Thesis Forms & Guidelines
All students wishing to graduate with Honors from The Honors College must complete a minimum three hour Honors Thesis or Project (larger thesis/projects requiring more hours are possible). These intense, individually designed and directed experiences demand a great deal of both student and mentor, but the rewards are just as great. As a smaller version of a master's thesis, this experience should immerse the student in the field they are studying and provide them an immediate and intimate engagement with the material they are studying. In many cases, the work is an extension of the mentor's own scholarship and may lead to results that can be presented locally or nationally. This is the ideal case, but is not required.
NOTE: THESE FORMS ARE ONLY FOR THOSE COMPLETING UNIVERSITY HONORS. FOR DEPARTMENTAL HONORS FORMS, PLEASE CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT OR COLLEGE. DEPARTMENTAL FORMS RETURNED TO THE HONORS COLLEGE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
- Click here for Senior Honors Thesis Forms and Guidelines.
- For examples of Thesis titles and what students have written about in the past click here.
- University Honors graduates are expected to present a Thesis Defense as part of their capstone experiences. For more information about the Thesis Defense click here.
- Click here for a video on How to Complete a University Honors Thesis starring Christian Baucum.
Guidelines for the Thesis
The Honors College Thesis (HCT) is the capstone scholarly experience for Honors students. To enroll in the HCT, all University Honors students who enrolled at ASU in 2006 or earlier must have a GPA of 3.4 in all Honors courses; students who enrolled at ASU in Fall 2007 and later must have a 3.45 cumulative GPA as well as a 3.45 honors GPA. All Honors students should schedule an appointment with the Honors office before signing up for the HCT to check their Honors transcript and GPA. Call 262-2083 to schedule this appointment
Types of Thesis/Projects
The HCT takes whatever form best suits the subject. It can be a traditional research paper or it might resemble a scientific research article. A creative project, composition, work of art, recital, or dramatic production is entirely acceptable, but must include a written component describing the performance/creative process and product. The scope and length of the work will fall somewhere between a typical semester paper and a master's thesis. The style is appropriate to the format and is agreed upon between the student and the thesis committee.
Credit Hours and Picking a Director
The HCT must be a minimum of three hours credit in an area of the student's choosing, but more credits may be required in some departments and may be arranged if appropriate. At least two professors mentor the HCT: a first reader, or director, and a second reader. The two professors must come from different departments to foster interdisciplinarity, and the director must be a tenured/tenure-track ASU faculty member. The second reader must come from a different department than the director and should at least comment on a draft version of the HCT so that the student can benefit from more than one professor's observations and corrections. See the faculty page regarding thesis committees for more information.
Taking Thesis Before Junior Year
While most students will register for the HCT during the senior year, junior standing does not preclude one from signing up for the HCT. Students are encouraged to spread credit over two semesters to ensure adequate time for research, writing, and revision.
Binding and title page format information is provided to the student at the time of application. Belk Library catalogs and archives all HCTs; the Honors office does not keep copies. The thesis must be on thesis-quality, cotton-bond paper, which is available at the University Bookstore. The final copy of the thesis must be submitted to the Honors office by the first day of exams along with a digital copy.
Which Thesis Course to Register for
Students sign up for the HCT as HON 4010 if they are only doing University Honors, or DEPT 4510 (or other 45xx number in some departments) for Departmental Honors only or Departmental plus University Honors. The Honors College office provides the Special Course Form to complete and take to the Registrar's Office if it is HON 4010, otherwise the student must submit this form through their department and college. Departments may have additional forms that students will need to submit to the departmental Honors director.
Satisfying Both Departmental and University Honors with One Thesis
It is possible to use the same HCT to satisfy departmental/ college, and University Honors Program graduation requirements, so long as the Second Reader is from a different department than the director and all programs' requirements are met.*
Title Page & Celebration
The title page must be complete, including all signatures, before the thesis is considered completed. Upon completion of the HCT for University Honors, and provided all other requirements are met, the designation A University Honors Graduate is entered on the student's final transcript. All students completing University Honors and their families will be invited to a special ceremony prior to graduation to recognize their accomplishments
*Contact individual departments/colleges for guidelines for department/college theses.*
One option for students completing their thesis is The Public Service Research Program (PSRP).
The Public Service Research Program (PSRP) is for all undergraduate students in any major who would like to apply their academic skills/research interests to a real social problem through community-based research (CBR). CBR, in the simplest terms, is research that is conducted with and for, not on, members of a community. In CBR, you collaborate with the community agency to help them answer a research question that they have. It's like traditional academic research, in that you use rigorous methods to study the problem. But unlike most academic research, CBR also means you come up with an action plan for what the community agency can do with the results of the research. Visit http://psrp.appstate.edu/ for more information.