Proposing a Thesis Project

To begin Stage 3, you should already have a mentor and a general idea of your project. If you haven’t yet told us who your mentor is, or if you are unsure if you have told us, please complete this survey.

If you haven’t yet found a mentor and you need support, schedule an appointment with your HC academic advisor. You can find all HC academic advisor email addresses and scheduling links on the academic advising page.

You should complete Stage 3 at least three terms prior to graduation. If your timeline has changed and you need to update your Thesis Plan, see the Thesis Plan update.


Refer to the HC Academic Advising Canvas page for information on Stage 3: Commit workshops and other resources that will support you in completing your Thesis Proposal, Agreement, and Timeline.

To Complete Stage 3: Commit

Formalize your project plans with your mentor by writing and submitting a Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline to the Honors College. Schedule a meeting with your thesis mentor to discuss:

☐ How and when you will select your thesis committee

☐ The HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline 

☐ If your project requires additional safety or ethics approval


Thesis Committee:

Your thesis committee will consist of three members: your mentor, plus two additional faculty members (or experts in the appropriate field). The committee must include at least two people (one of whom may be your mentor) who are professorial faculty (assistant professor, associate professor, professor of research/practice/clinical or emeritus professor) or senior instructor (I or II) at Oregon State.

Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline

The HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline is more comprehensive than a typical thesis proposal, so please follow the HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline template closely. The template provides you and your mentor guidelines for creating a clearly defined and manageable project. Once you and your mentor have discussed the terms of your project and you have completed the HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline:

You must submit your Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline online for the HC’s official record. Please note that only the mentor approves a proposal — the HC will not issue a separate approval of your project. Once your proposal has been submitted and approved, you are ready to begin your research in consultation with your mentor.

If you need to make changes to your project after submitting the HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline, please keep in mind that minor changes should be approved by your mentor. You are not required to submit a new HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline to the HC. If you are making major changes, such as changing mentors, you are required you to submit a new HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline to the HC.

  • Schedule a meeting with your mentor to review the document.
  • Print and bring a copy of the HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline to your meeting and have your mentor sign it.
  • Scan the signed HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline and save a PDF copy of the document. If you need help scanning the document to upload, please drop by the SLUG computer lab or the HC Administrative Office in LInC 450.
  • Submit your PDF and HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline information online.
Safety, Ethics and Additional Approvals

Your project may require approval from an oversight committee such as the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the Chemical Safety Committee, the Radiation Safety Committee, etc. Ask your mentor early in the process whether you need approval. Depending on which committee has oversight, you may be expected to submit an application, protocol, consent forms, test instruments and so forth. The HC cannot inform you whether your project requires these additional approvals.