HON 3455: Research Design

Within the context of providing Honors students the architectures of laboratory, clinical, and social science research, this course has the goals of (1) introducing an epistemological and methodological strategy for students to conduct scientific research, (2) enabling them to conceptualize and plan their Honors Thesis, (3) facilitating the student’s beginning work with his or her faculty mentor, and (4) requiring participants to write the initial draft of their four chapters of the Honors Thesis—Introduction, Review of Literature, Methodology, and Hypothesis.

Enrollment in HON 3455 is limited and requires the approval of the course instructor. Students are encouraged to take HON 3455 no sooner than the end of their sophomore year and no later than the end of their junior year. In some ways, then, HON 3455 can provide a jump start to the thesis project. It is quite possible that a student taking HON 3455 at the end of the sophomore year can complete the Honors thesis project a year sooner than most, i.e., during the junior year.

Students who have taken this course have completed their theses in areas such as the following:

  •   Exercise physiology
  •   Cost effectiveness of health-care policies
  •   Formal Decision Analyses
  •   Clinical trials of various pharmaceutical treatments
  •   Laboratory research on various steps in a disease process

Please Note: Students in the past have found that this 4-hour course is 2x to 3x as demanding as a normal lecture course. You are being expected to produce initial drafts of four chapters of your Honors Thesis during this one semester. This course is not a good match for a student who may be already overloaded with other demanding courses.

HON 3455 will substitute for one Honors colloquium class, either HON 3200 or 3201, and two hours of Independent Readings, HON 3100 and 3101. (For University Scholars, HON 3201 and the one required hour of Independent Readings will be satisfied by this course.) Students in HON 3455 will receive a letter grade for their completed work, and a grade of D or F will preclude continuation of the thesis project.

Application to HON 3455

Students interested in enrolling in HON 3455 must complete a questionnaire (available HERE) and return it to Dr. Albert Beck via the wire turn-in basket in the Honors Suite, Morrison 203, by Wednesday, October 20, at 4 pm. Any questionnaire received after this deadline may not be eligible for enrollment consideration (at the instructor’s discretion).

Dr. Abell will review the applications for this course and accept the students whose thesis topics and relationships with their mentor seem best suited for this course. Approximately 10 students will be admitted to the course. It is expected that a student, once accepted, would not casually decide to drop the course, as this reduces a slot that other students would have liked to take.

Questionnaire to apply for entrance into HON 3455, .pdf format

Questionnaire to apply for entrance into HON 3455, MS Word .doc format