499T/P Honors Research: Contract and Registration Form

499T/P Honors Research: Contract and Registration Form

Part II of Honors Thesis

Create a 499T/P Honors research academic contract to enroll in the second semester of a two-semester Individually Contracted Honors Thesis. Consult this document when completing the online form.

For accessible assistance with the form please contact the office by phone at 413-545-2483


Registration Process

  • Students use the 499T/P Honors Research: Contract and Registration Form (Part II of Honors Thesis), which includes the 499T/P Honors Thesis Proposal, to register for the second semester of a two-semester Individually Contracted Honors Thesis.
  • Students must identify a second Thesis Committee member before submitting the 499T/P research contract.
  • Students complete each section of the 499T/P Honors Research: Contract and Registration Form and submit it for review and approval.
  • After a student submits the form, it will be reviewed by:
    • Thesis Committee Chair
    • Thesis Committee member(s)
    • Honors Program Director in the department in which the Honors Thesis will be registered (typically the student’s major)
    • Honors Program Director in the student’s department
    • CHC Council Academic Standards Committee
  • Upon approval by all of the above, enrollment in 499T/P Honors Research will be completed by Commonwealth Honors College.
  • If necessary, students should contact their academic dean to request a credit overload and remove any holds on their SPIRE account that might hinder course registration.

The length of the process depends on multiple factors, but is typically completed by the end of the Add/Drop period. Commonwealth Honors College recognizes that many students need the Honors Thesis credits to reach full-time status and makes the effort to enroll students as quickly as possible.



Visit CHC Paths for the current deadline.



As the second part of a two-semester effort, the 499T/P is graded with a standard letter grade (A through F). The grade earned for the Honors Thesis impacts the Commonwealth Honors College credentials that a student can earn. Visit the website: honors.umass.edu/graduation-honors for details.


499T/P Honors Thesis Proposal

As part of the 499T/P Honors Research Contract Form, the proposal is an academic contract (similar to a course syllabus) that outlines expectations. It protects students and Thesis Committee members from misunderstandings that might cause grading problems. Students complete each section of the proposal and consult the Thesis Committee Chair for guidance.


What are you investigating and why?

  • Provide a general description of your Honors Thesis topic (about one page)
  • State the scientific question or creative endeavor (at least one page):
    • describe objectives, hypotheses, and/or other discipline-specific inquiry.
  • Explain the significance of the research question or the creative endeavor (at least one page):
    • relate the research question or creative endeavor to the key literature.
    • explain the importance of your topic to the advancement of knowledge in the discipline.

Literature Review

What have other scholars already written/published on your topic?

  • Demonstrate your understanding of the primary literature (about 5-15 pages)
    • As expectations vary by discipline, seek guidance from the Thesis Committee regarding length.
  • Consult your Committee Chair about expectations regarding key literature and discipline-specific formatting style (e.g., Chicago, MLA, APA).


How are you conducting your research or creative endeavor?

  • Detail the procedures or techniques you are using to conduct your research or produce your artifact.
  • Describe the resources or materials you are using in your research. 
  • If specialized training was required for your thesis or project (e.g., lab safety certification or human/animal testing) describe the training you received.


How will your work be reviewed and graded?

  • List the measurable goals the Thesis Committee expects you to accomplish during the semester.
  • Indicate how your Thesis Committee will provide feedback regarding your progress.
  • Indicate how your Thesis Committee will assess the viability of your research or creative endeavor in both the written and oral defense formats.
  • If you are registering for the Portfolio option, be specific about the artifact that you will produce in addition to the manuscript, such as a performance, musical score, architectural blueprint, engineering invention, screenplay, business case study, collection of original poetry, or art exhibition.


Specify the expectations about Thesis Committee meetings:

  • Frequency of meetings with your Committee Chair.
    • Committee Chair’s expectations for these meetings.
  • Frequency of meetings with the second Committee Member.
    • Committee Member’s expectations for these meetings.
  • Expected time commitment applied to your research or creative endeavor between meetings (for example, 10 hours of work per week).


Specify the dates and expectations for the periodic review of your research/creative results:

  • Weekly?
  • Bi-weekly?
  • Specify deadlines for each stage of your Research Manuscript or Portfolio:
    • First outline
    • First draft
    • Second draft
    • FINAL completed manuscript and artifact (where applicable)
    • Note that your committee may require additional assignments
  • Specify the date and type of your oral defense:
    • (e.g., Thesis Committee only, public defense, public presentation or performance)


Student Instructions for CHC PATHS

1. Log In

Visit the CHC website. Log in using your UMass NetID and password.

2. Start a New Contract

Determine which type of course contract you would like to create. 499Y: Part I of Honors Thesis—to enroll in the first semester of an Individually Contracted Honors Thesis. 499T/P: Part II of Honors Thesis—to enroll in the second semester of an independent two-semester Honors Thesis or to enroll in a one semester 6-credit Honors Thesis. ISH: Independent Study Honors—to enroll in an independent study.

3. Information

Review relevant details about submitting a course contract.

4. Student Section

Review the information about your major and Honors plan. Contact an Honors Advisor to make changes. Indicate the faculty member(s) who will guide your independent work. Enter the number of weekly hours you will dedicate to your independent work.

5. Semester Plan/Proposal

As part of the course contract, the semester plan or proposal is a binding contract (similar to a course syllabus) that outlines expectations. Students should complete each section of the proposal and consult the faculty member for guidance.

6. Finish/Submit

Save the form to return later and make further revisions. Submit it if you have entered all of the requested information and are ready to submit it for review.