As a CHC student, during your fourth year you will complete a thesis project. The thesis provides you with the opportunity to apply the expertise you acquire in your major and the critical thinking and communication skills you develop in your CHC courses. 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.
Your thesis will provide you with skills employers and graduate or professional schools value. Completing a thesis requires you to conceptualize and plan a complex long-term project, manage and overcome the unexpected, and share your results both in writing and through an oral presentation. Your thesis project will demonstrate your ability to manage projects, apply your knowledge, communicate complex ideas and work both independently and collaboratively. In the process, you will form close mentoring relationships with faculty and gain confidence in your own abilities.
Your Thesis Will Take You Places
An honors thesis is valuable not only in and of itself, but also because of how you will grow, personally and academically, throughout the process. There are also concrete ways that your thesis can continue to work for you down the road. Meet two CHC alumni for whom their thesis was just the beginning:
"Remember the lessons of your thesis and put it on your résumé." —Sheila Miller, BA '99
"I wanted to work on rhino arthritis for my thesis and, to the credit of my advisors, they did not dismiss it as naïve passion, but challenged me to explain why this was a good thesis topic. I'm now at the University of Chicago working on a PhD in Functional Anatomy and Evolutionary Neuroscience." —Kelsey Stilson, BS '13
A Community of Thesis Writers
At Clark Honors College, you will be part of a supportive peer community of thesis writers and have access to faculty who value learning outside the classroom. The CHC curriculum is designed to help you develop and grow the skills you will need to complete a successful thesis. CHC will help you connect with faculty mentors and our signature programs, such as the mentored research program and the internship funding program, offer special access to funded opportunities. You can take independent research credits to focus on your thesis project and join one of our student-led writing circles to connect with a community of thesis writers. From your second year on, your CHC faculty advisor will be a resource for all of your thesis questions.
Some Exceptional Theses
Each Spring, we celebrate exceptional theses that were both well written and presented at the highest level in the oral defense. You can view an extensive collection of CHC theses through Scholar's Bank.
- Accessible Lighting in the Workplace: Reducing the Negative Impact of Photosensitivity and Migraines (Adriann Bechtle, 2021)
- The Role of Ideology in Perception of Non-Native Speech Volume (Isabel Crabtree, 2021)
- Nur: A Playbook on Representative Brand Engagement with First Generation American Muslim Consumers (Zaria Parvez, 2020)
- What can a small RNA molecule teach us about molecular switches? Distinguishing contact and ensemble epistasis in the adenine riboswitch (Daria Wonderlick, 2021)