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Clancy Taylor presenting her thesis at the URC.

A thesis is an original, independent research project undertaken with the guidance of a faculty mentor and culminating in a significant paper.

Benefits of a Thesis

The honors thesis presents both a great challenge and a great opportunity. While the task may appear initially daunting, the payoffs are enormous.

There are various benefits of completing an  honor thesis:

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  • Research and Writing 

    a conventional honors thesis means finding relevant sources, discovering a gap in research that your thesis can fill, and convincing the reader that you are correct in your findings. All of these skills are invaluable for future graduate papers or job reports.


    The honors thesis necessitates choosing a single topic and developing it fully. This hones the skill of connecting multiple ideas into one focused argument. Your job will thank you if you have the ability to see how multiple problems can be fixed with one solution.


    The honors thesis does not have to be a conventional research paper. The flexibility in the mediums and topic areas for you undergraduate thesis really allows one to put their creativity to the test.

  • The honors thesis allows in depth discovery of a topic area of your interest. You may very well find your passion in your search for a thesis topic.

  • Writing the thesis can also prove a benefit when applying to graduate or professional school, or applying to a job after graduation. Admissions committees in many of the best graduate and professional schools often consider students especially well qualified who have already participated successfully in the original research represented by an honors thesis.

  • Completing an the Honors Thesis is a requirement for graduating with honors and complete the honors minors. You can find the distinction between the two here.

    Additionally, it is possible to have the Honors Course 4390B: Honors Thesis count as a substitution for another course in your major. The instructions on this form will help you understand if you qualify. If you do qualify then make sure you fill out the form and take it with you to the meeting you are required to schedule to approve your thesis. Check out the first section in Process and Requirements for more information about this meeting.