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.
If you are planning to fulfill honors requirements in your individualized major, please indicate this in the Quest portal at the time of application to the Individualized Major Program. Also indicate on your proposed plan of study with an “H” which courses will be honors courses. You must complete twelve Honors credits in the major:
- six credits will be the thesis project which should be listed as: Independent Study/ First half of thesis (3 cr) and UNIV 4697W Thesis (3 cr). See the section below on Thesis Project.
- six additional credits in your major. These could be courses offered as Honors sections, conversions, or graduate level-courses
You must also complete three additional Honors credits at any level in a related area as approved by the Director of IISP (your Honors advisor). This could also be an additional Honors course in your major.
The Engagement in the Major Field requirement must be fulfilled by presenting your thesis findings to a public audience. See the section below on Thesis Presentation.
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.
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. If you would like to pursue honors in both majors, please see the Honors web page devoted to the subject.
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. Here is our Thesis Guide which provides detailed information on planning a thesis.
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.
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 an electronic copy of your completed thesis to the IISP office.
Course Registration for the Thesis
For the first half of the thesis, you will register for an independent study or research course with your thesis supervisor in their department. Check with your thesis supervisor to determine the precise course for which you should register. Be sure to convert your independent study or research course to Honors.
For the second half of the thesis, you will register for UNIV 4697W for which your thesis supervisor will serve as instructor. To register for UNIV 4697W, you must use the “Student Enrollment Request Form” on the Registrar’s website.
- 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.