Completing independent research at the undergraduate level can give students a great deal of latitude in choosing the academic interests that they will pursue, as well as allowing them to explore their interests in greater depth than courses can usually offer. Undertaking research can also give students an advantage when applying to graduate or professional programs.
Offered every semester, the Honors Independent study (HON 4391) allows students to create a course of study under the direct supervision of a professor for honors credit. The times and days for meetings are arranged by the supervising professor and the honors student. Substitutions are arranged before the semester begins and must be approved by the chair of the relevant department.
Before receiving special approval to enroll in the Hon 4391 course, students must turn in a completed and signed HON 4391 INDEPENDENT STUDY Course Agreement Form to Professor Diann McCabe.
The independent study course agreeement form can be downloaded here.
The Honors Thesis is a course that students undertake under the supervision of a professor and possibly, a second reader, on a subject of their choosing. This course culminates in a project of significant size, and is required to graduate in Honors, and for the minor in Honors Studies. In order to register HON 4390B, students must have their thesis proposals approved by the Dean of the Honors College, Dr. Galloway, and their thesis supervisors. More information on writing a thesis can be found here.
The Honors Contract Course allows an honors student to enroll in a 3000 or 4000-level non-honors course, complete additional work that represents a qualitative enhancement to the existing course, and have the completed course with contracted work count for honors credit. Before enrolling in a contract course, students should have completed at least two honors courses or be currently enrolled in their second honors course. To earn honors contract credit in the fall or spring semesters, course contracts must be turned in by the fourth week of the semester in which the student is enrolled in the course. For summer contract courses, contracts must be turned in by the end of the first week of the semester. Approval of course contracts is at the discretion of the Honors College staff.
The forms and additional information and requirements for the honors contract course can be found here. This form should be given to Professor Diann McCabe when finished.
Each spring semester, the Office of the Associate Vice President for Research and the Honors College sponsor an Undergraduate Research Conference. The event is held to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students across the different colleges and disciplines to share their endeavors with the academic and University communities.
Honors theses, research (in any phase of completion), creative works, and course projects are all welcome for submission to the Conference. In the spirit of academic curiosity and discovery, the major aim of the event is to showcase and celebrate the work of Texas State's undergraduate students.
The Conference also strives to serve as a leadership development experience for students as they move forward on their academic journeys and in their career paths. Presentation, interpersonal communication, and public speaking skills are a few benefits students gain from participating in the Conference. More information on past conferences can be found here.
Note: If a student wishes to present research in the fall semester, he or she should look into presenting at the Thesis Forum.
The Honors College holds a Thesis Forum each Fall semester to provide a venue for students to present their honors theses to the academic and University communities. Along with providing leadership development for students in presentation skills, the Thesis Forum is seen as a celebration of the culmination of students' self-driven academic projects. Open to all, the Forum acknowledges the academic achievement of the participants and seeks to inspire the spirit of academic curiosity in students, staff, and members of the community. More detailed information about the Thesis Forum can be found here.
Note: In the spring semester, the Honors College holds an Undergraduate Research Conference, which is similar to the Thesis Forum. If you wish to present research in the spring semester, please consider presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference.
The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC) offer professional conferences every spring and fall. Students and faculty can attend these conferences to make presentations and attend sessions about the activities, courses, and events happening in other Honors programs across the country.
Publishing research can help prepare students for graduate school, and/or for an academic profession, or just help them improve their writing. Professors can often help students get started in the publication process by suggesting journals or other avenues for them to publish in, and by helping them in the revision process. Here are links to journals and to the Undergraduate Research Program's lists of journals:
On-Campus Journals and Other Journals (Undergraduate Research's list)