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Honors Thesis

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Your entire honors career leads to this – your Honors Thesis.

The Honors Thesis is a personalized experience that serves as a stepping stone toward the next stage of your academic or professional career. It allows you to work one-on-one with a faculty member to produce a long-term, in-depth project in an area that you’re passionate about.

It’s a large final project and, depending on your major, might take the form of a capstone, design project, research paper, or creative work—we’ve even had students write novels. No matter the final format of your thesis, you’ll incorporate the knowledge and investigative techniques you learned during your undergraduate career in new directions. That can make the project both intimidating and exciting!

The Honors Thesis is a two-semester commitment that demands a minimum of six units of work.

Students may complete an Honors Thesis and graduate with honors in their major or minor. Students may graduate with honors in more than one major or minor by completing two distinct theses.

This personalized experience includes exploring a concept while incorporating the knowledge and investigative techniques you learned during your undergraduate career. The capstone may take any form appropriate to your discipline and approved by your capstone advisor (e.g. research paper, performance, video, artwork, etc.). Many of our alumni say it was their favorite part of their Honors experience.

How much time should you spend preparing, planning and executing your thesis?

Faculty Mentor

Your mentor will help you outline your goals and develop a plan of action.

Completing the Thesis/Capstone Prospectus is a mandatory step in order to graduate with honors.

What form will your final project take?

Submit Your Thesis

Make sure you give yourself adequate time for review and submission of your Honors Thesis. 

Submission Details

This spring event showcases the work of graduating seniors and Quest students through poster sessions and videos. 

Get inspired by previous students’ completed work.

A Distinctive Achievement Honors Thesis

As a Schreyer Scholar, you are required to complete an undergraduate honors thesis as the culmination of your honors experience. The goal of the thesis is to demonstrate a command of relevant scholastic work and to make a personal contribution to that scholarship.

Your thesis project can take many forms — from laboratory experiments all the way to artistic creations. Your thesis document captures the relevant background, methods, and techniques and describes the details of the completion of the individual project.

Two Penn State faculty members evaluate and approve your thesis — a thesis supervisor and an honors adviser in your area of honors.

Scholar hitting the gong after submitting their honors thesis

Planning is Key Project Guide

The thesis is, by design, your most ambitious undertaking as a Scholar.

A successful thesis requires a viable proposal, goal-setting, time management, and interpersonal skills on top of the disciplinary skills associated with your intended area of honors. This guide will walk you through the thesis process. Keep in mind, though, that your honors adviser and thesis supervisor are your key resources.

Planning A Thesis

An ideal thesis project should:

  • Satisfy your intellectual curiosity
  • Give you the opportunity to work closely with faculty
  • Develop transferable skills
  • Clarify your post-graduation plans

The single biggest factor in determining thesis quality is your level of interest in and engagement with the topic, so consider multiple possibilities rather than selecting the first one that seems attractive to you.

From the perspective of the Schreyer Honors College, the purpose of the thesis experience is to develop your intellectual and professional identity in the field and to help you think about your future.

Once complete, the purpose of the thesis is to advance knowledge, understanding, or creative value in its field.

Lab-Based Research Fields

We recommend avoiding the temptation to stick with your first lab placement merely out of convenience if the topic is not interesting to you. The quality of your thesis is truly dependent on the depth of your interest and the energy behind your curiosity. Your intellectual engagement is the thing that will carry you through what may at times feel like a long and sometimes difficult process.

A Thesis Needs A Thesis

A thesis is problem-oriented and identifies something of importance whose answer or best interpretation is not fully known or agreed-upon by people who make their careers in the field, and it proceeds towards the answer or best interpretation. Even with a creative or performance thesis, the purpose is not to demonstrate technical ability (writing, painting, acting, composing, etc.), but to express something you think is worth expressing and hasn't been fully expressed already.

Identifying a Topic

An interest can come from anywhere, but the problem that defines a thesis can only come from a thorough acquaintance with "the literature," the accumulated knowledge or creative value in your field.

By speaking with faculty (preferably more than one) and reading professional journals (again, more than one), you not only get a "crowd-sourced" sense of what is important, you also get a sense of what the open questions are. This is where you start to strike a balance between ambition and feasibility.

Feasibility & Realistic Ambition

You might want to come up with the definitive explanation for Rome's decline and fall, or the cure for cancer. There is strong evidence — several thousand prior theses — that your honors thesis will not accomplish anything on that scale. This realization might be disheartening, but it is an introduction to the reality of modern scholarship: Knowledge almost always moves incrementally and the individual units of knowledge production and dissemination (theses, journal articles, books, etc.) are only rarely revolutionary in isolation. This is part of what the thesis experience will test for you — whether or not you want to continue via graduate school in that kind of slow-moving enterprise.

The feasibility of a given thesis problem is bounded, as mathematicians might say, by several factors.

The honors thesis should not extend your time at Penn State by design. There are circumstances where you might defer graduation to complete your thesis, but that should not be your initial plan.

Resources are a potential issue in that even a comprehensive and well-funded university like Penn State does not have the physical infrastructure for every possible kind of research. The expense of ambitious off-campus research, such as a comparative study requiring visits to several countries, can easily exceed our funding abilities. If you expect to incur more than $300 in expenses, you should get commitments from your department and academic college before proceeding.

Proposal, Supervisor & Area of Honors

Thesis proposal.

The thesis proposal is due at the end of your third year, assuming you're on a four-year path to graduation. File your Thesis Proposal with the Schreyer Honors College via the Student Records System (SRS) . The end-of-third-year requirement is from the Honors College, but your major may expect a much earlier commitment so be sure to talk to your honors adviser as early as your second year about this. The thesis proposal needs the following things:

  • Supervision
  • A Working Title
  • Purpose/Objective
  • Intended Outcome
  • How do you intend to earn honors credit?
  • How often do you plan to meet with your supervisor?
  • Will your thesis satisfy other requirements?
  • Does your thesis involve working with human, animals, or biohazardous materials or radioactive isotopes?

The Honors College staff does not review the content of the proposal, so the intended audience is your thesis supervisor and the honors adviser in your intended area of honors.

Thesis Supervisor

Your thesis supervisor is the professor who has primary responsibility for supervising your thesis.

Ideally your thesis supervisor will be the single most appropriate person for your thesis in the whole university, or at least at your whole campus, in terms of specialization and, where relevant, resources. How far you can stray from that ideal depends on the nature of the thesis. If specific lab resources are needed then you cannot stray too far, but if general intellectual mentoring is the extent of the required supervision then you have more flexibility, including the flexibility to choose a topic that does not align closely with the supervisor's specialization.

Apart from a professor being unavailable for or declining your project, the biggest reason to consider bypassing the "single most appropriate person" is that you have doubts about whether you would get along with them. Do not put too much stock in second-hand information about a professor, but if after meeting him or her you have concerns then you should certainly consider continuing your search.

Area of Honors

Thesis honors adviser.

An honors adviser from the area in which you are pursuing honors must read and approve your thesis. If the thesis supervisor and thesis honors adviser are the same person, you must find a second eligible faculty member from your area of honors to read and approve your thesis.

Multiple Majors

If you have more than one major, you can do the following:

  • Pick one major and write a thesis for honors solely in that major
  • Pick a topic that can legitimately earn honors in both majors. This will be considered interdisciplinary .
  • Write multiple theses, one for honors in each major

The first scenario is the most common, followed by the second depending on how closely related the majors are. You can also pick a non-major area of honors.

Second- and Third-Year Entrants (including Paterno Fellows)

If you were admitted to the Honors College after your first year or via the Liberal Arts Paterno Fellows program, you are expected to write your thesis for honors in your entrance major. You do have the right to pursue honors elsewhere, for instance in a concurrent major for which you were not admitted to the Honors College, but there is no guarantee of approval.

Topic, Not Professor

Typically, the area of honors suggested by the topic aligns with the professor's affiliation, as when you seek honors in history based on a history thesis supervised by a professor of history. But if the supervisor happens to be a professor of literature, you are still able to pursue honors in history based on the substance and methodology of the thesis.

This is especially worth remembering in the life sciences, where faculty expertise is spread among many different departments and colleges. As always, the honors adviser in the intended area of honors is the gatekeeper for whether a given thesis topic and supervisor are acceptable.

From Proposal to Thesis

Timetable & benchmarks.

The thesis proposal does not require a timetable, but you and your supervisor should have a clear idea of how much you should accomplish on a monthly basis all the way through completion. Not all of those monthly benchmarks will be actual written work; for many Schreyer Scholars the write-up will not come until toward the end. If you fall behind during the earlier part of the thesis timeline, it will be difficult if not impossible to make up that ground later.

Regular Meetings with Your Thesis Supervisor

You should take proactive steps against procrastination by making yourself accountable to someone other than yourself. Scheduling regular meetings (or e-mailing regular updates) with your thesis supervisor — even if you are working in the same lab routinely — is the best way to do that. You should also regularly update your thesis honors adviser.

Think ahead, preferably well before the time of your thesis proposal, about what your thesis work will mean for your fourth-year schedule. This is especially important if you have a significant capstone requirement like student teaching for education majors, or if you expect to do a lot of job interviews or graduate/professional school visits.

There are many reasons to plan to include the summer between third and fourth year in your research timeline: those mentioned above, plus the benefit of devoting yourself full-time to the thesis, whether it is in a lab on campus or in the field. Funding opportunities for full-time summer thesis research include Schreyer Honors College grants , the Erickson Undergraduate Education Discovery Grant , and funding via your thesis supervisor (especially in the sciences and engineering).

Department & College Thesis Guides

In addition to this guide, many departments and colleges have thesis guides with important information about their deadlines and expectations. If you do not see your college or department listed, consult with your honors adviser.

  • College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Smeal College of Business
  • Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biobehavioral Health
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Hospitality Management
  • Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
  • College of Information Sciences and Technology
  • Comparative Literature
  • Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Global & International Studies
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • College of Nursing
  • Astronomy & Astrophysics: Thesis 1
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry: Thesis 1 | Thesis 2 | Thesis 3
  • Mathematics: Thesis 1 | Thesis 2 | Thesis 3 | Thesis 4 | Thesis 5 | Thesis 6

Follow the Template Formatting Guide

The formatting requirements in this guide apply to all Schreyer Honors theses. Please follow the thesis templates provided below:

Technical & Formatting Requirements

Fonts & color.

All text should use the Times New Roman font.

Reduced type may be used within tables, figures, and appendices, but font size should be at least 11-point in size and must be completely legible.

The majority of your thesis document should be in black font, however, color is permissible in figures, tables, links, etc.


Begin each section on a new page. Do the same with each element of the front matter, the reference section, and the appendix.

Try to avoid typing a heading near the bottom of a page unless there is room for at least two lines of text following the heading. Instead you should simply leave a little extra space on the page and begin the heading on the next page.

If you wish you use a "display" page (a page that shows only the chapter title) at the beginning of chapters or appendices, be sure to do so consistently and to count the display page when numbering the pages.

Page Numbers

Excluding the title page and signatory page, every page in the document, including those with tables and figures, must be counted. Use lower case Roman numerals for the front matter and Arabic numbers for the text. The text (or body) of the thesis must begin on page 1. Follow the template provided at the top of this section.

Use the template provided as a pattern for creating your title page. Be sure all faculty members are identified by their correct professional titles. Check with the department for current information. Do not use such designations as "PhD" or "Dr." on the title page. (Ex. John Smith, Professor of English, Thesis Supervisor).

Electronic Approvals

Please submit your final thesis to your Thesis Supervisor and Honors Adviser at least two weeks prior to the final submission due date to allow them ample time for review and suggested changes. Also, please communicate with your professors to find out their schedule and preferred amount of time to review your thesis. Once your thesis is submitted, your committee will review the thesis one last time before giving their final approval.

Number of Approvals

A minimum of two approvals is required on each thesis. If one of the approvers has a dual role (e.g. Thesis Supervisor and Honors Adviser), then list both roles under the professional title. Do not list the same person twice. If the sharing of roles leaves you with fewer than the required number of approvals, an additional approver must be added (Faculty Reader).

Professional Titles

Be sure to identify all faculty by their correct professional titles. Check with the department for current information. Do not use such designations as "PhD" or "Dr." on the title page.

This is a one-paragraph summary of the content of your thesis that identifies concisely the content of the thesis manuscript and important results of your project. Some students like to think of it as an advertisement — i.e., when someone finishes reading it, they should want to examine the rest of your work. Keep it short and include the most interesting points.

The abstract follows the title page, must have the heading ABSTRACT at the top, and is always page Roman number i. There is no restriction on the length of the abstract, but it is usually no longer than one page.

Table of Contents

The table of contents is essentially a topic outline of the thesis and it is compiled by listing the headings in the thesis. You may choose to include first-level headings, first- and second-levels, or all levels. Keep in mind there usually is no index in a thesis, and thus a fairly detailed table of contents can serve as a useful guide for the reader. The table of contents must appear immediately after the abstract and should not list the abstract, the table of contents itself, or the vita.

Be sure the headings listed in the table of contents match word-for-word the headings in the text. Double check to be sure the page numbers are shown. In listing appendices, indicate the title of each appendix. If using display pages, the number of the display page should appear in the table of contents.

Formatting Final Touches

An honors thesis manuscript should replicate the appearance of professional writing in your discipline. Include the elements of a formal piece of academic work accordingly. For specific questions on organization or labeling, check with your thesis supervisor to see if there is a style guide you should use.

Acknowledgements (Optional)

Acknowledgements are not a required component of an honors thesis, but if you want to thank particular colleagues, faculty, librarians, archivists, interviewees, and advisers, here's the place to do it. You should include an acknowledgements page if you received a grant from the University or an outside agency that supported your research.

Tables & Figures

A table is a columnar arrangement of information, often numbers, organized to save space and convey relationships at a glance. A rule of thumb to use in deciding whether given materials are tables or figures is that tables can be typed, but figures must be drawn.

A figure is a graphic illustration such as a chart, graph, diagram, map, or photograph.

Please be sure to insert your table or figure. Do not copy and paste. Once the figure or table is inserted, you right click on it to apply the appropriate label. Afterwards, return to the list of tables or list of figures page, right click on the list, and "update table (entire table)" and the page will automatically hyperlink.

Captions & Numbering

Each table and each figure in the text must have a number and caption. Number them consecutively throughout, beginning with 1, or by chapter using a decimal system.

Style Guides

These parts of the thesis will vary in format depending on the style guide you are following. Your discipline will use a consistent style guide, such as MLA, APA, CBE, or Chicago. Whichever style you are using, stick to the rules and be consistent.

Bibliography/References (Required)

A thesis must include a bibliography or reference section listing all works that are referred to in the text, and in some cases other works also consulted in the course of research and writing. This section may either precede or follow the appendices (if any), or may appear at the end of each chapter. Usually a single section is more convenient and useful for both author and reader.

The forms used for listing sources in the bibliography/reference section are detailed and complicated, and they vary considerably among academic disciplines. For this reason, you will need to follow a scholarly style manual in your field or perhaps a recent issue of a leading journal as a guide in compiling this section of the thesis.

Appendices (Optional)

Material that is pertinent but is somewhat tangential or very detailed (raw data, procedural explanations, etc.) may be placed in an appendix. Appendices should be designated A, B, C (not 1, 2, 3 or I, II, III). If there is only one appendix, call it simply Appendix, not Appendix A. Titles of appendices must be listed in the table of contents. Appendix pages must be numbered consecutively with the text of the thesis (do not number the page A-1, A-2, etc.).

Academic Vita (Required)

The academic vita is required, must be the last page of the document, and is not given a page number or listed in the table of contents. The title — Academic Vita — and the author's name should appear at the top. A standard outline style or a prose form may be used. The vita should be similar to a resume. Do not include your GPA and personal information.

The Final Step Submission Guide

Once your final thesis is approved by your thesis supervisor and honors adviser, you may submit the thesis electronically. This guide will provide the details on how to submit your thesis.

Public Access to Honors Thesis

Open access.

Your electronic thesis is available to anyone who wishes to access it on the web unless you request restricted access. Open access distribution makes the work more widely available than a bound copy on a library shelf.

Restricted Access (Penn State Only)

Access restricted to individuals having a valid Penn State Access Account, for a period of two years. Allows restricted access of the entire work beginning immediately after degree conferral. At the end of the two-year period, the status will automatically change to Open Access. Intended for use by authors in cases where prior public release of the work may compromise its acceptance for publication.

This option secures the body of the thesis for a period of two years. Selection of this option required that an invention disclosure (ID) be filed with the Office of Technology Management (OTM) prior to submission of the final honors thesis and confirmed by OTM. At the end of the two-year period, the work will be released automatically for Open Access unless a written request is made to extend this option for an additional year. The written request for an extension should be sent 30 days prior to the end of the two-year period to the Honors College Records Department, 10 Schreyer Honors College, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, or by e-mail to [email protected] . Please note: No one will be able to view your work under this option.

Submission Requirements

Electronic submission of the final honors thesis became a requirement in spring semester of 2010. Both the mandatory draft submission and the final copy must be submitted online.

The "official" copy of the honors thesis is the electronic file (eHT), and this is the copy that will be on file with the University Libraries. Electronic submission does not prevent the author from producing hard copies for the department or for personal use. All copies are the responsibility of the author and should be made prior to submission. The Schreyer Honors College does not provide copies.

How to Submit

In order to submit your thesis, you must upload a draft in PDF format to the Electronic Honors Thesis (eHT) website .

What/When to Upload

  • The initial submission, the Thesis Format Review, should be the textual thesis only and should be in a single PDF file (it may include image files such as TIFFs or JPEGs)
  • The recommended file naming convention is Last_First_Title.pdf
  • Failure to submit the Format Review by the deadline will result in removal from the honors graduation checklist. If this occurs, you must either defer graduation or withdraw/be dismissed from the Honors College

Uploading Video, Audio or Large Images

If your thesis content is such that you feel you need to upload content other than text to properly represent your work, upload the textual portion of your thesis first as a single, standalone PDF file. Then, add additional files for any other content as separate uploads.

If the majority of your thesis work is a multimedia presentation (video, slideshow, audio recording, etc.) you are required to upload these files in addition to your PDF.

Acceptable formats include:

Please do not upload any ZIP files. If uploading more than one file, keep individual file sizes for the supplementary material under 50 MB where possible. Large files will upload, but it may take a long time to download for future use.

Final Submission & Approval

Final submission.

In order to submit your final thesis:

  • Refer to the thesis templates above to create your title page (no page number).
  • Make sure you have correctly spelled "Schreyer Honors College".
  • Be sure to include the department in which you are earning honors, your semester and year of graduation (Ex. Spring 2019, not May 2019), your thesis title and your name.
  • List the name and professional title of your thesis supervisor and honors adviser (in the department granting honors). If your honors adviser and thesis supervisor are the same person, a second faculty reader signature from the department granting honors is required.
  • Include your academic vita at the end of your thesis without a page number and do not include your GPA or personal information.
  • Include your abstract following your title page (Roman numeral i).
  • Make sure your thesis is saved in PDF format.
  • Upload your final thesis on the eHT website .

After submission, your thesis will be reviewed one final time when you meet with the Coordinator of Academic Services at University Park or your Campus Coordinator. If corrections are required, your file will be deleted and you will be asked to make the changes and upload a new file immediately. Please bring a Word document version of your thesis with you on a thumb drive in order to easily make any requested changes.

Final Approval

When the final thesis is approved, the author and all committee members will be notified via e-mail of the approval. Your thesis will then be accessible on the eHT website within a month after graduation unless you have specified restricted access.

Schreyer Scholar Connor Cassady

Being in Schreyer has pushed me further than I ever thought an undergraduate education could. I knew coming to Penn State that I would receive an amazing education with access to a multitude of state-of-the-art resources, but being a Scholar has allowed me to use this environment to maximize my potential and place my education in an ever-changing global community. Connor Cassady ' 18 Mathematics
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Submission Guide

In order to participate in Revocation and be certified for graduating with honors from the South Carolina Honors College, students are required to submit a final copy of the revised thesis project/paper (post-defense) to the Honors College. There are several guidelines to follow when submitting your thesis. 

Formatting Requirements

The following is the standard format for an honors thesis or project paper. While not every thesis paper will include the same sections and items, the following can be used as a general guideline.

  • Title Page (REQUIRED: view the forms page for an example)
  • Table of Contents (REQUIRED)
  • Thesis Summary (REQUIRED): appearing after the Table of Contents written in less formal and less technical terminology than the Abstract or Introduction. Must be included in the Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Endnotes, Works Cited or References (required if sources are quoted.)
  • Tables, Graphs, Photos, Maps, etc. (if appropriate)
  • Bibliography (required if no Endnotes, Works Cited or References section is included)
  • Appendix(ces) (if appropriate)

All pages must be numbered consecutively.

Final Copies of Theses

You will  submit your final copy of your thesis to the Honors College electronically. The final copy of your thesis should have the following sections regardless of discipline or project type. Copies that fail to contain these elements will not be accepted.

  •  Thesis Title Page (Signed by your thesis director and second reader)
  •  Thesis Summary or Abstract
  • Table of Contents

Scholar Commons

Students have the option of publishing their thesis in Scholar Commons, an institutional repository established through Thomas Cooper Library that provides digital open access to information.

On occasion, there is a need for delayed release, commonly referred to as an embargo. An embargo may be appropriate for some types of creative work, intellectual property with commercial implications, politically sensitive materials, and limited other types of work. When submitting your thesis to Scholar Commons, you can select one of the following options:

  • Release the work immediately for worldwide access on the Internet via Scholar Commons.
  • Secure the work for two years, and then release the work for worldwide access on the Internet.
  • I do not want my senior thesis made available via Scholar Commons. 

Scholar Commons Submission Instructions

Submit your thesis into Scholar Commons

Thesis Binding

It is customary for students to present their thesis/project director with a bound copy of the thesis. Such thoughtfulness is seen as a professional courtesy.  

Students can submit a thesis for binding through the HF Group website: Thesis On Demand .   After submitting the required contact information and paper for binding, you will select the following options:  

  • Red book with cloth cover material
  • Gold lettering on the spine (no front cover printing)
  • 60# weight paper, single side printing.

Students will pay HF Group directly.  

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

Go for the Gold: My Guide to Submitting the Honors Thesis Proposal

By mahidhar sai lakkavaram.

Commonwealth Honors College building

Senior year is fast approaching, and if you’re an Honors student, you know what that means: It's Honors Thesis time! For the last three years, any Honors-related conversation I had always involved the Honors Thesis, and it's unreal how fast time has flown by.

If you’re new here, the Honors Thesis is a six - credit research project where Honors students pursue advanced scholarship into a topic they’re interested in. Honors Theses can be completed either through a Thesis Seminar or an Individually Contracted Honors Thesis , and I’m doing the latter. Most students choose to do it over a year (with three credits each semester), but other options are available to do it all in one semester as well.

To start your Honors Thesis, students have to submit an Honors Thesis proposal in the summer/winter prior to the semester you begin your project. I’m starting my thesis in fall 2023, so I just submitted my proposal during summer 2023! 

There’s numerous steps to take before completing your project, so here’s my guide to submitting the Honors Thesis proposal for an Individually Contracted Thesis.

Image of Minuteman statue in front of Dubois Library

Find labs/professors you want to work with

There’s endless research options at UMass Amherst, so finding a lab or professor you want to work with can be tricky. I’ve been working in the Peyton Lab since junior year, so I’ll be contracting my thesis with professor Shelly Peyton. 

If you’re unsure about what research you want to do or how to find groups you’re interested in, reach out to the Office of Undergraduate Research and Studies (OURS) . Their staff are excellent in helping you find a good research fit. 

You can also reach out to advisors and different professors to learn more about the work done in that department, and what their research culture is like.

I recommend reaching out and finding things you’re interested in the semester before (spring 2023 for me), as everyone is hard to contact during the summer/winter. 

Communicate Regularly with Your Thesis Advisor

Once you’ve found the research you want to do. and a professor to work with, it's time to build your proposal! Start communicating regularly with your Thesis advisor (the professor you’re working with). The proposal asks for how often you’ll meet with them and various deadlines for work you’ll submit through the period of your thesis, so it's important to ensure you’re on the same page as your advisor. 

The proposal also has sections about the goal of your thesis, the methods you will use, key readings you’ve gone through, and any training you’ll need before starting it. Make sure to talk about all of these with your advisor when you get the chance!

Write and submit the proposal! 

Ideally, you start this process towards the end of the semester prior to the proposal, but you can work on it through the summer as well! Once you have all the details ironed out with your advisor, it's best to start filling out the proposal on CHC PATHS . Since I’m doing it over two semesters (fall 2023 & spring 2024), I submitted the 499Y proposal . The deadlines vary based on the semester, but the earlier the better. Make sure to ask your advisor to look over everything before submitting it! They can log into PATHS and make recommendations, but I wrote everything in a google doc and sent it to my advisor who made comments there. Once all that’s done, hit submit and let the CHC staff take care of the rest!

So that’s the process I went through to write my Thesis proposal. I was fortunate enough to take ENGIN 351H, which is the Honors version of a junior - year engineering writing course where we had to write a Thesis proposal. So I could use the proposal I wrote there for my actual project. 

Do you have any tips for writing an Honors Thesis proposal? We’d love to communications [at] honors [dot] umass [dot] edu ( hear ) from you!

Mahidhar Lakkavaram

Mahidhar Lakkavaram is a communications assistant in Commonwealth Honors College. 

Mahidhar Lakkavaram headshot

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    The honors thesis is a rewarding capstone experience for students and a gateway to research and other creative work beyond the undergraduate years. The thesis is tailored to your field of study and may range from three pages of mathematical formulae to an original orchestral composition or a group of short stories.

  5. FAU

    Thesis Submission Form Thesis Guidelines The FAU calendar is online and indicates the dates of graduation as well as the last day to submit an application for your degree. Effective Fall 2018, theses are submitted only digitally as a pdf and not as a hard copy. 3 days prior to graduation, the faculty advisor submits: