The culmination of your Honors experience is the Senior Honors Project, which can take the shape of an Honors Thesis or Honors Portfolio, depending on which fits your needs and the requirements of your major. The final decision must be made in consultation with your Honors Faculty Mentor. Your major may opt to require you to complete a Thesis project and your choice may be further dictated by the kind of work that is typical for people in your major. If you have not already done so you must attend a Bridge Session or advising appointment with the Director to gather more information about your Senior Honors Project process.
The Honors Thesis represents original, independent, mentored inquiry or creative work that reflects sustained effort, thoughtfulness of design and excellence in execution, and which enhances the student’s area of study. It is the culmination of our Honors students’ hard work, persistence, and dedication and is the capstone to their Honors education.
Students work closely with a Faculty Mentor and an additional committee member over the course of their senior year to conduct research or carry out creative work as appropriate to their major, and produce a written record of their work.
Portfolios allow for more non-traditional research and creative work, such as design projects, community-based research, etc. to be considered for Honors. The Portfolio is best for work that is not of sustained length, but has distinct but related components making a quality whole. Through a written reflective essay, and the Portfolio as a whole, you will complete a project that it is of equal quality and rigor to the Honors Thesis option.
An Honors Portfolio project differs from a regular academic portfolio (in which students collect artifacts as their educational journey unfolds and write short reflections on them). For our purposes, an Honors Portfolio is a deliberately-crafted collection of experiences, projects and research that are coherently linked through advanced design and that work toward a common purpose of showcasing sustained, creative and rigorous undergraduate work. It provides a framework to plan, organize, synthesize and reflect on the diverse elements of unique and “outside-the-box” Honors capstone experiences.
The component or artifacts included in your portfolio will vary widely according to your project and major field of study, however some possible inclusions may be:
- Websites designed
- Performance pieces
- Service-Learning, community-based research, or practicum-based projects
- Entrepreneurial activities
- Computer programs/apps
- Art work
While compiling your Portfolio pieces be sure there is a cohesive theme, related to the relevant literature, that binds the whole.
Be sure to read through the Senior Honors Project Handbook for more detail!