Honors Thesis - Coastal Carolina University
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The Honors Thesis

Each student in the Honors College is required to complete a capstone thesis paper or project. The creation of this work is the culmination of their undergraduate educational experience.

See the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page!

The Honors thesis project is designed to focus student interests, provide a more in-depth perspective in their chosen major, develop scholarly skills, foster creativity and independent effort, and bring the educational experiences together in a way that other academic projects do not. In addition to independent work, the project also involves close associations between the student and faculty members, particularly with the faculty mentor supervising the research work. Such sustained interaction contributes greatly to the overall quality of the experience.

The Honors College supports creativity in honors theses. An honors thesis can take the form of a traditional research or scholarly paper, or it could be an artistic portfolio, a creative writing project, a live performance, an innovative curriculum, or a substantial service project. While the honors thesis is often completed as a part of the student’s major, students are free to find a mentor and complete a thesis outside their major as well. Interdisciplinary projects are especially encouraged.

Whether the Honors student elects to complete the Honors Thesis in their major capstone or as part of another course, they must be registered for it as an Honors course. If the course is not already listed as an honors course, the instructor, who will serve as the thesis mentor, should request that the course be an honors course by submitting the syllabus using the submission form below.

All Honors College theses are approved and submitted by the faculty mentor to the Honors Office. Most are archived in the Kimbel Library’s Digital Commons. See the instructions for faculty below. When the faculty mentor submits the thesis, the thesis requirement will be marked as complete on the student's Honors program evaluation.

Honors Theses must be submitted by the last day of exams before graduation.



Frequently Asked Questions about the Honors Thesis

Do I have to do an Honors Thesis?

Yes! All honors students need to do a thesis, or an equivalent project, as the culminating work of their honors career. Because that work is going to be very different for different majors, we are very flexible with the character of the project, but all Honors students must complete one.

Do I have to take HONR 498 and 499 for the thesis?

No! In the past, all Honors students took HONR 498 (a thesis prep class) and HONR 499 (the thesis class). Those are still available to students who want to do an interdisciplinary thesis, but they are not required anymore.

What course *do* I have to take for the thesis?

90% of Honors students do their Honors Thesis in their major’s capstone course. If your major has a capstone thesis or project, you can use that as your honors thesis, as long as your project is larger and more in-depth than a regular capstone project.

If the course you use for your thesis is listed in your program evaluation (in Group 3 for pre-2018 catalogs or in Section B for 2018 and later catalogs) then just take it for honors, and it will count correctly. If you are using a course that is not listed there, let the Director know, and a substitution form will be submitted to count it in the right spot.

May I do an Honors Thesis project that is not in my major?

Yes! As long as you have a mentor who is willing to work with you on the project. If you want to do a truly interdisciplinary project, you may consider doing your thesis as part of an HONR 499 course.

What is this ‘Completed Honors Thesis’ requirement in my program evaluation? Why does it say ‘1 Course Needed?’

This is the requirement to turn in your honors thesis when it is done. When your advisor submits your thesis to us as approved, the Honors Office will mark that as complete. It is not a separate course, even though Program Evaluation confusingly lists it as such.

Note: Because you might not turn your thesis in until right before graduation, your Program Evaluation may not mark your Honors requirements as ‘Pending Complete’ until that is done. That is normal. We will do a check with the registrar’s office right before graduation to ensure that Honors requirements have been completed.

When is my Thesis due?

The last day of exams before your graduation. However, in order to make sure that it is approved on time, sooner is better!

How do I turn in my Thesis?

Your thesis mentor turns in your thesis by submitting it to the CCU Digital Commons, or directly to the Honors Office if that is not possible. Your mentor is the judge as to whether the Thesis qualifies as an Honors thesis in your discipline.

Do I have to present it at a conference?

You do have to present it publicly. However, it could be presented at a departmental symposium, an external conference, the undergraduate research competition, the year-end Honors symposium, or at any other public forum.

My Project is a Performance or work of visual art. What do I turn in?

Students in the Visual and Performing Arts should turn in a portfolio (photos or videos) of the work they do for the thesis, along with a written reflection/examination of the work and its significance.  In some cases, this might not be possible. Contact the Honors Director for instructions or exceptions.

My work needs to be published in a journal first. How can I submit it?

You may submit your thesis and set an embargo period of time so that it does not become public until after it is published by a journal.

My major capstone course is a group project. What do I turn in?

You may turn in a group project as part of your thesis, but you should also turn in an individual work in which you reflect upon the group work, do further analysis, or other work that your mentor feels makes your individual effort rise to the level of an Honors Thesis.