Current Students

Research Tracks

All Judy Genshaft Honors College students must complete a research track consisting of either a thesis or capstone course.

Thesis is an individual, inquiry-based project conducted under the direction of a faculty member. Thesis may also be completed through departmental honors programs. 

The Honors College Thesis track provides students a 1-to-1 mentoring experience similar to a graduate program with faculty selected by each student based on their area of inquiry. The goal of the Thesis track is to develop experience building knowledge through integrative and applied learning following a specific research idea, social issue to be investigated, or creative project unique to each student. The key feature is the process of establishing a meaningful working relationship with the thesis chair(s) in order to effectively support the student’s curiosity and scholarly work, encourage interdisciplinary approaches to solving problems, and share the ongoing academic journey together.

The Capstone track brings honors students together to take an interdisciplinary approach at solving real-world problems within the context of an honors course. Instructors select engaging topics of interest and use an experiential learning model to guide students through structured, collaborative group research projects. Capstone course topics vary from semester to semester - please check the honors courses webpage for Capstone descriptions and any special application instructions.

FOUR WAYS TO COMPLETE THE RESEARCH REQUIREMENT:

  1. Discovery Track I: Honors College Thesis → Students will enroll in two semesters of Honors Thesis coursework to conduct an original inquiry or investigation in the form of a creative, applied, or scholarly research project. The first semester is for students to find a thesis chair and complete a prospectus (a plan of action) by generating a research question, conducting a literature review, examining methodological approaches, and beginning the preliminary inquiry. In the second semester, students will execute the project and submit the final digital artifact (written, audio, or video) appropriate to the main disciplinary practice.
  2. Discovery Track II: Thesis through Departmental Honors Program → Some academic departments offer their own honors programs, which include a thesis. Honors College students have the option of completing thesis through their departments in order to meet Honors College requirements.
  3. Innovation: Capstone → Students will enroll in an Honors Capstone class, plus one additional core Honors course of their choice.
  4. Other Options → Engineering majors will enroll in a one-semester course called Honors Thesis for Engineers. This class, in addition to their major Capstone/Senior Design project, meets the Honors College requirements.