Thesis Overview


  • Thesis

    • The Honors thesis requirement gives students the opportunity to participate in original research or creative work in the discipline of their major. Honors students typically complete the thesis requirement during their junior and senior years after they have obtained sufficient training in their major to conduct independent work in a specialized academic field. Each student chooses a faculty advisor in the department of his or her major and in consultation with the advisor chooses a thesis topic.

      Students should complete significant course work within the subject area of the thesis (usually at least 30 credit hours, several of which are from 300- or 400-level major courses). The thesis is intended to acquaint students firsthand and in depth with the type of scholarly work that characterizes the field they intend to pursue professionally. For these reasons, only under rare circumstances is an Honors thesis topic outside the major area approved. (In most cases students who complete a thesis outside the major do so in fields cognate to their majors.)

  • Forming an Honors Thesis idea

    • A good portion of past honors theses are available to view in the Honors Reading Room of the Harold B. Lee library. The call number for Honors theses is AS 36 .B752 and then they are arranged by the author's surname and the date. They are not arranged by academic department. (Although a copy of every thesis is sent to the academic department, so they should have a collection of them in their respective conference rooms as well.)

      The LC subject heading for the library is "university scholar project.". If you go to the online library catalog and use Open Advanced Search, enter on line one "university scholar project", and on line two the academic department (i.e. "Social Work"), you can find theses within a certain discipline.

  • Thesis Proposal

    • Before students begin work on an Honors thesis, they must submit a written thesis proposal and have it approved by the Honors Program Office. Guidelines for writing the proposal are available under the Graduation Deadlines and Forms tab.  Additional guidelines by discipline are available below. Students can request financial support as a part of the thesis proposal. Many honors students obtain competitive undergraduate research grants from BYU's Office of Research and Creative Activities for Honors thesis work.  

      After completing thesis research and writing the thesis, each student must participate in a thesis defense. The defense committee consists of the thesis advisor (who chairs the defense), a faculty reader, and an Honors Coordinator. After the thesis defense is completed and all final changes are incorporated into the thesis, the Honors Program will have the thesis bound and add it to the collection of Honors theses housed in the Harold B. Lee Library.

  • Honors Thesis Coordinator Guidelines

    • The following guidelines are intended to serve as a more specific set of information in addition to the Honors Program Thesis Proposal Guidelines. You should consult both the guidelines for your field as well as the official thesis proposal guidelines while writing your proposal. Please note that we do not yet have guidelines for every discipline. If you cannot find the guidelines relating to the field of your project, please contact your Honors Coordinator or consult guidelines from a related department. The current list of Honors Coordinators can be accessed under the Students Links tab.