Honors Theses

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Thesis Steps

Due Dates:

Fall — First Monday of November 

Spring — Second Monday of April

  • Step 3: Complete 6 to 10 Thesis Credits via your major or through Hon 490. To “register” for Honors 490, fill out the general UT Independent Study Form. The course title is “Hon 490.” The professor is your thesis director. The chair is one of the honors directors. Submit the form to the Registrar’s office. Do not attempt to register for someone else’s Hon 490 in Workday as you would other classes. (Workday will say you aren’t eligible because you’re essentially trying to sign up for someone else’s thesis class, and you don’t want to do that.)
  • Step 4: Defend your thesis. Students attempting to complete their thesis projects in the Fall must defend their projects by the second Monday of November; students attempting to complete their thesis projects in the Spring must defend their projects by the second Monday in April. When the thesis is defended, everyone on the committee signs the Thesis Completion Form.

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Thesis Forms

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Sample Theses

Sample theses can be found at the UT Institutional Repository.

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Q: My major already requires a thesis and has a thesis class (such as LIT 490). Can I use that to get Honors thesis credits?

A: Yes. Write honors@ut.edu and let us know you’re planning to substitute one for the other, and we’ll update your records accordingly.

Q: I’m trying to register for Honors 490 in Workday and it says I’m ineligible for the course. What do I need to do to be eligible?

A: You’re not supposed to register for someone else’s independent study class. To register for your own thesis credits, fill out the independent study form (above). Register for your own section of Hon 490 and give it to the registrar.

Q: I didn’t finish my thesis by the deadline. Can I have an extension?

A: The deadlines are for the purposes of graduation. You’re recognized as graduating with honors research distinction at the ceremony, and you have to have defended by the deadline to be in the program and to have your designation on your transcript. If you miss that deadline, you may not be recognized in the ceremony. Furthermore, all theses are read by the Faculty-led Honors Committee. If the semester is over, the faculty, who do not meet in winter or summer breaks, cannot review the theses. For these reasons, we cannot grant thesis extensions.

Q: How many thesis credits can I take at one time? How many should I take at one time?

A: That is up to you and your thesis director. The ideal situation is that a student has 2 years to write a thesis. That way, they can take credits in small increments (for example, 2 per semester) and gradually build the project. Others might take 3 credits the fall of their senior year and 3 the spring of their senior year. Still others might take 1 to 2 credits over the summer. How you break up your thesis credits depends on: how many hours you and your director are able / willing to meet weekly; how long you have to write your thesis; whether or not you want to or are able to register for credits over the summer; and how much work you plan to put into the thesis in any given semester.

Q: Can I get thesis credits from Oxford or via any other Honors opportunity?

A: You can use Oxford credits as thesis credits if your tutorials align with your thesis topic and your thesis director agrees. You cannot get thesis credits through any other Honors opportunity, such as Partners in the Park, Timothy M. Smith, or attending conferences, etc.

Q: How do thesis credits work? Is it a course in which everyone is enrolled, or what?

A: Thesis credits are independent study courses. That means you and your director work out what days/times to meet, how often you meet, and you create the syllabus together. The first semester of your thesis is usually a reading and proposal semester, where you familiarize yourself with the literature surrounding your research and propose a topic for your thesis. The other semesters usually involve writing, drafting, and revising. Thesis credits do not involve you enrolling in a 20-person class with other students; this is one-on-one work with you and your director (and, occasionally, your two other thesis committee members).

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