The Honors Coordinator serves as the departmental liaison between the Honors Program and students in the various disciplines across campus. Appointed by each department, Honors Coordinators are full-time, tenured faculty members who regularly work with the Honors Program and are qualified to advise students on the Honors thesis.
Honors Program Thesis Guidelines & Policy Document
To request student lists or ask any questions, contact the Honors Program Assistant Director.
Meeting with Students
We encourage Honors Coordinators to meet with students throughout their Honors experience:
Incoming Students enrolled in HONRS 110, the introductory Honors course offered Fall and Winter semesters, are required to reach out and meet with their Coordinator in an effort to become acquainted, learn about research or applied research opportunities in the department, ways to become involved in the major, what publication looks like in your field, and how the experience, distinction and publication as a University Honors graduate may help advance career opportunities or bolster applications for graduate programs. Our experience shows that early introductions to the Honors Coordinator goes a long way to help students overcome anxiety around approaching faculty generally and begin to form mentoring relationships that are instrumental to long-term success in Honors, especially as students advance toward a thesis.
We encourage group meetings as we are mindful of your time. You may also wish to invite committed students to attend these introductory meetings as this is a great way to help newer students make connections with students who are more advanced in your majors and in Honors.
Committed Students have officially enrolled in the Honors Program and are at various stages of progress. Our program is open-enrollment, our database is dynamic, and students can join Honors throughout the year. We try to send updated lists at the beginning of each semester, but feel free to ask for updated student lists anytime.
We encourage Coordinators to check in periodically with Honors students in their majors, individually or collectively. If you meet in person, hold events or group meetings, Honors can help with scheduling, providing supplies or refreshments, or sending an Honors representative to attend.
Fall is an ideal time to reach out to students who are planning on a graduation date the following year. You may offer to talk through ideas with them, and help identify and introduce them to potential faculty thesis advisors if they haven’t found one already. Often we find students may need help determining just what makes an appropriate thesis question/topic in their field – and you are better suited to speak to disciplinary expectations.
As a Coordinator, anything you can do to encourage and facilitate student connections with other faculty, research opportunities, and early planning and work toward a thesis is really helpful. One of our goals is to increase completion rates – and one of the biggest hurdles is the last step, the thesis. Our data shows that students who submit thesis proposals will most likely finish and graduate with Honors. The key is an early start and careful planning.
Coordinators are excellent resources to help students identify research opportunities, obtain advice about preparation for a thesis within that field, meet other faculty, and more. Often students reach out to Coordinators, in and outside their own department, for research guidance on Great Question essays.
The Coordinator should know the faculty in their discipline and their general research interests in order to better refer students to possible mentors and field experts. We strongly encourage Coordinators to facilitate introductions between students and other faculty.
Coordinators are familiar with what makes a good thesis in their respective field and can assist students in identifying possible thesis topics. If a chosen thesis topic is interdisciplinary in nature, the Honors Coordinator in a student’s home major may also refer them to the Coordinator of the other discipline relevant to the thesis. A current list of the Coordinators for each major is available on the Honors website: http://honors.byu.edu.
As the representative of Honors in each department, the Honors Coordinator gives approval for Honors thesis proposals in their department. Coordinators must read the thesis proposal, work through any concerns or issues with students and faculty advisors, and grant departmental approval (signature required) before students submit the proposal and accompanying submission form to the Honors Program office. The Honors Coordinator helps the Honors Program determine whether students have demonstrated a sufficient knowledge of the subject, if their focus and methods are appropriate, and whether their research will need IRB approval to proceed.
Coordinators serve as the third member of the student’s thesis committee going forward, and therefore we anticipate Coordinators will be in touch with students from the proposal stage, through the research and writing process, to the final defense. Throughout this process, Coordinators work with the faculty advisor and faculty reader. These three individuals together comprise the student’s thesis committee. Therefore, as a member of the thesis committee, Honors Coordinators attend and participate in the thesis defense and act as the Honors Program representative in granting final thesis approval at the department level.