The Honors thesis represents the culminating project of your BYU Honors experience. A thesis is not just another research or term paper; it is a much more substantial piece of scholarship completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor and thesis committee. The Honors thesis represents independent, original research or creative work of superior quality that merits publication, presentation, or distribution beyond the campus community. This hallmark of academic excellence should exhibit high standards of quality in its ideas, methodology, accuracy, clarity, reasoning and presentation. The thesis should be the most developed research or creative effort of your undergraduate years.
Honors students typically complete the thesis requirement during their junior and senior years (2-4 semesters) after they have obtained sufficient training in their major to conduct research in a specialized academic field. The thesis process acquaints you firsthand and in depth with the type of scholarly work that characterizes the field you 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 a field cognate to their majors or in a minor.)
Many students report that writing their Honors thesis proved both the most rigorous and the most rewarding academic experience of their college years. Students learn to develop proficient research and rhetorical skills within their discipline while enhancing their academic or professional credentials and making an original contribution to their field.
Prerequisites: Approved Honors Thesis Prospectus
GE Credit: Together with HONRS 320, this course is certified to meet the University GE Advanced Writing & Oral Communication requirement.
While students are actively engaged in the research and writing stages of their thesis, they enroll and complete at least 3.0 and up to 6.0 credits of HONRS 499R, working under the direction of their thesis advisor. This is a variable credit (1-6 credits), independent, pass/fail course, and requires an approved thesis proposal prior to registration. Students receive a “T” (temporary) grade until after they have successfully defended their thesis (grade changes to a Pass) or have graduated without completing the thesis (grade changes to a Fail).
Honors Thesis Guidelines
(Click on Each Section for Details)
Steps in the Thesis Process
1. Explore Potential Topics & Research Areas
2. Attend Thesis Workshops
3. Meet with Honors Coordinator
4. Identify a Faculty Thesis Advisor and Faculty Reader
5. Write a Thesis Proposal
6. Research and Write Your Thesis
7. Defending Your Thesis
8. Thesis Poster
9. Culminating Presentations
10. Publishing Your Thesis