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Rickey Johnson presenting his thesis at the URC.

A thesis is an original, independent research project undertaken your senior year with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Benefits of a Thesis

The Honors thesis presents both a great opportunity and a great challenge; however, there are various benefits of completing an Honors thesis:

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  • Research and Writing 

    A conventional honors thesis means finding relevant sources, discovering a gap in research that your thesis can fill, and justifying your findings. All of these skills are invaluable for future graduate papers or job reports.


    The Honors thesis necessitates choosing a single topic and developing it fully. This hones the skill of connecting multiple ideas into one focused argument. Future employers and employees appreciate the ability to see how multiple problems can be fixed with one solution.


    The Honors thesis does not have to be a conventional research paper. The flexibility across disciplines for your undergraduate thesis project allows you to develop a unique expression such as creating documentary films or composing music.

    Public Speaking

    Thesis students present their projects to Honors faculty, staff, and students as well as visiting guests during the Honors Thesis Forum at the end of each Fall, and during the Undergraduate Research Conference at the end of each Spring. These presentations may consist of traditional slideshows, reading of excerpts or storylines, musical or theatrical performances, art displays, or business pitches.

    Students gain experience in the highly desired skill of communication, which includes presenting, writing for, and engaging with diverse audiences in a clear, concise, and informative manner. 

  • Consider a problem you would like to solve or a question you want to answer. What will you contribute to society? The Honors thesis allows in-depth discovery of a topic you choose, with the potential to inspire growth in yourself or the global community.

  • Writing the thesis can also prove a benefit when applying to graduate or professional school, or applying to a job after graduation. Admissions committees in many of the best graduate and professional schools often consider students especially well-qualified who have already participated successfully in the original research represented by an Honors thesis.

  • Completing an the Honors Thesis is a requirement for graduating with honors and complete the honors minors. You can find the distinction between the two here.

    Additionally, it is possible to have the Honors Course 4390B: Honors Thesis count as a substitution for another course in your major. The instructions on this form will help you understand if you qualify. If you do qualify then make sure you fill out the form and take it with you to the meeting you are required to schedule to approve your thesis. Check out the first section in Process and Requirements for more information about this meeting.

  • Completion of an Honors thesis is celebrated at the annual Honors College Awards ceremony, where students earn a crystal medallion to wear at commencement.  

    Honors College Crystal Medallion

    Your name and thesis title are prominently displayed in the commencement program, and explicitly acknowledged during the ceremony.

    The printed Honors thesis is bound in a hard cover and housed in the Honors Coffee Forum as well as archived in the University's Albert B. Alkek Library. You also have the option to list your completed thesis on the Online Thesis Library, showcasing your distinguished status of a published author.

Image Gallery
Spring 2018 Honors graduates at award ceremony
Spring 2018 Honors graduates recognized at the annual awards ceremony
spring 2018 Honors grads in Liberal Arts
Spring 2018 Honors faculty with Honors grads from the College of Liberal Arts