Honors Thesis

A CHC Theater student's Honors thesis

Honors Thesis

The Honors Thesis centers around an investigation of original thinking and offers you an opportunity to work closely with faculty members on advanced research topics or creative endeavors. The Honors Thesis is a substantial study of a carefully defined question or problem that’s important to you. This problem may be critical, experimental, applied, or creative in nature.

Every Honors Thesis will take the form of a written document that demonstrates critical thinking, a mastery of disciplinary material, and the communication of complex ideas. For the portfolio, your document will be accompanied by an artifact such as a musical score, film, computer program, or invention that embodies the work done for the thesis. The completion of an Honors Thesis concludes with an oral defense or public presentation.

Student Stories

Edridge D’Souza

It isn’t often that a student has a clear idea of the path they will take to pursue their goals before entering college; for many, it can take years to figure out what they are passionate about. Edridge D’Souza is an exception.

Ashley Everson

Building a relationship with a mentor helped Ashley pursue a Multidisciplinary Honors Thesis. 

Hadiya Williams

Hadiya's thesis project was the key to changing her career goals.

Garrett Sager

Garrett created his theater piece, “Queer & Now: Sync or Swim,” for his Honors Thesis project.

Why do an Honors Thesis?

The Honors Thesis is a comprehensive effort of original scholarship and is the culminating experience of your Commonwealth Honors College academic journey. You will find that it is one of the most challenging and rewarding goals you will accomplish in your college career. It is an opportunity to integrate your academic interests and skills as part of a deep investigation of an idea of your choice.

Commonwealth Honors College lecture

Integrate Everything You’ve Learned

You will find that it is one of the most challenging and rewarding goals you will accomplish in your college career. It is an opportunity to integrate your academic interests and skills as part of a deep investigation of an idea of your choice.

Commonwealth Honors college art student

Expand Your Intellectual Curiosity

Exploring your own ideas will give you the opportunity to gain original insights into a topic you care about and learn how to articulate and convey these perceptions to others.

CHC students conducting research

Sharpen Your Research and Analytical Skills

Working on a lengthy project will require you to draw upon and apply the skills that you’ve been developing during your academic journey. As you extend your knowledge base, you should start to become an expert in your field.

A CHC student in class

Work Closely with Faculty Members

Here is an invaluable opportunity to grow intellectually with an in depth exploration your academic interests with a faculty member of your choice. As in graduate school, it is likely that you will develop enduring ties with faculty members.

A CHC student giving a presentation

Develop Transferable Skills

Learning how to sustain an intellectual exploration involves time management, the facility to develop and revise your ideas, the discipline to support and sustain your reasoning, and the ability to make a public presentation. You will find that all of these enhance your skills in solving problems, doing research, and communicating effectively, which are valuable assets for any career and support life-long learning.

CHC students at Commencement

Build a Bridge to Your Future

Completing the Honors Thesis is both the culmination of your college journey and the launch of your future career. Your Honors Thesis demonstrates your aptitude for sustained effort and multidimensional problem solving, which increases your competitiveness both on the job market and for graduate school.

Learn more about the Honors Thesis

The Individually Contracted Honors Thesis approach focuses on an original question that you explore through an individual academic contract with a faculty member.

The Thesis Seminar provides a structured framework, giving you the opportunity to work alongside fellow Honors College students as you develop your proposal and your Honors Thesis. 

It might feel daunting at first, but Commonwealth Honors College offers a number of ways to help you succeed with your thesis.