Important Dates & Recommended Timeline


Sophomore Year

  • Spring term: begin considering topics; ideally you will narrow your possibilities to 3-4 by end of term

Junior Year

  • Fall term: enroll in HNR 325 (formerly H 303), the Thesis Orientation seminar; continue working on topic refinement and research design and also complete a thesis proposal by end of term
  • Winter term: thesis proposal vetted by Faculty Senate Honors Committee (either in January or February)
  • Spring term: enroll in HNR 351 (formerly H 353), the Thesis Development seminar; also continue research; complete an outline, timeline, and expanded annotations; and begin writing a key section of the thesis (often the literature review)

Senior Year

  • Fall term: continue drafting your thesis chapters
  • Winter term: continue drafting; ideally submit some chapters to advisor for feedback
  • Winter term:  take HNR 378 (formerly H 403), Honors Thesis/Senior Project, in either your final or second-to-last term  
  • Late April: near-complete draft submitted to thesis advisor(s); thesis title also submitted to Honors Director for inclusion in Commencement Program
  • Late April or Early May: thesis title and graduation information submitted to Honors Director for inclusion in Commencement Program
  • May: revise and resubmit draft to thesis advisor(s)
  • Early June: final revisions
  • Mid June: Commencement
  • June 25; camera-ready copy submitted to Honors Director for copying and binding

This timeline is designed for a student who begins the thesis process in fall term of their junior year and completes the project — and graduates — 18 months later, in June.  Students who are graduating mid-year should adjust the timeline accordingly.  

Important Note on Commencement & thesis completion:  students can finish their thesis later than the June Commencement. Those students can still walk during Commencement.  However, if you wish to be designated a spring graduate, you must adhere to the schedule above, finishing everything by June 25th.  The registrar switches over to “summer” grad designations soon after that.  To repeat, to be considered a spring grad, June 25th is your thesis completion deadline.