A significant number of individualized majors are in the Honors Program, which offers talented students challenging academics and engagement and leadership beyond the classroom. For more information, please see the program’s website.
If you are planning to fulfill honors requirements in your individualized major, please indicate on your proposed plan of study which courses will be honors courses. You must complete 12 honors credits in your major, six of which must constitute a thesis project. The other six credits may be courses designated as honors, graduate courses, or honors conversions.
The Director of IISP will serve as your honors advisor and IISP will be listed as your department. Please also consult with the honors advisors in the disciplines represented in your major and with your faculty advisors.
If you are double-majoring, you may choose the major in which you plan to complete your Honors requirements. On your application to the IMJR Program please indicate in which major you will fulfill your honors requirements and indicate with an “H” which courses in your plan will likely meet Honors Scholar requirements. If you are planning to fulfill honors requirements in your other major, please indicate on your double-major worksheet which courses will be honors courses.
An Honors thesis project must be a minimum of six credits: typically, three credits of independent study (thesis research) in the Fall semester of your senior year and three credits of UNIV 4697W Senior Thesis in the Spring semester. You should plan your thesis —identify a thesis topic and a faculty supervisor — no later than the second semester of your junior year. If you are in the sciences and are involved in laboratory research, you will probably begin your research even earlier.
You will be expected to prepare a written proposal to be submitted to the Individualized Major Program office no later than the last day of classes of the semester before you begin your thesis sequence of courses, typically the spring semester of your junior year. The form is available on the forms page of the Individualized Major Program website. A proposal is just that: a proposal. It helps you define the scope of your research. You should expect to refine your topic as you do your research and discuss your ideas and progress with your thesis supervisor.
You are also expected, in consultation with your thesis supervisor, to identify a second reader.
Thesis Presentation and Submission
Individualized majors are required to make a public presentation of the thesis research in a format agreed on with the supervisor. We encourage you to make use of existing arrangements for your presentation such as departmental exhibitions and the “Frontiers in Undergraduate Research” exhibition organized each October and April by the Office of Undergraduate Research.
You will also be expected to submit an IMJR thesis approval form (in addition to the Honors thesis approval form) and a copy of your completed thesis to the IISP office. An electronic copy of your thesis is preferred. (But note that the Honors office expects a paper copy!)
Course Registration for the Thesis
To register for an independent study in your thesis supervisor’s department, you use an independent study authorization form. Your IMJR primary faculty advisor or Monica van Beusekom will sign on the advisor line, your thesis supervisor will sign on the instructor line, the department head of your thesis supervisor’s department will sign the department head line. Be sure to convert your independent study to Honors.
To register for UNIV 4697W, you use an independent study authorization form. Your thesis supervisor will sign on the instructor line, Monica van Beusekom or your primary advisor will sign on the advisor line, and Monica van Beusekom will sign the department head line. Monica van Beusekom will only sign your form if the office has received a thesis proposal form from you.
For more information on the thesis, please see the Thesis Guide.