Before graduating from the UHP, students must complete either the Honors Thesis or the Senior Seminar; with either option students produce a significant final project. Deciding which option is best depends on a student's level of interest in the subject material, scheduling, and learning style preference. It is important to note that neither the Thesis nor the Seminar necessarily constitutes more work than the other.
Senior Seminar: Honors 475
Prerequisites: Good standing in the UHP and 90 total credits earned prior to enrollment.
This topical seminar is offered every Spring and focuses on a theme that is examined within a broad, interdisciplinary perspective. In the course of a single semester, students explore the theme through shared readings and then develop and design a final research project that integrates the course theme with their major. Recent course topics have included "Race," "Terror," "Evil, Ethics, and Faith," "Living with Dementia," "Time," and "America in the 1960s."
Honors Thesis: XXX 474
Prerequisites: Good standing in the UHP and junior status.
The Honors Thesis is a two-semester project that allows students to engage in significant research on a subject of their choice within their major or minor. With the aid of a faculty advisor, students independently create a substantial scholarly or creative work in a supportive environment.
During the first semester, students work with their faculty advisor and with the UHP director to develop an original idea that is documented in a prospectus. Upon completion and approval of the prospectus, students continue their research or creative work and complete the thesis. An Honors Thesis may be either a traditional scholarly project or creative piece(s) but, in either case, the Thesis must address recent scholarship and demonstrate significant involvement with the subject.
At the end of the semester in which their work is completed, students present their projects at the Honors Thesis Symposium.
There are many benefits to completing an Honors Thesis:
- Credit for the project is applied to the student's major or minor.
- The thesis is especially useful preparation for students intending to go on to graduate school, both for application purposes and for the experience of completing a graduate-style project.
- An undergraduate thesis on a resume demonstrates to potential employers an impressive level of engagement and dedication.
- Completion of such a project represents a milestone in a student's academic and personal development.
While only two semesters are required to complete the project, those considering the option are encouraged to contact us and attend a Senior Capstone Meeting by Junior year.
Students who wish to see examples of previously completed Honors Theses may check them out from the Thesis library in the Honors offices. After examining the Thesis register below or by viewing the hard copy on the bulletin board in the UHP offices, stop by the Associate Advisor's office with the author, title, and semester of completion of the Thesis requested.
While there is no specific due date for theses borrowed, please review and return the items in a timely manner to ensure that all Honors students may benefit from the Program's shared resources.
Planning for the Capstone?
Juniors and Seniors planning to complete their senior capstone should attend a Senior Capstone Meeting, which is held every September and February. This short meeting is a great way to learn about the two options in greater detail. Meeting announcements are e-mailed at the beginning of each semester and are also posted in the Honors newsletter, Illuminations.
Students with questions about the Capstone experience options or how each fits into their particular plans for graduation are encouraged to contact the Associate Advisor at any time.