Understanding the requirements and developing a plan

Stage 1 tasks prompt you to think about several important questions:

  • What is a thesis, anyway? What makes it different from any other term paper or project?
  • What options do I have? Can I do a thesis outside of my major?  Can I produce a graphic novel as my thesis project?
  • How will the thesis impact my coursework and future life goals?

You are required to complete Stage 1 within your first year in the HC. You will receive occasional reminders to complete Stage 1 until you have done so. If you have questions, please contact your HC academic advisor.


Task 1: Attend a one-hour TheSIS Stage 1 Workshop

Workshops provide an overview of the entire thesis process, and are offered several times fall, winter, and spring terms. Spring 2021 workshops will all be via Zoom. You will receive the link to the Zoom session you registered for at least 1 business day before the workshop via your OSU email. 


Task 2: Prepare your individualized Thesis Map

The thesis is a major project that requires not only a sustained time commitment, but also coordination between various people and services. The deadlines for completion of each stage are up to you; the only specific deadline is the final date for submitting a thesis in order to graduate. While it takes a lot of planning to create your initial thesis map, once you've figured out which terms you're aiming to complete each stage of the TheSIS process, you just need to fill out an online form—and remember, the map can be updated if needed (see an example thesis map).

Some students map their thesis path over their entire undergraduate career, while others plan to complete the four stages in only a few months. You should consult with your HC academic advisor to create your Thesis Map, but pacing the project to ensure completion is ultimately your responsibility.

  • Think about your overall plan for degree completion utilizing degree plan outlines on the web and talking with your major advisor
  • Begin to insert the thesis stages into your overall plan where appropriate considering terms which may be extra busy or where you are unable to devote time to your thesis (i.e. study abroad)
  • Consult your HC academic advisor sharing your overall plan having incorporated the thesis stages
  • Submit your personalized Thesis Map to the HC
  • If your plan changes, update your Thesis Map

While at times I was incredibly stressed and frustrated, the thesis project was the most valuable, challenging, and rewarding educational experience of my college career.
-Amy Mattsen, Honors College Class of 2002