The thesis is one of the most satisfying and memorable experiences on the Clark Honors College journey—an opportunity to stretch the boundaries of the university, and to venture out into the larger world. You will conduct original research, complete a high-quality academic paper or project, and orally defend your work to your faculty thesis committee.
The thesis defense itself is not a credit-granting course; however, there are two required preparatory courses leading up to your final thesis project:
- HC 277H: Thesis Orientation (2 credits)
- HC 477H: Thesis Prospectus (2 credits)
HC 277H: Thesis Orientation: This is a term-long class (graded Pass/No Pass) that looks at research questions in different majors, suggests tactics for identifying potential primary thesis advisors, and helps you to map out your thesis timeline. While typically taken at some point during a student’s second year of study, the optimal time for a student to take Thesis Orientation will depend upon their major and overall plans for the thesis project. Students in the sciences who plan to conduct lab-based research for their thesis projects might benefit from taking HC 277H at the end of their first year or the beginning of their second year of study. Students in the social sciences and humanities might benefit from taking HC 277H toward the middle or end of their second year of study.
HC 477H: Thesis Prospectus: This is a term-long class (graded Pass/No Pass) that provides a framework for you to work with your primary thesis advisor to develop a prospectus and timeline for thesis work throughout the year. Thesis prospectus classes in other departments cannot satisfy the CHC requirement. In order to enroll in HC 477H: Thesis Prospectus, you must identify and secure permission from your primary thesis advisor in your major department, and apply through the CHC's Thesis Program Manager to take the course the term before you plan to enroll in it. Ideally, you should take HC 477H: Thesis Prospectus during spring term of your third year (that is, approximately one calendar year before your projected thesis defense term).