Planning for your Thesis

Many students begin on their own: they come up with a topic, find a faculty mentor whom they approach in person, and they are on their way. It's that simple.

In some cases it's not so simple, so here are some resources that can help you get started. Whatever you do, be sure to choose a topic that excites you!

Honors Junior Assemblies (Required)

Students at Honors Senior AssemblyAmanda Quick - The Next Zuck

Where should you begin? You will come to the mandatory Honors Assemblies offered opening week where Honors Thesis Coordinators will walk you through the initial steps of this challenging process. We’ll offer strategies for finding and narrowing a topic, approaching faculty members to find an advisor, and creating a successful proposal.

During these assemblies, you will meet with other students beginning this journey and begin your journey toward Honors Convocation.

Register for HNR 309: Thesis Project Planning Seminar

You can register for this in the fall of your junior year, or spring if you are abroad in the fall. HNR 309 is an optional, one-credit, pass-fail seminar designed to help you explore a Thesis in your discipline, select a topic for yourself, and find a faculty member who will advise you.

The purpose of HNR 309, the Thesis Project Planning Seminar, is to help you understand what a Thesis Project is, to understand what personal resources are necessary for successful completion of the project, to identify a topic for your project and a faculty member who will advise you, and to develop a timeline to complete it. During the first half of the semester, there will be a series of seminar meetings, assignments, and exercises designed to meet these goals. During the second half of the semester, you will meet with your instructor to discuss the progress you have made on your project. HNR 309 is not required, and there are other ways to get started on your Thesis project.

Browse the Thesis Archives

Logo of the Surface websiteOne excellent planning resource is our new online archive of Thesis . You can sort Thesis projects by major, by subject, or search by keyword. Viewing past Thesis projects is also a great way to see which faculty members have been actively mentoring students in your department. Get a feel for the scope of a successful project as well as the “look and feel”.

Full texts of all alumni Thesis projects dating back to 2004 are available via a searchable database through the SU library.  For projects prior to 2004, the Honors Library in 306 Bowne has a set of past projects in bound volumes going back to 1985.

Distinction Programs

Amanda Catchings DistinctionMany departments in A&S offer "Distinction" programs which guide you through a senior thesis. In some cases, that thesis will be your Thesis Project; in other cases your Distinction project will serve as the basis of your Honors Thesis. You can search the SUrface database to compare the guidelines of your Distinction project with a completed Thesis in your field. Some Distinction programs include a research seminar with fellow students to help you get started.

No two Distinction programs are alike, so find out if your major offers one and check it out. Distinction programs provide a great way to complete a Thesis, and you graduate both with "Distinction" in the major and with Renée Crown University Honors.  Go to My Thesis and select the A&S Distinction programs tab to review the whole process!