Planning Your Capstone
Your Honors Thesis is based on your senior ARC thesis, but different it in two important ways: first, the entire thesis must be a particularly high quality piece of work, worthy of Honors in the scope of its conception and in its execution. Second, for most Architecture students the research produced in ARC 505 provides the take-off point for the design project. Honors students will, in addition, return to the research produced in ARC 505 and continue to develop it throughout the spring semester.
- To get an idea as to the quality and scope expected, you can browse and search our Thesis archives on the SURFACE Thesis database for previous Architecture projects.
Submit Your Proposal
By mid-October of your 4th year, submit a Thesis Proposal Form for Distinction/Thesis online indicating that you intend to complete the Thesis using your thesis. You do not need an Advisor signature or project description at this time.
Honors has several awards to support Thesis Projects. We fund approximately 20 projects annually, up to $5,000 per project.
Update Your Project Progress
By the third week of October of your 5th year, submit a Thesis Update Form to Honors. You will be following the standard procedure: interview with faculty about your thesis ideas, propose a topic for your ARC theses (undertaken through ARC 505 Thesis Preparation), and request a faculty supervisory team. Your ARC 505/508 supervisors will serve as your Honors Thesis Advisor.
499 Course Registration
Register for one credit of ARC 499 where you will develop your contention further, incorporating insights gained through the ongoing work done in ARC 508 and reflecting critically on the ways the design work tests the thesis. In addition to a revised written piece, ARC 499 will require graphic information produced for ARC 509 interim reviews, such as drawings and model photos that demonstrate how your design work tests the your contention. To qualify for Honors, you must earn a B or higher in ARC 499.
Find Your Reader
Your Honors Reader is usually a faculty member in your major or a thematically related field. Make sure you ask, in person, if someone will serve as your reader. It can be any faculty member; it does not need to be one "officially" affiliated with Honor, and it does not have to be someone in your major.
Submit a draft of one chapter/section
In the first week of November, you will email one chapter / section of a draft of your final Thesis to your advisor and your Thesis Coordinator.
Submit Written Thesis for Editor Review
About a week prior to the final turn-in of your Thesis , you will be required to submit your finished Thesis to Honors for our editing process. One of our editors will review your Thesis for writing quality (grammar, structure, flow) and will either approve your Thesis for turn-in, or they will flag your Thesis for further editing.
This process gives you the opportunity to learn the importance of final editing and polishing your Thesis before you turn it in for its final submission.
Turn-In and Present Your Thesis
The final result of ARC 508 plus ARC 499 will be both a design thesis and a fully researched document accompanying it. A Reflective Essay is not required for Architecture Theses. Complete ARC 499 on the official Thesis Turn In Day.
Turning in and presenting your Thesis is largely the same for students in all schools and colleges; you need to follow the Honors format (please see below). Here’s what you need to turn in:
1. A copy of your “book,” and of your final design project (if the two are in some way distinct) in the final format you produce them in. Most of these will not be in standard 8 ½ x 11, and that’s fine. Whatever you hand in as the final product to Architecture, we’d like a copy as well;
2. An e-copy of your book and final design project;
3. We also need a copy of your project in an 8.5 x 11 format, with at least a 1 ½ inch margin for binding in our library. These can be printed PDFs if that’s most convenient. (If you have to turn them 90˚ to make them fit, that’s ok).
Remember that your Thesis must include a 2 – 4 page critical statement that contains.
- a description of the project
- a discussion of the methods used
- a discussion of the project’s significance