Primary Thesis Advisors: Introduction

The thesis project combines the defining characteristics of a Clark Honors College education with a specific topic from the student’s major field of study, resulting in a written paper and oral defense on par with graduate level work.

As the Primary Thesis Advisor, we rely on you to help your student scope and outline their project, provide input and edits on multiple drafts, and preside over the oral defense. You will also be responsible for making sure that the student’s work meets your field's disciplinary standards. The Clark Honors College faculty representative on your student’s thesis committee will be responsible for overseeing that the student’s work meets the college’s requirement that theses communicate the purposes, methods, and significance of their research to a general audience.

Students are advised to take a 1-credit Thesis Orientation Workshop during their second or third year. Most students will have taken this course before asking a faculty member to serve as their Primary Thesis Advisor. Students must secure an Advisor before enrolling in the 2-credit Thesis Prospectus course, which we strongly advis students to take spring of their third year. During this course students will develop a clear plan of work by producing a timeline for research and writing a formal thesis prospectus. The prospectus will articulate what the thesis research is about, its import, and the planned methods of approach, as well as include an annotated bibliography and literature review that situates the thesis within the framework of current research in your field.

You will be invited to attend this course with your student once during the term, at which time the student will present their prospectus that has been pre-circulated to you and all the students in the course. The class then has the opportunity to pose questions to your student.