Honors Thesis Information
The Honors thesis may be a research-based senior thesis or another discipline-appropriate project, and is completed during your senior year. The thesis may take many forms depending upon the discipline and field from which you are working.
An Honors thesis may develop from work within a laboratory or work upon a stage. It may be creative in nature with inspiration from the arts, qualitative in nature with underpinnings in education, or quantitative in nature and based on scientific data. As with research at graduate levels, an Honors thesis conforms to the expectations of the department and field. Several of our recent graduates have parlayed their Honors thesis research into peer-reviewed publications.
The completed thesis/project is presented in a public forum and defended before a committee, comprised of the major department faculty thesis advisor, another faculty member in the department, and the Director of the University Honors Program, or his/her designee. Appropriate public venues for the presentation include, but are not limited to: a departmental seminar, the ISU Undergraduate Research Symposium, an Honors regional or national conference, or a discipline specific conference.
If you are considering completing an Honors thesis/project, you are urged to complete Introduction to Honors Thesis (HONS 3393) during the fall semester of your junior year. This course formalizes the concept of an Honors thesis and helps you develop, plan and begin this unique and rigorous project. It further helps you select a thesis topic, identify a thesis director, begin a scholarship review, and develop a timeline for completing the project or thesis. Although HONS 3393 is not a requirement in order to earn an Honors Degree, it provides a firm foundation to help promote completion of this challenging endeavor.
When pursuing an Honors Degree, you are required to complete at least 1 credit of Honors Senior Thesis or Project (HONS 4493) at the senior level. This course, and research completed within the course, is supervised by a committee of at least two faculty members from your major or minor department and approved by the University Honors Program Director. You must also submit to the Director of the Honors Program a Student Initiated Honors Thesis Agreement and an Agreement to Serve as Mentor/Advisor for an Honors Thesis.