetown University.

Thesis Topics

You are invited to pursue any topic that falls under the English department’s purview, and the Honors Committee will assume that you will pursue it with scholarly rigor, intellectual seriousness, and artistic integrity. You should follow your own interests and commitments in defining your project, though you should avail yourself of the advice of those faculty members whose expertise will help you focus your ideas and give them depth. Again, we welcome critical, creative, interdisciplinary, mixed genre, and hybrid creative/critical projects. Most successful applicants have derived their projects from interests developed during their time as English majors at Georgetown. During the actual writing of the thesis, of course, you will work closely with a faculty mentor.

Here is a partial list of the kinds of literary and interdisciplinary topics that Honors students have pursued over the past few years:

  • Polyphony in the novels of Cormac McCarthy
  • Women in post-Stonewall gay male literature
  • Madness and skepticism in Hamlet and Don Quixote
  • Dialogism in Toni Morrison and Christa Woolf
  • The Booker Prize as post-colonial phenomenon
  • Jazz in the Harlem Renaissance
  • The scientific revolution and 18th-century narratives
  • Irvine Welsh and dialect writing
  • Sound and structure in scripts
  • Identity and memory in Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Influence of the internet on writing
  • The written legacy of oral narratives in Amerindian culture
  • Medieval women troubadours
  • African-American women writers and their Biblical heritage
  • Adult-child discourse in real-life conversation and classic children’s literature
  • The role of bible-making in the works of Blake, Wordsworth, and Hardy
  • Morality plays in the Middle Ages and the twentieth century

In addition, Honors students have written short story collections, memoirs, and collections of poetry. Students have also written hybrid creative/critical projects, such as a critique of postcolonial memoir within a postcolonial memoir. Those students who propose creative projects should have developed their skills through taking courses with the Georgetown English Department creative writing faculty or through participation in campus and professional journals and other creative venues.


Home > Theses and Dissertations > Honors Theses

Honors Undergraduate Theses

The Honors Undergraduate Thesis Program provides students from all disciplines the opportunity to engage in original and independent research as principal investigators. Over the course of two to four semesters, students work closely with a faculty committee to research, write, defend and publish an Honors thesis that serves as the capstone product of their undergraduate career. This thesis is published through the university library and is available to researchers worldwide through electronic databases. Please visit the Honors Undergraduate Thesis website for compete information.

This collection contains records for Honors theses completed at UCF. Links to electronic versions are included when available. If your Honors thesis is only in print, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the distribution consent form here .

For additional assistance locating an HUT or HIM thesis, please contact the Digital Collections Project Coordinator, Kerri Bottorff , or check out the FAQ .

Theses from 2023 2023

Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response in Parainfluenza Virus Acute to Persistent Infections , Lauren L. Abbitt

Exploring the Impact of Cultural Background Among Asian and Non-Hispanic White Populations on Organ Donation , Doyoung Ahn

Split Catalytic Probes for the Detection of Monkeypox Virus , Jaehyun Ahn

Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on College Student Brain Health , Asia Alegre

The Effect of L-Citrulline Supplementation on Blood Pressure: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials , Vraj Amin

Constructing Higher Order Conformal Symplectic Exponential Time Differencing Methods , Lily S. Amirzadeh

The Joint Effect of Mindsets and Consequence Awareness on Task Performance , Melinda F. Ammon

Examining the Association Between COVID-19 and Anxiety in College Students With Varying Personality Traits , Ridha Anjum

Design And Validation Of A Variable, Speed-Dependent Resistance Training Method For Muscle Hypertrophy , Alvaro Andres Aracena Alvial

Relapse: An Exploration of the Symbiotic Nature of Sponsorship in the Sober Community , Jack Auger

Defining Creativity and Its Role in Marx's Philosophy , Carlos Avila

How Calorie Restriction and Fasting Support Cancer Treatment: A Systematic Review , Nii Nettey Baddoo

Factors that Lead to Poor Oral Health in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder , Jaskiran Kaur Bains

Nursing-Related Interventions to Obstetric Violence: A Literature Review , Annaliece M. Balensiefen

Advocacy with Context: The Role of Pediatricians in Breastfeeding Success , Sanya Bansal

Tomiccama Tomiccanacayo: A Feminist/Spatial Analysis of flesh to bone by ire'ne lara silva , Alyssa B. Bent

"It's Still Easy To Get": An Anthropological Analysis Of Nicotine Activist Efforts And User Perspectives In Central Florida , Saoulkie Bertin

Evolution of Density and Velocity Perturbations in a Slowly Contracting Universe , Olivia R. Bitcon

Binge Drinking And Non-Consensual Drug Intoxication , Jake Blendermann

Examining Direct Load Control Within Demand Response Programs , Maria Bonina Zimath

Nursing Interventions for Families of Children with Down Syndrome Evaluating Coping Mechanisms and Community Resources , Ashley M. Brophy

The Relationship Between Task-Induced Stress and Time Perception , Annamarie Brosnihan

Examining Academic Challenges and Mental Health Among First-Generation and Non-First-Generation Students , Cecilia Q. Bui

Tort Reform in Florida: The Impact of HB837 , Kara E. Burns

Diverse Expressions of the Black Identity in Jackson, Mississippi: Stories , Elisabeth Campbell

Page 1 of 138

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Honours Thesis Handbook

This handbook,  effective September 1, 2016 , is the course outline for PSYCH 499A/B/C (Honours Thesis) from Fall 2016 and onward.

Table of contents

  • What is an honours thesis ?
  • Who should do an honours thesis ?

Prerequisites for admission to PSYCH 499

Selecting a topic for the honours thesis, finding a thesis supervisor.

  • Research interests of the Psychology faculty and recent honours thesis supervised

Class enrolment for PSYCH 499A/B/C

Warnings regarding a decision to discontinue psych 499.

  • Course requirements for PSYCH 499A progress report and thesis reviewer nominations
  • Course requirements for PSYCH 499B - oral presentation of the thesis proposal

Course requirements for PSYCH 499C - completing the thesis and submitting it for marking

Obtaining ethics clearance for research with human or animal participants, evaluation of the honours thesis, honours thesis award, annual ontario psychology undergraduate thesis conference, avoid academic offences, computing facilities, honours thesis (psych 499a/b/c), what is an honours thesis.

Psychology is a scientific approach to understanding mind and behaviour. Honours Psychology students all learn about the body of knowledge that exists in psychology as well as the scientific procedures for making new discoveries. The honours thesis course (PSYCH 499A/B/C) is an optional course for those who have a strong interest in conducting original research and wish to gain greater experience in research design, data analysis and interpretation.

Students carry out the honours thesis project under the supervision of a faculty member and present the findings in a scholarly paper. An honours thesis can be an empirical research project or more rarely a thesis of a theoretical nature. For an empirical project, the student develops a testable hypothesis and uses scientific procedures to evaluate the hypothesis. For a theoretical project, the student integrates and evaluates existing evidence to offer new interpretations and hypotheses. The difference between the two types of projects is basically the same as the difference between an article in Psychological Review or Psychological Bulletin , and an article in any of the experimental journals. A regular journal article typically reports the result of some empirical investigation and discusses its significance. A Psychological Review paper on the other hand, offers a theoretical contribution (e.g., suggesting a new theoretical approach or a way of revising an old one and showing how the new approach may be tested). A Psychological Bulletin article usually offers a review of an evaluative and integrative character, leading to conclusions and some closure about the state of the issue and future directions for research.

Students who plan to apply for admission to graduate school in psychology are typically advised to do an empirical research project for the honours thesis. Students who choose to do a theoretical paper should discuss their decision with the PSYCH 499 coordinator  (see below) early in the PSYCH 499A term.

The topic of investigation for the honours thesis will be based on a combination of the student's and the supervisor's interests .

Students in year two or three who are considering whether or not they want to do an honours thesis can learn more about what is involved in doing an honours thesis by doing any of the following:

  • attending an honours thesis orientation meeting. The meeting is typically the first week of classes each academic term. The official date and time of the meeting will be posted on the PSYCH 499 website .
  • attending PSYCH 499B oral presentations by other students. 
  • reading a few of the honours thesis samples that are available  online PSYCH 499 SharePoint site  (site only accessible to students currently enrolled in PSYCH 499) or via our Learn shell (only available when enrolled).

In addition to the student's honours thesis supervisor, another resource is the PSYCH 499 course coordinator . The PSYCH 499 coordinator conducts the thesis orientation meeting at the start of each term and is available to discuss any course-related or supervisor-related issues with potential students and enrolled students . If students have questions or concerns regarding the procedures for doing an honours thesis that cannot be answered by their thesis supervisor, they should contact the PSYCH 499 coordinator.

The honours thesis course (PSYCH 499A/B/C) is worth 1.5 units (i.e., 3 term courses). The final numerical grade for the thesis will be recorded for each of PSYCH 499A, 499B, and 499C.

Who should I do an honours thesis?

Honours Psychology majors are not required to do an honours thesis.

Good reasons for doing an honours thesis include:

  • An honours thesis is a recommended culmination of the extensive training that honours Psychology majors receive in research methods and data analysis (e.g., PSYCH 291, 292, 389, 390,  492). PSYCH 499 is a good choice for students who have a strong interest in, and commitment to, conducting original research and wish to gain greater experience in research design, data analysis and interpretation.
  • An honours degree in Psychology that includes a thesis is typically required for admission to graduate programs in Psychology.
  • Thesis supervisors are able to write more meaningful reference letters for students' applications for further studies, scholarships, or employment.

The prerequisites for PSYCH 499 are all of the following:

  • enrolment in honours Psychology or make-up Psychology
  • successful completion of PSYCH 291, 292, 391, and at least one of: PSYCH 389, 390, 483, 484
  • 60% cumulative overall average
  • 82% cumulative psychology average

* calendar descriptions as well as course outlines

The course prerequisites for enrolment in PSYCH 499A are strictly enforced because the courses provide essential background for success in PSYCH 499, and it is necessary to restrict the number of students enrolling in PSYCH 499. Appeals to enrol in all 3 of the following courses concurrently will not be accepted:

  • Advanced research methods course (PSYCH 389, 390, 483, 484)

In addition to the above formal prerequisites, we assume that all students who are enrolling in PSYCH 499 will have completed at least 4 of the "discipline core courses" (i.e., PSYCH 207, 211, 253, 257, 261) prior to the PSYCH 499A enrolment term.

See " Class enrolment for PSYCH 499A/B/C " below for further details regarding course enrolment, and the PSYCH 499 Application for students without the course prerequisites (e.g., PSYCH average between 81%-81.9%).

The topic of the honours thesis will be based on a combination of the interests of the student and his/her thesis supervisor. One approach for selecting an honours thesis topic is for the student to first find a thesis supervisor who has similar interests to his/her own, and then for the student and the thesis supervisor to develop an honours thesis proposal which compliments the faculty member's current research. Alternatively, some students have more specific research interests and will seek an appropriate thesis supervisor. Students are advised against developing an honours thesis project in too much detail before securing a thesis supervisor.

Review some of the honours thesis titles recently supervised by our faculty members.

See research interests of individual faculty members in the next section.

Each student who enrols in PSYCH 499 must find their own supervisor for his/her honours thesis project. A thesis supervisor must be finalized by the eighth day of classes for the PSYCH 499A term.

Full-time faculty members in the UW Psychology Department, and the four Psychology faculty members at St. Jerome's are all potential thesis supervisors. Think carefully about what you want to tell faculty members about yourself before making contact (think 'foot-in-the-door'). For example, inform a potential supervisor of the following:

  • for which school terms you are seeking a thesis supervisor (If not planning to do PSYCH 499 over back-to-back school terms, please explain why, e.g., co-op work term).
  • why you are interested in doing an honours thesis
  • the program that you are enrolled in (e.g., BA versus BSc, co-op versus regular stream)
  • your year of study and target date for graduation
  • when you will complete the prerequisites for enrolment in PSYCH 499A
  • your cumulative overall and psychology average (highlight improvement if applicable)
  • your grades for research methods and statistics courses
  • your educational and career goals
  • your volunteer/work experience that you have had previously and with whom
  • Did you work in his/her lab as a volunteer or paid research assistant?
  • Did you take a course with him/her previously?
  • Have you read articles that he/she wrote?
  • Do his/her interests relate to your interests for studies at the graduate level and/or future employment?
  • Were you referred by someone and why?

The search for a thesis supervisor will be easier if you establish rapport during second and third year with faculty members who are potential thesis supervisors. Ways to network with faculty members include the following:

  • get involved in the faculty member's lab. See ' Research experience ' on the Psychology undergraduate website for further details
  • the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs - currently Richard Eibach
  • faculty members who attended the school(s) you are interested in applying to in the future. See the Psychology Department's Faculty listing for details
  • faculty members who have interests that relate to your future plans. See Research interests of faculty members in our department.
  • faculty members whose labs you worked or volunteered in
  • be an active participant in the class discussions for the advanced research methods courses (PSYCH 389, 390) and honours seminars (PSYCH 453-463).
  • enrol in a directed studies course (PSYCH 480-486) where you will receive one-on-one supervision from a faculty member. See the course application form for further details
  • read articles that the faculty member has written and discuss the material with him/her
  • attend departmental colloquia and divisional seminars where students can engage in discussions with faculty members about the material presented. Postings appear on the right sidebar of the Psychology Department home page

You may find that some faculty members that you approach will have already committed to supervising as many honours thesis projects as they feel able to handle for a given year. Be persistent in your search for a thesis supervisor and do not feel discouraged if you need to approach several (i.e., six or eight) people.

If you are unable to obtain a thesis supervisor, please speak to the PSYCH 499 coordinator .

Faculty members other than the thesis supervisor can also be very useful resources during the course of the thesis project. Feel free to discuss your thesis work with any relevant faculty (or graduate students).

Research interests of the faculty members in the Psychology Department and recent honours theses supervised

For research interests of faculty members please refer to the "Our People" page in the main menu and click on the faculty member's name. You can sort the list by "Name" or "Area of Study". Note that faculty members may not be available to supervise honours theses during sabbatical dates indicated on the web site.

For recent honours theses supervised by individual faculty members please refer to the honours theses supervised website.

Refer to the course enrolment information/instructions on the PSYCH 499 website.

The honours thesis (PSYCH 499A/B/C) is worth 1.5 units (i.e., 3 term courses). Students may not enrol for all of PSYCH 499A/B/C in one term. Students should consult with their thesis supervisor regarding the appropriate class enrolment sequence for PSYCH 499. Students can spread the class enrolment for PSYCH 499A, 499B, and 499C over three terms beginning in the 3B term or over two terms beginning in 4A. Those choosing to do the honours thesis over two terms will enrol in PSYCH 499A/B in 4A and PSYCH 499C in 4B. Alternative sequencing (e.g., 499A/B/C over three terms) should be discussed with the thesis supervisor. Although students can start an honours thesis in any term, the Fall term is typically recommended.

Factors that students should consider when deciding which terms to enrol for PSYCH 499A/B/C:

  • When will the prerequisites for PSYCH 499 be completed? For example, Honours Psych & Arts and Business Co-op students will not enrol in PSYCH 499A until the 4A term because the prerequisites for PSYCH 499 won't be completed until the 3B term.
  • Will the thesis supervisor be available to supervise the project during the terms that the student proposes to enrol for PSYCH 499A/B/C (e.g., is the supervisor planning a sabbatical leave or to retire)?
  • For co-op students, how will the work/school sequence interfere with the project?
  • The amount of time necessary to obtain ethics clearance varies depending on the participants required and research design.
  • When is the optimal timing for data collection? For example, if PSYCH 101 students will be participants for the study, one has to consider the ratio of PSYCH 101 students to researchers that are available in a given term. The Fall term is typically the best time to collect data from this population, Winter term second best, and the Spring term the poorest.
  • What other responsibilities does the student have (e.g., course selections, personal circumstances) in a given term?
  • The thesis supervisor requires a sufficient amount of time to get to know the student before he/she is asked to write the student reference letters (e.g., for applications for graduate school, scholarships, or employment).

Details are provided in the next 3 sections regarding the course requirements for each of PSYCH 499A, 499B, and 499C.

Students should be diligent about their responsibilities for the honours thesis. Procrastination leads to delays in firming up the research proposal, doing the oral presentation, obtaining ethics clearance, and beginning data collection. Ultimately procrastination can lead to poor quality work and/or a postponement of graduation.

Students should consult with their thesis supervisor and the Psychology undergraduate advisor before dropping any of PSYCH 499A, 499B, or 499C.

  • If a student wants to drop any of PSYCH 499A, 499B, and 499C in the current term, the individual course requests are governed by the same course drop deadlines and penalties (e.g., WD and WF grades) as other courses. Refer to important dates on Quest.
  • Dropping PSYCH 499B and/or PSYCH 499C in the current term does not remove PSYCH 499A or PSYCH 499B from earlier terms.
  • If a student does not complete the honours thesis, any INC (incomplete) grades for PSYCH 499A/B/C will be converted to FTC (Failure to Complete = 32% in the average calculations). Further, any IP (In Progress) grades for PSYCH 499A/B/C will be converted to FTC (=32%).
  • Honours students with INC and/or IP grades will be unable to graduate (e.g., with a General BA in Psych) until those grades are replaced by a final grade(s) (e.g., 32%) and the grade(s) has been factored into the average calculation. In such cases, the student must meet all graduation requirements, including overall average, Psychology average and minimum number of courses required.
  • Those who want any grades (e.g., INC, IP, WD, WF, FTC, 32%) for PSYCH 499 removed from their records are advised to submit a petition to the Examinations and Standings Committee. Before doing so, they should consult with the Psychology undergraduate advisor.

Course requirements for PSYCH 499A - progress report and thesis reviewer nominations

Students should attend the honours thesis orientation meeting during the PSYCH 499A term even if they attended a meeting during second or third year. The meeting is usually the first week of classes each academic term. The official date and time will be posted on the PSYCH 499 website . At the meeting, the PSYCH 499 coordinator will describe what is involved in doing an honours thesis and answer questions. Students will also receive information regarding library resources and procedures for obtaining ethics clearance.

Students must report the name of their thesis supervisor to the PSYCH 499 course administrator in the Psychology Undergraduate Office by the eighth day of classes for the PSYCH 499A term. During the PSYCH 499A term, students must

  • conduct background research on the thesis topic (e.g., formulate a research question, review relevant literature, formulate major hypotheses)
  • nominate potential thesis reviewers
  • submit a progress report to the PSYCH 499 coordinator .

Progress reports

Progress reports are due the last day classes for the PSYCH 499A term. The thesis supervisor must sign the progress report before it is submitted to the PSYCH 499 coordinator . Submit the progress report directly to the course coordinator's mailbox in PAS 3021A or via email, cc'ing the course administrato r and your supervisor to give confirmation that they have "signed off" on your progress report (this can pose as the signature). Students should keep a copy of their progress report because the reports will not be returned. The PSYCH 499 coordinator will contact individual students by email if there is a problem with their progress report.

The progress report should be about 5-10 pages in length and include the following information:

  • a title page identifying the document as a "PSYCH 499A Progress Report", with the proposed title of the project; student's name, address, telephone number, and email address; the student's ID number, the name of the honours thesis supervisor; and the signature of the supervisor indicating that he or she has read the report and approved it;
  • a statement of the general topic of the proposed research;
  • a brief account of the background literature the student has read, together with a brief explanation of its relevance for the project;
  • a clear statement of the research questions and/or the major hypotheses that the study will address;
  • a brief statement of the further steps that will be necessary to complete (e.g., settling on a research design, etc.) before the student will be ready to submit a research proposal and do an oral presentation.

PSYCH 499A students who are not concurrently enrolled in PSYCH 499B typically do not have a fully developed research proposal by the end of the first term of PSYCH 499. The progress reports should be submitted on time and should include as much detail regarding the research proposal as possible (see next section for further details).

Some PSYCH 499A students who are not concurrently enrolled in PSYCH 499B will firm up their research proposals earlier than expected and will want to do, and are encouraged to do, the oral presentation of the research proposal in the first term of PSYCH 499 (see next section for further details). In these cases, the IP (In Progress) grade for PSYCH 499B will be applied to the academic term in which the student formally enrols for PSYCH 499B.

Students who submit progress reports will receive an IP (In Progress) grade for PSYCH 499A; those who do not will receive an INC (Incomplete) grade for PSYCH 499A. INC and IP grades for PSYCH 499 do not impact on average calculations and students with either of these grades can be considered for the Dean's honours list. However, students with INC grades are not eligible for scholarship consideration. Note that INC grades convert to FTC (failure to complete = 32%) after 70 days.

Thesis reviewer

The thesis reviewer is due by the last day of classes for the term for students who enrol in PSYCH 499A only and they are due by the end of the third week of the term for students who enrol concurrently in PSYCH 499A/B.  You will work with your supervisor to decide who would be a strong reviewer and will plan this out with that reviewer. Once your reviewer is determined, please email the course administrator . The thesis reviewer’s duties will include reading the thesis proposal and attending the oral presentation in the PSYCH 499B term and reading and grading the final thesis at the end of the PSYCH 499C term.

Full-time faculty members in the UW Psychology Department and the four Psychology faculty members at St. Jerome's are all potential thesis reviewers. (Note: the student’s thesis supervisor cannot be the thesis reviewer). Students may consult with their thesis supervisors for advice about which faculty members to request as potential thesis reviewers. Several types of considerations might guide whom students seek as potential reviewers. For example, a student may seek a reviewer who has expertise in the topic they are studying, or they may seek breadth by requesting a reviewer with expertise in a quite distinct area of study, or they may seek a reviewer who has expertise in a relevant type of statistical analysis. It is up to the student, in consultation with their supervisor, to determine what factors to prioritise in selecting potential reviewers.

Course requirements for PSYCH 499B - oral presentation of the thesis proposal

During the PSYCH 499B term, students must finalize the research proposal for their honours thesis project and present this information orally to their thesis reviewer and the student’s thesis supervisor. Although the presentation is not graded, it is a course requirement that must precede the completed thesis. The presentation gives the student an opportunity to discuss their research proposals with a wider audience and to receive feedback regarding their literature review and the scope, design, testing procedures, etc., for their projects.

It is also essential that students who are doing an empirical research project involving human or animal participants formally apply for ethics clearance, and that they receive ethics clearance before beginning data collection (see 'Obtaining Ethics Clearance for Research with Human or Animal Participants' for further details).

Students should contact the   PSYCH 499 course administrator in the Psychology Undergraduate Office early in the PSYCH 499B term to book the date and time for their oral presentation. When booking, students are asked to indicate if they will be presenting virtually, or in-person and should mention if the presentation is open to other students to attend. Students are asked to book their presentation as early as possible to ensure space is available The thesis reviewer will attend and conduct the presentation. Presentations occur during the first three months of each term (available dates/times and current presentation schedule are posted on the PSYCH 499 website ). The presentation should be 25 minutes in length followed by a 25 minute period for discussion and questions. Students are encouraged to attend other students' presentations when available.

A written version of the research proposal must be submitted to the mailbox or email of the thesis reviewer at least two business days prior to the scheduled date of the student's oral presentation of the proposal (meaning no later than 4:30pm Thursday for a Tuesday presentation). For empirical research projects, the proposal must include the following: a title page identifying the document as a "PSYCH 499B Research Proposal"; a brief review of the relevant scientific literature; a clear statement of the research question and major hypotheses to be examined; the planned method, including the number and types of participants, the design, the task or tests to be given, and the procedure to be used; the statistical tests and comparisons that are planned; and the expected date for beginning data collection. For a theoretical research project, the proposal must include a clear review of the issues, theories, or constructs to be analyzed; a description of the scholarly database to be used (including a list of important references); and a clear account of the intended contribution of the work (i.e., how it will advance understanding).

The research proposal must be approved and signed by the student's thesis supervisor before the proposal is submitted to the thesis reviewer . Students can get a better idea of the content and format required for the research proposal by referring to the methods section of completed honours theses. Students should keep a copy of their research proposal because the copy that is submitted to the  thesis reviewer will not be returned.

All PSYCH 499 students must complete the ' TCPS 2 Tutorial Course on Research Ethics (CORE) ' before the research ethics application on which they are named is submitted for approval. In addition, all PSYCH 499 students must complete a "Researcher Training" session with the REG Coordinator .

Students who have completed the oral presentation requirement will receive an IP (In Progress) grade for PSYCH 499B; those who have not will receive an INC (Incomplete) grade for PSYCH 499B. INC and IP grades for PSYCH 499 do not impact on average calculations and students with either of these grades can be considered for the Dean's honours list. However, students with INC grades are not eligible for scholarship consideration. Note that INC grades convert to FTC (failure to complete = 32%) after 70 days.

Students who enrol in PSYCH 499A and 499B in the same term and satisfy the oral presentation requirement that term will not be required to also submit a progress report.

On-line surveys

Honours thesis students who require assistance regarding research software and the development of on-line surveys, beyond advice from the honours thesis supervisor, may wish to seek advice from Bill Eickmeier (Computer Systems Manager and Research Programmer; PAS 4008; ext 36638; email  [email protected] ). Students are expected to manage much of this process independently and will be given access to a self-help website. Most students will be able to work independently using a Qualtrics account provided by the thesis supervisor, or using the  web form template notes  Bill has posted on the web. However, Bill is available to provide additional guidance if he is given at least three to four weeks advance notice.

Caution regarding off-campus data collection

If you are planning to collect data off-campus, please read carefully the " Field Work Risk Management " requirements provided by the University of Waterloo Safety Office. "Field Work" refers to any activity undertaken by members of the university in any location external to University of Waterloo campuses for the purpose of research, study, training or learning.

We assume that insurance for private vehicles is up to the owners and that insurance for rental vehicles, if applicable, would be through the rental company. Further details of University of Waterloo policies regarding travel .

Please discuss your plans for off-campus data collection with your thesis supervisor and the  PSYCH 499 coordinator in advance to ensure that all bases are covered with regards to waivers, insurance, etc.

In the PSYCH 499C term, students will complete the data collection for their project (see the previous paragraphs if using on-line surveys or doing off-campus data collection), analyze/evaluate the data, and finish writing the honours thesis. The honours thesis must be written in the form indicated by the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual (available at the Bookstore), but may be more abbreviated than a regular journal article. Sample honours theses can be found in the Learn shell.

For an empirical research project, the following sections are required in the thesis:

  • introduction (literature review and the hypothesis)
  • methods (participants, design, task or test to be given, testing procedures, measures)

It is not necessary to append ORE application forms to the completed honours thesis. However, a copy of the formal notification of ethics clearance is required.

The sections and subsections required for theoretical papers will be slightly different than for empirical research projects, and will vary according to the topic being studied. If possible, students should plan the layout for the theoretical paper in the PSYCH 499B term because the plan may guide their literature review. Students should consult with their thesis supervisor and the  PSYCH 499 coordinator  about the layout.

Normally students will receive feedback from their thesis supervisor on at least one or two (and often more) drafts of the thesis before the final paper is submitted for marking. Be sure to leave adequate time for this process.

Submitting the thesis for marking

The final version of the thesis is due the last day the class period for the PSYCH 499C term.  However, due dates do change each term dependent on grade submission deadlines held by the registrar’s office, so it is important to follow the due date on our official due date page.  See 'Extensions on the thesis submission deadline' below regarding requests for extensions.

In order for the Psychology Department to track theses that are submitted for marking and ensure that marks are forwarded to the Registrar's Office as quickly as possible, students must submit an electronic copy of the honours thesis to  the PSYCH 499 course administrator  who will coordinate grading by the thesis supervisor and the thesis reviewer , and will submit PSYCH 499 grades to the Registrar's Office. The honours thesis does not need to be signed by the thesis supervisor. The marking process is as follows:

  • Receipt of the thesis will be recorded and an electronic copy of the thesis will be forwarded to the student's thesis supervisor and reviewer with a grading form for comments.
  • The thesis supervisor will return the grading form with comments and a grade recommendation to the PSYCH 499 course administrator and the thesis reviewer.
  • The thesis reviewer will be responsible for assigning the final grade and will return the completed grading form to the PSYCH 499 course administrator .
  • T he PSYCH 499 course administrator will notify the student and the Registrar's Office of the final grade. The final numerical grade for the thesis will be recorded for each of PSYCH 499A, 499B, and 499C.
  • Page 2 of the grading form will be returned to the student.

Extensions on the thesis submission deadline

We will do our best to ensure that students graduate at the preferred convocation date; however, we cannot guarantee that students who submit honours theses for marking after the deadline will be able to graduate at the preferred convocation date.

Students should refer to the PSYCH 499 website on a regular basis for information regarding PSYCH 499 deadlines that may affect the target date for submitting the honours thesis for marking (e.g., for getting one's name on the convocation program, for sending transcripts and/or letters regarding completion of the degree to other schools for admission purposes, to be considered for awards, etc.).

We strongly advise that students submit the thesis for marking at least four to six weeks prior to the date of convocation. Further, they should confirm that their thesis supervisor will be available to grade the thesis within a few days following submission of the thesis.

Students who do not submit an honours thesis for marking by the end of the examination period for the PSYCH 499C term require approval for an extension from their thesis supervisor. After speaking with the thesis supervisor, the student must report the revised date of completion to the PSYCH 499 course administrator . They will be given an IP (In Progress) grade for PSYCH 499C if they have done the oral presentation for PSYCH 499B and if they are making reasonable progress on the thesis. Otherwise, an INC (Incomplete) grade will be submitted for PSYCH 499C. INC and IP grades for PSYCH 499 do not impact on average calculations and students with either of these grades can be considered for the Dean's honours list. However, students with INC grades are not eligible for scholarship consideration. Note that INC grades convert to FTC (failure to complete = 32%) after 70 days.

Notes: 1. Honours students with INC and/or IP grades for PSYCH 499ABC will be unable to graduate (e.g., with a General BA in Psychology) until those grades are replaced by final grades (e.g., 32%) and the grades have been factored into the average calculation. In such cases, the student must meet all graduation requirements, including overall average, Psychology average, and minimum number of courses required. 2. If IP grades for all of PSYCH 499ABC remain on the record for 12 months following the PSYCH 499C term, the Registrar's Office will convert the IP grades to FTC (failure to complete = 32%). If this occurs, consult with the Psychology undergraduate advisor regarding your options.

Capture your thesis on video!

As of Fall 2012, we are asking honours thesis students if they'd like to take part in a voluntary "video snapshot" of their work. This is a great way to tell others about your thesis, and your experience at the University of Waterloo.

Upon completion of your thesis and submission of your 499C document, we are asking students to arrange for someone from their supervisor's lab to take a short 1-2 minute video clip of you the student.  In that video, we'd like to hear a 'grand summary of what you researched, and what you found out'. We'd also love to hear about 'what you learned in the honours thesis course'.

These video clips can be taken with a smartphone (or other video camera), then emailed to the PSYCH 499 coordinator  or the PSYCH 499 course administrator . Alternatively you can arrange a time to be videotaped by the course administrator (ideally when handing in your 499C final thesis document).

Completing a video is optional, and should be done ideally within two weeks of submission of your thesis. Whether or not you choose to capture your thesis on video will in no way affect your grade in the 499 honours thesis course. Once we have reviewed the video we will upload it to our Psychology website for general viewing by the public. Permission forms to release your photo/video on the Department of Psychology’s website will be available from the  PSYCH 499 coordinator . The Model Release Form can also be found on Waterloo's Creative Services website.

Convocation awards

Each year the Psychology Department nominates a student(s) for the following awards: Governor General Silver Medal (university level), the Alumni Gold Medal (faculty level), and the Psychology Departmental convocation award. These awards are only given at the June convocation. Typically, only honours students who have final grades for all course work, including the honours thesis, by the first week of May can be considered for these awards. Students whose overall and Psychology averages fall in the 88-100% range are strongly encouraged to adhere to the thesis submission deadlines noted above.

The Office of Research Ethics (ORE) at the University of Waterloo is responsible for the ethics review and clearance of all research conducted on and off-campus by University of Waterloo students, staff, and faculty that involves human and animal (live, non-human vertebrates) participants.

Research involving human or animal participants must not begin until notification of full ethics clearance has been provided by the ORE.

Information regarding the application and ethics review process for research involving human participants is available on the Office of Research Ethics web site. However, specific information regarding the ethics application process for Honours thesis research is provided below.

Information regarding the application and ethics review process for research involving animals is also available on the Office of Research Ethics web site.

For individual contacts in the ORE, see 'Contacts' in this handbook.

Ethics Application: Once the rationale and hypotheses for the thesis project have been formulated and basic design and procedures have been determined, the student may submit the project for ethics review and clearance.

In order to ensure that students have a good understanding of the ethics review process and guidelines they are required to complete the TCPS2 -2022 CORE Tutorial (described below) prior to preparing your ethics application.

Upon completion of the CORE Tutorial, the student may begin the ethics application by signing onto the Kuali System for Ethics located at UWaterloo Ethics either starting the application on their own, or having the Thesis Advisor begin it. Please note that the student will need to have accessed the Kuali system in order for the Advisor to add them to the protocol. The advisor should be listed as the Principal Investigator and the level of research should be Senior Honours Thesis.

All Thesis projects require new ethics unless alternative arrangements have been made to make use of a currently running project. This should be discussed with the thesis advisor and approval should be obtained from the department to create an amendment for the project.

Upon receipt of Full Ethics Clearance, and if the student and supervisor are sure that there will be no revisions to the design or procedures, then data collection may begin. Whenever possible though, we encourage you to complete the Research Proposal and Oral Presentation before you begin data collection.

Note that procedures for applying for ethics clearance vary according to the type of sample -- for example, university students versus children in the Early Childhood Education Centre, etc. Further details are provided below.

Study Modifications: Based on feedback provided at the student’s Oral Presentation, the student and thesis supervisor may decide to make some modifications to the research plans. If the ethics application has not yet been submitted for review, then the changes can be incorporated into the application. If you have received ethics clearance, then you will need to submit an amendment by logging into Kuali and selecting the amendment option from the right hand side.

Human Participants in Research

Honours Thesis students must read and be familiar with the University of Waterloo guidelines and procedures for conducting research with human participants before submitting their applications for ethics clearance to conduct research.

The following is an excerpt from the guidelines:

“The ethics review process is intended to offer a level of assurance to research participants, the investigators and the University that research participants will be involved in ethically sound and well-designed research, and will be engaged in a prior consent process that is fully informed and voluntary. The ethics review process also ensures adequate protection of individuals’ privacy as well as confidentiality of information they provide. In addition, the ethics review process increases the probability that all known and anticipated risks associated with the research are identified and adequately communicated to participants prior to participation. Moreover, it ensures that the known and potential risks are judged to be outweighed by potential benefits from conducting the research. Procedures used to recruit participants are examined to ensure they are free of explicit or implicit coercion and enable participants to withdraw their consent at any time without fear of reprisal.”

Research conducted in the Psychology department follows the ethical guidelines set out in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, 2nd edition (TCPS 2 - 2022).

Please note that effective January 1, 2024 you will need to be up to date with your TCPS to include the 2022 version. If you have only completed the TCPS2 you will need to renew your certification.

Associated with the TCPS 2-2022 is an online tutorial called Course on Research Ethics (CORE). CORE is comprised of 9 modules, is self-paced and includes interactive exercises and multi-disciplinary examples. A certificate of completion is provided. CORE replaces and updates the earlier TCPS Tutorial. In order to ensure that you have a better understanding of the ethics review guidelines you are required to complete the CORE Tutorial prior to submitting your ethics application. Please note that if you have already completed the CORE Tutorial as an RA for example, you are not required to complete it again. Upon completion of the CORE Tutorial please send a copy of the Completion Certificate to the DERC Officer . The link to CORE is:

The particular procedures for applying for ethics clearance for research with human participants depends on the population from which participants are obtained; however, all projects require the submission of an application form to the Office of Research Ethics (ORE).

Note : All research ethics applications must include:

  • REG (Sona Description), PSYCPool (email/phone scripts), SLC (Flyer/Poster)
  • Information/Consent Letter (+ Post-debriefing Consent if deception)
  • Feedback/Appreciation Letter (+ Oral Debriefing if deception)
  • Survey/Questionnaire/Interview items/Stimulus Appendices
  • Research Proposal

Thesis supervisors and reviewers are given the following guidelines when they are asked to recommend a final grade for the honours thesis:

Each year, the Psychology Department recognizes the achievement of a small number of students who have produced the most outstanding honours theses. Theses will be considered for a thesis award if the thesis supervisor nominates the student and the thesis receives a final grade of 93 or above. Theses submitted for marking after the second Friday in May will not be considered for a thesis award. Nominated theses will be reviewed to select the award recipients and the recipients will be notified by the Psychology Undergraduate Office.

The thesis conference is an informal forum for students to present (orally or in poster format) a summary of their honours thesis to a friendly and enthusiastic audience of their peers and to discuss their work with others who have similar interests.

Registration is required. There is no registration fee for presenters or thesis supervisors and lunch is provided. Participants report that the event is very worthwhile and enjoyable. Clearly a great way to end fourth year!

The conference is typically held at the end of April or early May. If you will be presenting at the conference, data collection for the thesis should be completed by March. You are not required to present a complete analysis of your thesis results at the conference.

Further details about the thesis conference

Failing to adhere to established standards in the conduct of research is a serious offence. Please refer to "Obtaining ethics clearance for research" above for further details.

Students should also familiarize themselves with Policy 71 (Student Academic Discipline Policy) as well as the advice from the Faculty of Arts regarding avoiding academic offences .

Please check the Information Systems & Technology (IST) Department website for information regarding setting up your University of Waterloo computer account, accessing the internet, costs for printing, accessing your account from off-campus, etc. If you are enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, please also check the Arts Computing Office website for information.

The University of Waterloo computer accounts give students free access to applications such as word processing, statistical and graphics packages, spreadsheets, and electronic mail. Students also have access to the internet which allows them to use Waterloo's Electronic Library including the electronic journal article databases. Students are charged for printing and can put money for printing on to their resource account at various locations across campus including PAS 1080 using their WatCard.

It is critical that the University (e.g., administration, instructors, academic advisors, etc.) can reach you reliably by email (e.g., regarding academic standing, degree requirements, deadlines, etc.). If you are using a web email account such as Hotmail or Yahoo, we strongly encourage you to consider using a more reliable email account such as your Waterloo account. Your Waterloo account is just as easy to use from off-campus as other free web accounts but is more secure. You can access your Waterloo account from the " mywaterloo " website.

If you are using an email address other than your Waterloo email address you should do one of the following two things:

  • change the email address that you want posted on the university directory, or
  • activate your Waterloo account and arrange for the email from your Waterloo account to be forwarded to your alternate email address. The alternate email address will not appear on the university directory.

Intent to Graduate Forms and general convocation information is available on the Registrar's Office website. Students who want to graduate in June must submit an Intent to Graduate Form to the Registrar's Office before March 1. The deadline to apply for  October convocation is August 1. Students who apply to graduate, but do not complete their honours thesis in time to graduate at the preferred convocation must submit another Intent to Graduate Form for the next convocation.

Those who submit their thesis for marking beyond the end of the final examination period for the PSYCH 499C term should refer to " Extensions on the thesis submission deadline " for further details regarding graduation deadlines.

Office of research ethics

Psychology department.

Honors Undergraduate Thesis

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Honors Undergraduate Thesis (HUT) is UCF's most advanced undergraduate research program. It is designed to assist juniors and seniors to develop their own independent research project under the direction of a thesis advisor and faculty thesis committee. Students do not need to be Honors students to take advantage of the HUT program; it is available to all qualified UCF students. Over two to four semesters, students work closely with a faculty committee to research, write, defend, and publish an original thesis that serves as an honors capstone product of their undergraduate career. This thesis is published through the university library,  UCF's STARS Repository , and is available to researchers worldwide through electronic databases.

The Burnett Honors College partners with all colleges in sponsoring HUT Scholarships. These $1,000 scholarships are awarded every fall and spring on a competitive basis within each college and are available to all students who are enrolled in HUT credit hours.

  • Visit The Burnett Honors College Honors in Undergraduate Thesis for additional information including deadlines.
  • Join our Facebook group.
  • Contact Dr. Sherron Killingsworth Roberts for additional information.
  • Learn about the benefits of participating in HUT.
  • First, find out if you are eligible and meet the basic requirements by visiting the Honors Undergraduate Thesis admissions page. If you have questions or you almost meet the requirements, stop in and see the great folks in the Office of Honors Research (OHR), now relocated in Trevor Colbourn Hall, Suite 248 (Phone: 407-823-0851). Email [email protected] with any questions. The HUT Coordinator will help you (1) apply for the Honors Undergraduate Thesis program and then (2) help get you registered. Remember you will be taking the Honors in Undergraduate Thesis project credit hours in the following semesters. You need a minimum of two semesters to complete the program. Additionally Dr. Padmini Coopamah Waldron, Director, is a valuable resource to your thesis chair and you.
  • You will need to gain the permission of a professor to serve as your thesis chair and work with you weekly as part of an independent study or Directed Readings . By the end of the semester of Directed Readings, you should have a 15-20 page proposal (with 15-20 references) outlining the Honors in Undergraduate Thesis project that is approved by your thesis chair, a committee of one additional person, and the Honors in Undergraduate Thesis Coordinator, Dr. Sherron Roberts . If you need help identifying a chair, Dr. Roberts can help.
  • Obtain all the necessary signatures on your application form and get the ball rolling. Even though you can now use HelloSign to obtain your chair's and Dr. Robert's signature electronically, please go introduce yourself to Dr. Roberts (ED 315T) in person, and seek her help to get started. Congrats!

For resources, videos, and PowerPoints, visit our Student Learning & Licensure (SLL) .


Honors in Undergraduate Thesis (HUT) is the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate research program at UCF and provides students from all disciplines the opportunity to engage in independent and original research as principal investigators. Over the course of at least two semesters, students work closely with a faculty committee to research, write, defend, and publish an original Honors thesis. Upon successful completion of the program, students earn Honors in Undergraduate Thesis distinction on their diplomas and transcripts. Contact Dr. Sherron Roberts.

At a minimum, the following criteria must be met for admission into the Honors in the Major program:

  • Sixty (60) completed hours of college credit
  • Twelve (12) completed upper division hours of college credit
  • At least a 3.4 UCF or Overall GPA
  • At least two semesters remaining prior to graduation

This GPA is calculated based on all college-level course work regardless of the institution. For the Honors in Undergraduate Thesis program, all GPA's are calculated without rounding.

If you are close to the above requirements, contact Dr. Sherron Roberts .

Application deadlines are typically three weeks prior to the beginning of a semester to give students time to obtain faculty signatures .

HUT Thesis Titles

Briand, C. S. (2016). A grounded theory study of the impact of Florida school report cards on high school English Language Arts teachers’ self-efficacy and perceptions of student writing .

Foresman, D. B. (2016). Representations and impacts of transgender and gender nonconforming ideals in children’s literature for young children.

Greuel, A. L. (2016). Exploring preservice teacher attitudes toward black students.

Parsons, C. (2017). Metacognitive coaching as a means to enhance college and career success for students with executive function disorders.

Quintero, A. M. (2016). A qualitative assessment of preservice teachers’ perceptions of the at-risk student.

Rawles, L. S. (2017). Introspections of an African American preservice teacher’s growth: An autoethnography.

Rusoff, B. G. (2016). Exploring attachment behaviors in urban mothers and their infants.

Shimada, M. M. (2017). Third grade science teachers’ perspectives on implementing sentence frames and word banks during science lectures to increase the writing levels of English Language Learners.

Smith, D. (2017). The integration of music in an ELA classroom: Creating pedagogical parodies for elementary education.

Van Westering, J. (2016). Implementing Growth Mindset principles for girls in STEM elementary classrooms through the creation of a children’s book.

To access more thesis titles, search the STARS Digital Repository.

FAQs about Honors in Undergraduate Thesis

Department of Economics

Honors thesis.

  • Undergraduate

Junior year is the time to start thinking about eligibility requirements, topics of interest, and potential advisors for an honors thesis.

An Honors Info Session is held each spring to answer junior’s questions about their senior year, and interested students must fill out the  honors thesis form  by the end of junior year.

We strongly encourage students to write an honors thesis. This is very valuable for students interested in graduate school or careers requiring independent research skills, as well as for students interested in tying together their academic experience with an in-depth investigation of one topic.

More than a good course paper

An honors thesis is more than a good course paper. It must represent a substantial effort in research and exposition. A thesis must be an original contribution to knowledge, beyond a simple replication exercise. The department does not specify page lengths, methods, or topics. Instead, an honors thesis candidate should establish his or her goals – and a timeline to meet those goals – in an understanding with the thesis advisor. To see the range of topics and methods prior students have pursued, take a look at  examples of past honor theses here  or by visiting the academic office in person. To find a faculty advisor who would be a good match for your topic of interest, see their research questions  here. 


To graduate with honors, students must satisfy the following requirements  by the   end of junior year ,

  • Complete at least 70% of the courses required for the concentration.
  • Have earned a grade of “A” or “S with distinction” in at least 70% of grades earned in the economics concentration, or 50% in the joint concentrations in APMA-Econ, CS-Econ, and Math-Econ (excluding courses transferred to Brown without a grade, and those taken Spring 2020).
  • Economics Concentrators  must find a faculty thesis advisor in the economics department.
  • Joint Concentrators  must find a primary faculty thesis advisor in either economics or the partner department. CS-Econ concentrators must have a secondary reader in the other department by the fall of senior year. APMA-Econ and Math-Econ do not require a secondary reader, unless the primary advisor deems it necessary. Joint concentrators need to satisfy the honors requirements of the economics department if their thesis advisor is in the economics department; while they need to satisfy the honors requirements of the partner department if their thesis advisor is in the partner department.

During senior year , thesis writers must:

  • Enroll in ECON 1960 in the fall & spring semesters (Note that 1960 does not count as a 1000-level elective for your concentration). A requirement of ECON 1960 will be attendance at one of two lab sessions each week. 
  • Submit a thesis proposal to both your thesis advisor and the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator Kelsey Thorpe, [email protected]  (see below for due date).
  • Submit their work in progress to their thesis advisor and Kelsey (see below for due date).
  • Depending on the nature of the thesis work, the thesis adviser may require the student to successfully complete one or more courses from among the  data methods ,  mathematical economics  and/or  financial economics  course groups in the fall of senior year, if they have not already done so.
  • Complete an honors thesis by the deadline agreed upon with their primary advisor and obtain the final approval of their advisor(s) (see below for due date).
  • Thesis writers are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the departmental Honors Thesis Presentation session held in May, with a brief presentation of their work and findings.

For students graduating in  Spring 2024 :

  • Proposal - September 18, 2023
  • Work in Progress - December 18, 2023
  • Final Draft - April 19, 2023

For students graduating in  Fall 2024*:

  • Proposal - February 2, 2024
  • Work in Progress - April 25, 2024
  • Final Draft - December 10, 2024

*Note that for the Requirements listed above, "by end of senior year" means by the end of Fall semester 2023" for Fall 2024 graduates. 

More information

For students interested in finding out more, please attend the information session on honors theses that will be given in the middle of every spring semester. For students interested in undertaking research, but not wanting to pursue honors, the department offers  senior capstone options .

Honors Theses

Current students

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Understanding honours

Honours is an additional qualification where you can build on your undergraduate studies by completing a self-directed research project and disciplinary or research-focused coursework. This may be integrated into your undergraduate degree or require an additional year of study.

Overview and types of honours

  • Eligibility and preparing for honours
  • Honours awards and classes

You can undertake honours either as part of the combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies, or through an appended honours course after your undergraduate degree. Some professional or specialist degrees also have embedded or integrated honours.

Honours provides an opportunity to work on an independent but supervised research project and is usually completed as one year full-time study (some disciplines offer part-time options).

Under the guidance of an academic supervisor, you will choose a thesis topic, create a reading list and identify your method of research.

Academics in your faculty or school will provide supervision as you write your thesis. This thesis will document your research from proposal through to conclusion.

Why study honours?

Completing honours shows you have achieved high academic standards and gives you an honours-level award.

An honours pathway can open the door for further research study, equipping you with the prerequisite research skills to undertake a research degree such as the PhD.

Alternatively, if you decide to only complete an honours pathway without pursuing further research, you will graduate with a robust set of transferrable skills including:

  • time management and research skills
  • project management and delivery
  • showing future employers that you can investigate independently and achieve more complex goals.

What’s involved

Generally, honours will consist of three components:

  • an independent research project, mentored by your academic supervisor
  • additional units in research design/technical training
  • some honours and coursework units.

You will usually complete a dissertation or thesis and attend regular meetings with your supervisor to discuss your research.

Once you complete the requirements for your honours, you will graduate with an honours level award.

You can contact the faculty or school honours coordinator from the area of interest you are considering, for more information about honours. We also hold honours information sessions (usually in September) where you can discuss your options.

Types of honours

The type of honours you undertake depends on your individual study circumstances.

Honours in the combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies

If you are completing a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies and are eligible, you can elect to complete embedded honours in either of your two majors in the final year of your studies. Be aware that some streams do not allow you to undertake honours in your second major or as an embedded component in the combined degree. Check our applying for honours pages  and your handbook for more information about options available to you. 

If you are completing an eligible degree and commenced your studies in 2018 or later (or transferred to the new curriculum version of your degree in 2018) and are on track to complete two majors by the end of your degree, you can apply to transfer to a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies up until your penultimate semester of study. This adds an additional year to your single bachelor’s degree in which you will complete your honours, and means you will graduate with two bachelor’s degrees.

Transferring to the combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies

If you are a Commonwealth supported student (who commenced your degree prior to 2021) and you are considering transferring to a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree, you’ll need to apply for a new course enrolment. This means you will be charged the new Jobs-ready Graduates Package fee rates for units you need to complete in your new degree. You won’t be re-charged the new fee rates for any units you already completed under the old rates.

Please carefully check information on our Tuition fees page and consider the implications of transferring courses before you take any action.

For more information regarding the Jobs-ready Graduates Package and fee changes, please visit

Appended honours

Appended honours is an additional course that you complete after you have finished your undergraduate degree. Generally, appended honours is available to both current University of Sydney students and external applicants. You’ll find information and eligibility criteria for most appended honours degrees in Find a course .

As a current student, often you'll need to apply through Find a course in the same way that external applicants apply, but may also need to submit an additional application form to your school or discipline. When searching for these on Sydney Courses (Find a course) these degrees will look like the Bachelor of Arts (Honours).

Embedded honours

Some bachelor’s degrees have honours embedded within them. You will complete your honours study in the final semesters of your current undergraduate degree by completing specific units. Honours will not increase the overall time taken to complete your studies.

Generally, you will apply for embedded honours directly to your faculty or school.

Integrated honours

There may be some specialist and professional degrees where you complete honours integrated within the duration of your degree. You won’t have to apply separately to do honours and won’t need to complete specific honours units. An example is the Bachelor of Engineering.

Double and joint honours

In some situations it is possible to complete either double honours or joint honours.

Double honours means you complete two separate honours theses in different subject areas. This normally takes an additional year, extending your studies to two years full time.

Joint honours is when you complete an honours thesis in two subject areas closely related to each other. A special program of study is designed that allows you to complete the course concurrently in one year.

To apply for double or joint honours, you need to meet the eligibility requirements for both honours.

Contact the honours coordinator in your faculty or school to discuss your options.

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  1. (PDF) Honours Thesis.pdf

    thesis for honours

  2. Honours Thesis Presentations (Wednesday, 22 January 2020)

    thesis for honours

  3. Template for LaTeX PhD thesis title page

    thesis for honours

  4. Honors Thesis

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  5. Honours Thesis

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  6. Atul Honours Thesis

    thesis for honours


  1. Thesis Writing and Supervision: Chapter 1

  2. The Thesis

  3. Thesis Writing and Supervision: Chapter 5

  4. 2021 Honours Thesis Presentation Shannon Akers

  5. How to make Dissertation? Complete Details about Dissertation / Thesis for Bachelors/ Masters Degree

  6. General Sir John Monash Scholarships- Sarah Ramantanis


  1. Honors Theses

    What is an honors thesis? That depends quite a bit on your field of study. However, all honors theses have at least two things in common: They are based on students' original research. They take the form of a written manuscript, which presents the findings of that research.

  2. How to Write an Undergraduate Honors Thesis

    An honors thesis is basically just a long research paper. Depending on the department, your paper may be required to be anywhere from 40-60 pages long. While this is likely longer than anything...

  3. Thesis Proposal Examples

    A proposal in the Arts and Humanities will generally include an introduction and a creative work (e.g. screenplays, short stories, artwork) or theoretical analysis. Students will create a signature cover page for the thesis proposal that will list the entire committee and HUT Liaison. The Thesis proposal cover page template can be found here.

  4. PDF Honors Thesis Guide 2019

    Guide to Writing your Honors Thesis Professor Kristine Madsen, MD, MPH School of Public Health Introduction to this Guide Congratulations on embarking an Honors Thesis project! Your thesis is a synthesis of at least two semesters of independent research and represents one of the most important documents you will write at UC Berkeley.

  5. Honors Thesis

    What is an Honors thesis? Most of your work in college involves learning information and ideas generated by other people. When you write a thesis, you are engaging with previous work, but also adding new knowledge to your field.

  6. Thesis Structure

    Honours thesis writing Thesis Structure This page outlines the stages of an honours thesis and provides links to other pages that will give you more information and some examples from past theses. Abstract: Write this last. It is an overview of your whole thesis, and is between 200-300 words. Stages of a thesis (in order) Abstract Write this last.

  7. Thesis Examples

    There are two ways to search: UConn's Open Commons contains many recent Honors theses. For Honors graduates, all Honors theses written between 2006 - 2021 are listed in the following PDFs and the titles are hyperlinked to Open Commons where available: by author's last name .pdf by author's major .pdf by thesis supervisor .pdf

  8. Writing an Honors Thesis

    An Honors Thesis is a substantial piece of independent research that an undergraduate carries out over two semesters. Students writing Honors Theses take PHIL 691H and 692H, in two different semesters. What follows answers all the most common questions about Honors Theses in Philosophy. All necessary forms are downloadable and may be found

  9. Writing and Defending an Honors Thesis

    The structure and specific sections of the thesis (abstract, introduction, literature review, discussion, conclusion, bibliography) should be approved by the student's faculty advisor and the Honors Council representative. The thesis should have a title page, as described in the preceding paragraphs (section II.1.10). 2.

  10. A Student Guide to Writing an Undergraduate Psychology Honors Thesis

    A Student Guide to Writing an Undergraduate Psychology Honors Thesis takes students through the entire process of creating a full-scale research project, from selecting a topic, choosing an experimental or correlational design, to writing and presenting their paper.. The book offers valuable guidance on developing broader skills like communicating with your supervisor, time management and ...

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  12. Honors Thesis Guidelines

    Updated January 2022. Honors English students, following Schreyer Honors College requirements, compose a thesis of significant scholarly research or creative writing. The thesis is completed in close consultation with a thesis supervisor during the semester before the student's graduation semester, while the student is enrolled in English 494H.

  13. Economics Undergraduate Honors Theses

    530 Evans Hall #3880, Berkeley, California 94720-3880 Tel: (510) 642-0822 / Fax: (510) 642-6615 / E-mail: [email protected] For undergraduate inquiries: (510) 642-6674 / [email protected]

  14. Thesis Topics

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  15. How important is an (Honors) undergraduate thesis to graduate school

    A research thesis would be vastly more useful than a review thesis, as a large bulk of graduate admissions is based on trying to estimate your potential as a researcher. While you do have some research experience, in my mind one of the nice parts of a thesis is that rather than just volunteering in a lab, you are in some ways taking charge of a ...

  16. Honors Undergraduate Theses

    The Honors Undergraduate Thesis Program provides students from all disciplines the opportunity to engage in original and independent research as principal investigators. Over the course of two to four semesters, students work closely with a faculty committee to research, write, defend and publish an Honors thesis that serves as the capstone product of their undergraduate career.

  17. Honours Thesis Handbook

    The honours thesis course (PSYCH 499A/B/C) is an optional course for those who have a strong interest in conducting original research and wish to gain greater experience in research design, data analysis and interpretation.

  18. Honors Undergraduate Thesis

    If you have questions or you almost meet the requirements, stop in and see the great folks in the Office of Honors Research (OHR), now relocated in Trevor Colbourn Hall, Suite 248 (Phone: 407-823-0851). Email [email protected] with any questions. The HUT Coordinator will help you (1) apply for the Honors Undergraduate Thesis program and ...

  19. PDF Honors in Mathematics

    Honors in Mathematics Writing a Senior Thesis (2021-2022) 1. Candidacy for Honors. A senior thesis is required for high or highest honors in Mathematics, where-as for straight honors (neither high nor highest), a senior thesis can be submit or four extra courses in Mathematics or approved related fields can be taken (above the required twelve ...

  20. Honors Thesis

    Complete an honors thesis by the deadline agreed upon with their primary advisor and obtain the final approval of their advisor (s) (see below for due date). Thesis writers are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the departmental Honors Thesis Presentation session held in May, with a brief presentation of their work and findings.

  21. Honors Theses

    2023. Lopez-Jensen, Lukas. The Effects of Occupational Licensing on Wages and Employment, 2014-2019. 2023. Martinez, Xavier. Impact of Price Cap Regulation on Phone Call Costs for U.S. Inmates. 2023. Parell, Jackson. Burned: Measuring the Effects of Wildfires on Suicide.

  22. What's So Honorary About an Honours Degree?

    A thesis advisor is a professor that will work alongside honours students to help guide them through each aspect of their thesis. A student's thesis advisor will help with brainstorming ideas, deciding on the study's design, interpreting the results, and putting together their final paper and presentation.

  23. Understanding honours

    1. Overview and types of honours 2. Eligibility and preparing for honours 3. Honours awards and classes Overview and types of honours You can undertake honours either as part of the combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies, or through an appended honours course after your undergraduate degree.

  24. PDF Psychology Honours Thesis Information Session 2024

    What is an honours thesis? Thesis requires the student to: Participate in thesis seminars throughout year Search, read and review relevant literature Plan an empirical study Write a substantial thesis proposal Collect and analyze data Report the results via written, oral and poster presentations

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