Please see the description of the Advanced Readings courses, during which students work with faculty mentors to lay the groundwork for their thesis projects, here. For a short presentation on approaching and developing an Honors thesis in the lab sciences, please click here. (This presentation is in PDF format.)
Development of the thesis continues into the senior year in a sequence of courses totaling four credit hours. HON 4V87, Honors Thesis, is usually taken during the final two semesters. As a variable hour class, student must register for the class and total number of credit hours, usually two hours each term. In HON 4V87, students are expected to draft substantial sections of the thesis essay, often around half the thesis during each semester. The first section of the essay is quite often a review of the relevant literature, explored in the Readings courses, that places the thesis in the context of current scholarship. Subsequent sections then proceed to analyze primary sources, data, or laboratory results. At the conclusion of the project, the completed thesis is presented by the student and evaluated by a committee of at least three professors in a one-hour oral defense.
The Honors Program provides a set of specific guidelines and recommended procedures for every phase of the thesis project, but each thesis director may opt to modify the requirements of any thesis course at her or his discretion and evaluate the student's progress accordingly.
Questions should be addressed to Dr. Al Beck, Advisement Coordinator of the Honors Program (254-710-6470); or to Dr. Andy Wisely, Director of the Honors Program (254-710-1119).
Honors juniors and seniors develop thesis projects under the close supervision of faculty mentors. Students already working on their projects may want to applaud their faculty directors' work: one medium for such applause is The Pulse, Baylor’s undergraduate scholarly journal, which welcomes recommendations from students for faculty to be honored with its monthly faculty feature. See online recommendation form here.
Students who are beginning their thesis projects may want to consult the list, organized by academic discipline, of faculty who have recently directed Honors theses.
LINKS TO IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
The following documents should prove useful to students and their faculty mentors as the work through the thesis project.
Thesis Project Overview
This document provides a broad overview of the steps necessary to complete a thesis, with some discussion of how different theses may vary by subject area.
Independent Readings Hours: Expectations for the Junior Year
This document explains the purpose of junior-level Independent Readings & Research hours and describes what is expected of students and faculty. Independent Readings & Research is the preliminary step towards the writing of the undergraduate Honors thesis.
Honors Thesis Hours: Expectations for Senior Year
This explains the purpose of and prerequisites for the senior-level Honors Thesis hour and provides a general timeline for producing a thesis over the course of the year, as well as expectations for formatting and procedures for grading.
HON 4V87 Syllabus
This document provides important dates and expectations for the thesis project. Honors students generally received a copy of this syllabus at the start of their thesis-writing semester.
Guidelines for the oral defense & submission of the Honors thesis
Students should provide a copy of this form to their thesis mentor when they schedule their oral defense. On this form, one can find helpful information regarding the nature and expectations for the concluding thesis defense, usually conducted at the end of the semester once the thesis has been reviewed by the faculty mentor. Deadlines for current-semester graduates (spring and fall terms) are referenced in this document.
Thesis Defense Scheduling Form
This form is submitted about a two months prior to the defense of the thesis. The form is used by the Honors thesis writer to ensure that a room, date, and time for the defense have been established and all the faculty committee members are agreeable to these arrangements. (Note: The submission date on the form may occasionally differ from the date noted on the 4V87 syllabus. When this happens, the date on the syllabus is correct.)
Oral Defense Form
See above for information regarding this form used at the oral defense.
Submitting an Electronic Copy to BEARdocs
The web page https://www.baylor.edu/honors_program/beardocs links four documents that provide step-by-step instructions for submitting the final electronic copy of the thesis to BEARdocs. Note that this must be completed before a student will be cleared for Honors Program graduation.