Spring Semester — Junior Year


Identify and contact candidates. Department chair sends updated faculty research areas to rising seniors and invites project proposals.


Preliminary project proposal due to department faculty. 1-page statement identifying a field of interest, outlining a summer research/reading plan and rudimentary bibliography.

Fall Semester — Senior Year

Before Week 1

Summer research report and updated project proposal due to department faculty
Review of proposals and committee assignment (1st reader/advisor & 2nd reader)

Week 1

Classes begin: Department assigns advisor, 2nd reader and initial meeting with advisor is scheduled
Add Advanced Independent Study

Week 2 Meetings resume
Week 3 Grua/O’Connel declaration of intent (option, not requirement)
Week 4

Prospectus and bibliography due to advisor

Prospectus (2-4 pages, double-spaced) should include an abstract or description of the subject and the question(s) to be explored; if possible, a working hypothesis; preliminary bibliography of primary and secondary sources (which helps in delineating the project further and strengthen its argumentative arch); preliminary outline of the essay; this working document will continually be updated as the research and analysis progresses.

Week 5 Grua/O’Connel application & letter of recommendation
Week 10

Hypothesis paper (aka a draft introduction) due to advisor and 2nd reader.
(6-8 pages, double-spaced) presents the subject, the working hypothesis, the relevant historical and theoretical context; describes the methodology; the hypothesis paper leads to a first thinking through of the introduction and demonstrates that the project’s scope is delineated.

Week 13 1st chapter due to committee
Week 14

Mid-year colloquium to introduce project to department
2nd reader & remaining faculty lead discussion

Week 15

1st meeting with committee to discuss initial feedback
Committee determines whether project merits year-long study

 Spring Semester — Senior Year

Week 1 Add Advanced Independent Study
Week 3

2nd chapter due to committee

Week 4 Spring colloquium
February/March Names of honors candidates due to registrar
Week 10

Complete draft due to committee (Highly suggested: 1st day back from break)

Week 11 2nd meeting with committee to discuss final revisions
April Thesis titles due to registrar
Week 12/13 Final draft due to committee
Week 14 Final draft due to department
Week 15 Honors theses defense (Exam Period)

Levels of Honors due to the registrar by 12:00 noon

Final thesis due to the library by 5:00 pm