Senior Honors Thesis

Senior Honors Thesis

Students must apply to the honors thesis program by May 15 submitting a formal letter of application and a preliminary proposal to the department. The department offers preliminary acceptance to the honors program based on these documents. In addition, students normally must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major and a GPA of 3.33 overall. Proposals and research plans are developed further in Geography 90 during fall quarter.

The department will select an appropriate advisor and two committee members for each successful honor thesis application. The advisor and committee oversee the student's progress, provide a means of communication between the student and the department, and ultimately make a recommendation to the department about the quality of the thesis. The typical course sequence associated with an honors thesis begins with G90 (Fall), followed by G85 (Winter) and G87 in the Spring Term.

Many students support their scholarship with research grants; thesis students are strongly encouraged to explore the options available at:

Please pay special attention to the different deadlines.

When, on occasion, support from these places is limited or unavailable, student may also apply to Geography for research support.

Full, formal proposals must be submitted to the department at the latest by November 1 by emailing [email protected]. The department may vote to reject a proposal and relays its comments to the students through the thesis committee.

The following timetable is for spring quarter; dates for other quarters should be adjusted accordingly. This is the minimum recommended schedule for the completion of theses, but advisors may modify this schedule at their discretion.

Timetable for Completion of Honors Theses

The following timetable is for spring quarter; dates for other quarters should be adjusted accordingly. This is the minimum recommended schedule for the completion of theses, but advisors may modify this schedule at their discretion.

April 15 or earlier

Preliminary draft to advisor. This draft, while not necessarily complete, should include all major chapters.

May 1

First draft to thesis committee, including advisor. This draft should hve been completely read by the adviser and serves as a basis for the thesis defense, and for comments by the committee.

May 5-20

Thesis public presentation and defense. The department will schedule the presentation and defense at times mutually convenient to the student, the committee members, and the department. The presentation precedes the defense, although they may occur on the same day. Presentations are formal, public lectures, open to the College community. Only the student and the committee attend the defense. The defense is an opportunity for the committee to provide detailed, interactive feedback to the student about the thesis.

Based on the first draft, the presentation and the defense, the committee votes to classify the thesis as honors or non-honors. If a thesis is judged to be non-honors, the student will receive credit for Independent Study (Geography 85) or Senior Thesis (Geography 87).

Typically, the committee awards honors contingent on satisfactory revision of the thesis. At the discretion of the committee, they may also advise the student of revisions that will make the thesis eligible for high honors.

May 30 (or approximately 7 days before grades are due)

Final draft due to the advisor. This draft should include all of the revisions required by the committee. (Oversight of these revisions is the responsibility of the advisor and committee.) The advisor will use this draft to assign the student's grades for Geography 85 and 87, and the department will use it to evaluate the potential for high honors.

June 4-5 (or approximately 1-2 days before grades are due to the registrar)

The department meets as a whole to evaluate all theses, and votes on high honors.

June 6 (or before the student leaves campus after graduation)

Two bound thesis copies are due to the main office. One copy goes to Kresgee Library andthe othercopy is filed at Rauner Library. It is customary for the student to give an additional bound copy to the advisor, and often to committee members as well.