The Thesis Project

three students working independently on laptops at large table

The Thesis Project

As a CHC student, you will complete a thesis project during your fourth year. You will apply the critical thinking and communication skills you have learned in the CHC to explore ideas, problems, approaches, and practices in your field of study. We explain the significance of the thesis project and how the process works.

A woven fiber object displayed against a white exbition space wall near text reading "by material means, Heidi Osaki"

What is the thesis project?

Like climbing Mt. Hood, cooking a seven-course meal or writing a book of poetry, each thesis project is a unique accomplishment.

Through your thesis project, you can explore questions, solve problems, create a portfolio, conduct original research, write a business or marketing plan, or work with professors on an issue or project related to your own career goals.

student in lab gear using pipette under fume hood

Why should I do a thesis project?

An honors thesis project is valuable not only in and of itself, but also because of how you will grow, personally and academically, throughout the process.

Your thesis project will provide you with skills employers and graduate or professional schools value: the ability to manage projects, apply your knowledge, communicate complex ideas and work both independently and collaboratively. 


“It is okay to be non-traditional! The thesis I created was nothing like a classic research paper and at the beginning I had no idea that was even allowed.”

—Angela Pelky, Class of 2023, Computer Science


 How a thesis topic is born

circular portrait of calvin warner with trees in background

“I wanted to find a project that allowed me to express myself creatively. I also do a lot of self reflection in my spare time and enjoy looking inward as a way of understanding the world around me. My primary thesis advisor was very adaptive and kind, encouraging me to identify a project that I would be thrilled to work on.”

—Calvin Warner, Environmental Studies, Class of 2023
The Impact of Casual Observation on Environmental Appreciation and Personal Wellbeing

circular portrait of angela pelky holding a dahlia in a field of flowers

“I kind of paved my own path with this thesis project. I was combining the fields of entrepreneurship and computer science, so I thought about valuable processes that applied to both fields. As part of computer science projects, you go through a multi-step process of defining requirements, designing those requirements, and finally testing them. I used these templates as a basis for my project.”

—Angela Pelky, Computer Science, Class of 2023
A Journey to Build a Dog Walking Application

circular portrait of grace miyoshi in grad gown and honors college stole

“Lean into a topic or experience that you found fascinating, like study abroad, to get the most out of that one experience and make the thesis project slightly outside your typical realm - that difference will make your project more interesting and easier to work on through the year.”

—Grace Miyoshi, Journalism, Class of 2023
Monopponom as an emerging Japansese American craft: Creating a transcultural public relations plan

Three Steps to a Successful Thesis Project


Design your project.

It's never too early to start planning!

  • Take HC 277 Thesis Orientation
  • Develop an idea or a question around what inspires you in your field of study
  • Identify a primary thesis advisor who agrees to be on your thesis committee
  • Enroll in HC 477 Thesis Prospectus


Act on your ideas.

Since every student’s thesis project is unique, the precise steps involved in completing yours will be specific to you. You might:

  • Perform lab or library research, collect data in the field, engage with the community, create artwork, design, compose, choreograph...
  • Take independent study credits
  • Apply for funding

No matter what, make sure you stay in close contact with your primary thesis advisor.


Share the results.

Communication is the critical path to completing your thesis project. Get ready to: 


How will I be supported in the thesis project?

► Field-specific expertise and mentorship from your chosen Primary Thesis Advisor

► General support through the thesis project from your CHC Representative

► Required courses dedicated to planning: Thesis Orientation and Thesis Prospectus

Starting sophomore year, general academic advising from your CHC Faculty Advisor

A curriculum designed to strengthen your research, analysis and communication skills

Access to faculty and funding opportunities via CHC's Mentored Research Program

► Option to join Writing in Community groups that build time and accountability into your schedule

Option to take independent research credits that let you focus on your thesis project

Dedicated thesis resource staff ready to answer your questions


circular portrait of yessica roldan in graduation cap

“Schedule an appointment with a librarian at the beginning of your research. They have extensive knowledge of the best databases to utilize and can guide you in using search engines and filters to your advantage. This will maximize your efficiency and empower you to start your thesis journey with confidence.” ​​​​​

—Yessica Roldan, Human Physiology, Class of 2023
Nintedanib: A New Hope for Patients with Systemic Sclerosis-Associated Interstitial Lung Disease

Thesis Resource Staff

Beyond your chosen thesis committee, the Clark Honors College also has dedicated staff to support you during your thesis process, from start to finish. 


Miriam Jordan

Miriam Alexis Jordan
CHC Academic and Thesis Programs Manager

Miriam Alexis Jordan provides administrative and technical support on benchmarks and protocols as you progress through the academic and thesis process toward graduation. She believes in the importance of a liberal arts education (and lifelong learning) and is committed to your student success. When you are ready to begin the thesis process, Miriam is your guide.
Phone: 541-346-2511

Cecilia Justina
CHC Undergraduate Program Assistant

Cecilia Justina provides support for formatting your thesis document. She can review thesis drafts at least 10 days prior to your defense date and provide feedback for corrections to be made after your defense. She is available to answer any questions about thesis formatting at her Spring term office hours, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m in Chapman 124.
Phone: 541-346-2511

Research Help at UO Libraries

Jeffrey Staiger is the Library Liaison for the Clark Honors College and the Humanities Librarian for the University of Oregon Libraries. Jeffrey is a research specialist who can answer any questions regarding the library or your research projects, as well as to connect you with other library services. UO Libraries has specific librarians to support research in most of the academic disciplines studied at the university. View a complete list of subject and area librarians on the library website.
Phone: 541-346-1897

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More questions about the thesis project?

We've got answers. Students should read the Frequently Asked Questions about the CHC Thesis Project. If you are a Primary Thesis Advisor or a CHC Representative, find helpful information below.