Honors Thesis (Research Track)

Honors Thesis: Creative, Applied, and Scholarly Research Projects
This course is structured to provide you with a meaningful mentored experience, empowering
you in the development of an individualized thesis project unique to your background and
interest. Foundational to this project is the support of a thesis chair whom you will seek out
and invite to oversee your work. In the course of two semesters, you will accomplish the

  1. Conduct an original inquiry or investigation in the form of a creative, applied, or
    scholarly research project
  2. Use established disciplinary methods and frameworks to develop an approach to
  3. Execute a project to completion captured in a digital artifact (written, audio, or
    video) appropriate to the disciplinary practice

These skills will be important for your first job, graduate school and internships. The
emphasis of the thesis process is on developing independence in your inquiry and for you to
experience the kind of mentoring relationship you might get in graduate school. Being able
to articulate what you did doing your thesis project, particularly why and how, can be an
incredibly important form of storytelling about who you are and what skills you have; your
story is especially relevant in medical school applications, graduate school application, or
pursuing career opportunities in the workforce.

A key objective of the thesis project is to expose you to the kind of mentoring relationship
you might experience in graduate school. Thus, your most important activities will be the
development and maintenance of a meaningful working relationship with your thesis chair.

IDH 4970 - 001: Honors Thesis I
Students in this course have completed a reflection activity as well as an annotated bibliography introducing them to the enterprise of inquiry-based projects. They are required to meet with several faculty members (if they have not already secured a thesis chair) for informational interviews. Prior to interviews, students should have reviewed the C.V. and recent publications of the faculty member.

Important Dates (Thesis I):

  • Confirm Thesis Chair: Week 5*
  • Faculty added to Canvas: Week 6
  • Draft Prospectus: Week 9
  •  Final Prospectus: Week 12

*Students will be asked to submit an agreement form signed by their thesis chair. It is strongly recommended that students look for a thesis chair BEFORE registering for the Thesis I course.

IDH 4970 - 002: Honors Thesis II
Students in this course have confirmed they are working with a thesis chair. They are expected to actively engage with chairs through regular communication, meetings, and draft revisions.

Important Dates (Thesis II):

  • Thesis Schedule & Coordination: Week 2
  • Faculty added to Canvas: Week 6
  •  Draft Thesis: Week 7
  • Final Thesis: Week 11

IDH 4970 001 & 002: Course Syllabus Sample 


Thesis Overall Content, Process, & Direction
Atsuko Sakai, M.Arch.
Faculty, Judy Genshaft Honors College

Degree Works & Course Requirements
Assigned Honors College advisor

Thesis Permits (Thesis II only)
Please complete this form

Brainstorming & IdeationHonors College Faculty 

  • Michael Cross, Ph.D
  • Lindy Davidson, Ph.D. 
  • Andrew Hargrove, PH.D.
  • Atsuko Sakai, M.Arch.
  • Ulluminair Salim, PhD
  • Holly Singh, Ph.D.
  • Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D.
  • Benjamin Young, Ph.D.

Honors Thesis 4-year Roadmap

Honors Thesis Prep:
Thesis Prep 1:  Finding Thesis Topic
● Thesis Prep 2: Thesis Structure & Thesis Chair
● Thesis Prep 3: Project Schedule & Organizing Thesis
● Thesis Prep 4: Preparing & Planning Early
● A Quick Info Sheet for Thesis Chair (Sample)