Proposing a thesis project

Stage 3 will support you through selecting a mentor and project, along with writing a thesis proposal and formalizing project plans with your mentor. In this stage you may begin to ask:

  • What project is right for me?
  • Which mentor is the best fit for me?
  • How will I balance such a large project with my other responsibilities?
  • What makes my project a thesis?

In this stage, you select a thesis project and mentor, and then submit a mentor-approved Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline to the HC. You should complete Stage 3 at least four terms prior to graduation. You will receive occasional reminders to complete Stage 3 until you have done so. If you have questions, please contact your HC academic advisor.

If your plan has changed and you need to update your Thesis Map, see the Thesis Map update.

Option 1

Register for HC 408 Thesis: Stage 3: Commit


Option 2

Complete Stage 3- Commit tasks independently

Task 1: Select a thesis mentor and research topic.

Having had conversations with several faculty researchers, it’s time to identify your preference and request that he or she serve as your mentor. The faculty member will consider his or her availability and willingness to dedicate significant time to your project. Share the Thesis Mentor Guidelines and a template of the Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline with your mentor at this time. By now, you have also explored areas of academic interest and are ready to address a specific topic through research. Though the topic is likely to be within your major, this is not a HC requirement.

Task 2: Write a formal thesis proposal with a student-mentor agreement.

This document is called the HC Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline. It is more comprehensive than a typical thesis proposal, so please follow the HC guideline rather than other resources. It includes an expectations agreement and a timeline to completion, both negotiated with your mentor. Clear communication and an agreed on timeline are key to a smooth thesis experience. Your proposal is an essential component towards a clear, identifiable, and manageable project with a realistic timeline and coherent path toward completion.

Task 3: Submit your Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline.

You must submit your Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline online for the HC’s official record. You and your mentor will sign the printed copies. Keep one signed copy to upload to the HC. Please note that only the mentor will approve a proposal - the HC will not issue a separate approval of your project.

If changes are made after submitting the Proposal, Agreement & Timeline, please keep the following in mind:

  • Minor changes should be approved by your mentor but do not require revision of the documentation on file with the HC.
  • Major changes, such as choosing a different topic or mentor, require you to submit a new Thesis Proposal, Agreement & Timeline to the HC.

Once your proposal has been submitted and approved you are ready to begin your research in consultation with your mentor.

Honors Experiential Awards

Honors Experiential Awards support thesis research or related experiences such as travel to academic or professional conferences. Honors Experiential Awards can be paid as scholarships or as reimbursements or direct bills to the Honors College for equipment and supplies. Honors College students may apply for one $1,000 experiential award each year they are enrolled in the HC. Awards are not guaranteed and are evaluated on the impact of the funds and the proposed experience on applicant's long-term plans and educational goals. Important Note: Students may only apply during terms in which they are registered for classes.

“[By completing a thesis] I will be able to put myself above other candidates who have research experience when I apply for graduate school.”
Patrick Ramsing, Honors College Class of 2011