Honors in IMJR

A significant number of individualized majors are in the Honors Program. If you are one of them, the discussion below addresses the information you will need to complete the honors requirements in the individualized major.

Honors Requirements

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 twelve Honors credits in the major, six of which will be from the thesis project, plus three additional Honors credits at any level in a related area as approved by the Director of IISP (your Honors advisor).


The Director of IISP will serve as your honors advisor and IISP will be listed as your department. You may also find it helpful to consult with the honors advisors in the disciplines represented in your major and with your faculty advisors, who may be aware of Honors opportunities in their departments.

Double Majors

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. If you would like to pursue honors in both majors, please see the Honors web page devoted to the subject.

Thesis Project

An Honors thesis project in the Individualized Major must be a minimum of six credits: typically, three credits of independent study (thesis research; must be converted to Honors) in the Fall semester of your senior year and three credits of UNIV 4697W Senior Thesis in the Spring semester. You should 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.

Thesis Proposal

Prepare a description of your thesis project, fill out the online thesis proposal form, and submit it no later than the last day of classes of the semester before you begin your project. This is typically the Spring semester of your junior year. The proposal will help you to define the scope of your research. You will likely refine your topic as you do your research. Therefore, the final result of the project may differ somewhat from your vision in the proposal.

Second Reader

In consultation with your thesis supervisor, you will also need to identify a second reader. The second reader should be a faculty member from a discipline relevant to your thesis. Consult with your thesis supervisor about when to bring the second reader on board.

Thesis Presentation and Submission

As an Honors individualized major, you are expected to make a public presentation of your findings in a format and venue to be determined in consultation with your supervisor. We encourage you to make use of existing venues such as departmental exhibitions or Frontiers in Undergraduate Research, which is organized each Fall and Spring semester by the Office of Undergraduate Research. This will meet the “Engagement in the Major Field” component of the Honors Scholar requirements.

You will also need 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 must use the “Add a Course” form on Registrar’s website. This is an online form.

  • On this form, you will need to select a subject (University-UNIV) and select a course (4697W). Leave the section number blank.
  • For instructor, fill in the name of your thesis supervisor.
  • For advisor, fill in either your primary faculty advisor or the IMJR director (Monica van Beusekom).
  • When this form routes to your thesis supervisor for their approval, they will be asked to fill in the department head. They should list the IMJR director (Monica van Beusekom) as department head since she serves as department head for UNIV 4697W. They should not fill in their own department head. Please be sure to email your thesis supervisor separately to let them know that they must fill in Monica van Beusekom as department head.
  • Please remember that we must have your Thesis Proposal Form on file before we will approve enrollment in UNIV 4697W.