Beginning stage

How do I sign up for thesis credits?
No later than the first part of your senior year, you will register for and be graded in four to six credits of 401 (research), or 403 (thesis) in your major academic department, (an HC designator may be used as a default if no departmental designator is appropriate). For interdisciplinary theses, consult your mentor for the appropriate designator. The credit is to allow you time for the research and will be counted toward HC requirements. Departments may also count research credits toward academic requirements and they may accept more than six credits, so check with your mentor.

To register for Thesis / Research / Project credits (e.g. 403, 401, 406) here are the typical steps you would need to take:

1) Already have found a mentor and completed a thesis proposal
2) Pick up a form to register for this type of credit at within departmental office of your mentor
3) Complete this form, noting the numbers of credits you wish to enroll in and have your mentor sign it
4) Return the form back to the academic department
5) Once approved, the department will do an override and send you an e-mail letting you know to go ahead and register for the credits
6) Your mentor will submit your grade to the Registrar's Office at the end of the term.

My major department already requires a thesis; do I have to do two?
No. You can adapt your major thesis into your Honors thesis; you are not required to submit two theses.

How do I use my engineering project as my thesis?
This varies based on your specific engineering discipline. Some engineering senior projects are easier to adapt to your Honors thesis than others. If your engineering project is a group project, you will need to present your portion of the work as your thesis.

I am a double major do I have to do two theses?
No. You are only required to complete one thesis.

Who needs to be on my committee?
Working as a team, you and your mentor will select the other two members of your committee. The HC Council has approved what might be termed a “two thirds rule.” That is, at least two of the members of your committee must be senior instructor or tenure-track faculty (one is the Mentor), but the third may be a Research Associate, community-based expert, or other qualified individual who is acceptable to your mentor. Your committee must be at least three people but there is no problem with it being larger.

I am in the International degree program, which Introduction to Thesis class do I take?
You may register for either Introduction to Thesis course. The HC will count the International course (Intl 407) if you choose to take that one. HC 403 Introduction to Thesis is only taught in Fall and Spring terms.

Can I see what a thesis looks like?
Yes! You can look at hard copies of all of the theses. They are housed in the HC advising office (LInC 450). Electronic copies of more recent theses are available via the Valley Library website.

Nuts & bolts

What font do I use?
There is no firm requirement on this; use whichever is appropriate for your specific discipline.

What style/format do I use? (e.g. MLA, APA)
You should review standards used in the literature of your field and discuss with your mentor(s) which style manual might benefit you most.

What kind of paper do I use?
You must photocopy or print your entire original project onto white paper that is 16 or 20 pound (standard) 8-1/2 x 11 inches, 25% or more rag content, and of uniform make and watermark (all rag paper has a watermark). The same paper should be used throughout the entire document, including the front and back flyleaves, except for oversize material or (possibly) color copying. You should buy more rag paper than you think you will need; some corrections almost always are required, and each corrected original page must be photocopied onto the same rag paper. Save the rag paper for the final, bound version.

What are the margin sizes?
Left-hand margin: 1-1/2 inches

Top, right-hand, and bottom margins: 1 inch

Text should begin on the top margin. If you justify the right-hand margin, you must do so consistently throughout the entire document (except within figures and tables).

The image area should be 6 x 9 inches. The thesis title and all other material (including footnotes, figures, tables, and legends) except page numbers must be kept within the image area to permit proper binding.

The defense

Who needs to be at my defense?
Your entire committee including mentor are required to be present at your defense.

Who can I invite to attend my defense?
You are welcome to invite your family, friends, and anyone else who has been supportive of you to this point.

Where do I hold my defense?
You are welcome to use any HC classroom space. Please check with the HC front office staff regarding room availability. Your major department may also have a conference room or classroom that also meets your needs. Students have also used classrooms in the Valley Library.

My mentor is in Bolivia at a conference, can I do my defense with her on speaker phone?
Yes, although you are responsible for arranging for the technology and gaining her original signature on your thesis.

Nearly done

Can I have the HC Dean sign my thesis first?
No. The HC Dean is the LAST signature you will obtain. Please be sure you have all other signatures (including your own) before submitting it to the HC office.

I can’t quite get finished in time. What happens now?
You may complete the thesis in the subsequent term to when you were initially planning on graduating. It is your responsibility to contact the Registrar’s Office and let them know which term you plan on graduating. For spring graduates, if you delay graduation until summer term you may still take part in commencement ceremonies but your degree would not be conferred until September.