In the final year of undergraduate study, all Honors College students complete a thesis or performance/creative project. You must register for at least 6 thesis credits total. Most students take 8 to 10 thesis credits overall to complete the project over the course of three terms.
The thesis is a serious project, representing a valuable opportunity for Honors students to work closely with a faculty. To begin the thesis, students must take one semester of the Thesis Seminar offered through the Honors College during the fall, winter, and spring terms. After passing the Thesis Seminar with a C or higher, students write the thesis over two terms and then give a short presentation of their completed project.
Thesis Seminar: 4 credits (HON 403)
The first step in embarking on the thesis is the 4-credit Thesis Seminar (HON 403), which may be taken in fall, winter or spring as a junior or senior. During the Thesis Seminar you will find a thesis adviser and compose a prospectus. The prospectus includes all the pieces of the final thesis project and therefore is an important preliminary backbone to the entire project. Take the Thesis Seminar at least three terms before you plan to graduate so that you have at least two terms to finish the thesis once your project is approved.
Thesis: 2-credit writing workshops (HON 403)
Once you have completed the Thesis Seminar with a C or higher grade you should register for thesis writing credits. Generally students register for 2-credit workshops each term they are writing/research/working on the project. Usually students complete the project in two terms for a total of 4 additional thesis credits. You may take more credits if the project continues or you are doing more work in any given term.
The thesis is due in the 8th week of the final quarter of work on the project.
The last part of the thesis is a 5 minute presentation you will give in front of a faculty committee (comprised of the director of the Honors College, your thesis adviser, and third faculty member, preferably from your major department). Faculty and students in the Honors College and your guests are encouraged to attend. Review the Thesis Presentation Guidelines to prepare for your presentation.
Students also have the option of presenting their thesis project at the PSU Student Research Symposium in early May each year. Proposals for the Student Research Symposium open each year at the end of February and are due by early April.
Thesis Archives in PDXScholar
Honors theses are stored online through the PSU Library. Read past Honors theses online at PDXScholar.
Honors theses are also available in the Undergraduate Research Commons, showcasing undergraduate research from universities nationwide.