Explore your field of study
Your undergraduate career will be focused in one of your major fields of study, so that is your starting point. The first step is to ask questions: What about your chosen major interested you in the first place? What is a class (or even part of a class) you remember that interested you? Who has been a professor you 'clicked' with?
What are the professors in your school working on?
Next, consider the institution and what it is focused on. To be honest, you will find a faculty advisor much more easily if you start by learning what is currently being researched and written about within your major. One of the best ways to find topics of interest is to visit your school or college website and explore there. What can you find?
- Most schools and colleges have centers and institutes that conduct research in your field. Find those and start reading.
- Read the latest news for what has been accomplished recently in that center.
- Lookup and research the professors and academics working there. Read their most recent paper.
- Some faculty members will even have given talks at conferences associated with your field. Try finding some conference websites related to your field. Usually conferences will have video archives of talks or panels.
Below we have gathered some of the more known research centers and institutes around campus. You can use these as a starting point for research and professional opportunities.
Note* before you contact any faculty member, please make sure you read the section below on connecting with faculty members.
"Your topic selection is everything, so do not rush that critical stage of the process. Even after you have chosen a topic you love, I know the first year of this process will seem like an impossible uphill climb. But, as someone who is in the final days of this two-year thesis, the pride and satisfaction you will feel on submission day makes all of the meetings, late nights, and database searches worth it."
Explore past projects and topics
Searchable Thesis database of past projects
This archive holds Honors Theses from 2017 onward. To narrow your search topically, we've broken them out by disciplinary category to help you focus, so each tab contains projects for a specific area. Next, they are grouped by year, so all the most recent projects are at the top. Finally, in the upper right corner there is a free text search tool to help you find any search term in the list. You can also use the filtering options at the top to narrow down fields, or look at projects that certain faculty advisors have mentored.
Once you've found some projects you want to look at you have some options. You can download a copy of the thesis and any associated content from the links to the right. If you want to explore further, do head over to our Surface database, which houses earlier projects back to 2005.
Research Theses back to 2005, including advanced search.
Honors maintains an official Thesis repository for published projects on the Syracuse University Library's Surface database. You can browse older projects, and download full pdfs of published works.
Exploring a Creative Project?
If you are exploring topics and theses from your field, and wondering if your project will qualify as 'creative' (and therefore require a creative statement), the flowchart below will help you decide. As with everything, if you are still confused just contact your Honors Thesis coordinator.
Connect with a faculty advisor
Part of topic exploration is seeing what Honors students before you have done. We have two databases of Honors theses for you to search and download projects. Also pay attention to the faculty advisor listed on the project. That is a good way to figure out if a faculty member's area of research or study might match your interests.
Meet your thesis coordinator
The role of an Honors thesis coordinator is to serve as a facilitator for your project implementation. We will keep you reminded of deadlines, meet with you to discuss your project, your progress, think through obstacles and possibilities, and when requested or needed we may reach out to faculty on your behalf. We also hold assemblies and workshops geared toward getting and keeping you on track. When you reach your junior year, we will assign you a designated coordinator, or if you've been working with one of us you may keep that person as your coordinator. We are here to answer any questions you have and to provide support!
Alison (Ali) Cridge