See the following information on proposing, completing, and presenting an EKU Honors Thesis. For complete and detailed information on the Honors Thesis, be sure to consult the Honors Thesis Handbook.
The thesis project can take whatever form suits the subject (e.g., a research paper, a creative composition or artwork, a performance or recital, etc.). The thesis may be done in the area of the student's major or minor, but could be done in another area of interest.
Students should submit an Honors Thesis Proposal Form (together with a two-page narrative) by the last day of finals week of the semester before their first semester of HON 420, Honors Thesis Project and Seminar. This document briefly describes the thesis project and contains a timetable by which the different steps of the project will be realistically completed. It also identifies a thesis mentor. A list of faculty who are especially interested in serving as thesis mentors is available from the Honors Director. It is important that the student find a thesis mentor who has similar interests and hence can provide useful assistance throughout the two-semester duration of the thesis project.
The abstract must be approved by the thesis mentor and the Honors Director. Particular attention should be paid to the matter of whether the proposal seems realistic and whether the nature of the project is suitable for an Honors Thesis.
The Honors Thesis Proposal should be signed by the student, the faculty mentor, and the Honors Director signifying that an agreement concerning the nature of the project (and a timetable) has been reached that is acceptable to all 3 parties. This document should be electronically submitted to the Honors Director.
Students will register for HON 420 at least 2 semesters prior to their intended graduation. Students are encouraged to speak with Honors Program staff about the best timeline for their thesis. Completing an Honors Thesis at least one semester before graduating allows students to utilize their thesis in various ways, such as conference presentations, graduate school writing samples, etc.
The thesis project will be presented orally to an audience of peers, faculty, and guests at the Honors Thesis Conference held at the end of each fall and spring semester. The exact dates of the thesis conferences will be determined by the end of the previous semester. The Honors Director is responsible for drawing up the schedule of oral presentations. In addition, students enrolled in HON 420 will serve as the discussant for one other thesis student. The discussant's role is to draw attention to significant points for the discussion period that follows the oral presentation. The Honors Director is responsible for assigning students enrolled in HON 420 as discussants on specific parts.
Students should be aware that the paper they use for their oral presentation will likely not be the same as the written paper which they will turn into their thesis mentor. This is because the requirements of giving a clear and concise oral presentation are different than the requirements of producing a quality written thesis. Students whose thesis project does not take the form of a written paper will still be required to do a presentation of their work.
Most students will complete their honors theses through two consecutive semesters of enrollment in HON 420. At the end of the first semester of enrollment, the Honors Director, in consultation with the thesis mentor, will assign a letter grade to the student on the basis of the satisfactory completion of all assignments associated with first-semester enrollment in HON 420. Following the completion of the thesis in the second semester of HON 420 enrollment, the faculty mentor will assign a letter grade to the project, and the Honors Director will record that grade.
In rare cases, students may elect to do the entire thesis project in a single semester, enrolling for all six required credit hours of HON 420 in that semester. Students should discuss this option at length with the Honors Director before registering for the six-hour section of HON 420. In such cases, the faculty mentor will assign the final grade to the project at the end of the semester of the six-hour HON 420 enrollment.
Honors students should be aware that the responsibility for the completion of the thesis project and seminar rests with the student. All written portions of the thesis will be uploaded onto the university's digital archive at least two weeks before the end of the semester where the mentor will be prompted to view and grade it. If the thesis project takes another form (a concert, art exhibit, etc.) it must be submitted to the archive in an alternative and permanent form.
Graduating students are recognized for their achievements at the Honors Convocation, held at the end of each fall and spring semester. Each student should retain a copy of the finished thesis project and should mention the thesis project in letters of application to graduate and professional schools, and potential employers, as it is quite an achievement!
Students are expected to read and review the Honors Thesis Handbook for complete and detailed information.
Have questions about the Honors Thesis? First, consult the Honors Thesis FAQ page and the Honors Thesis Handbook. If your question is not answered by either of those documents, contact Dr. David Coleman, Director of EKU Honors.