The Honors Thesis, Explained
The Honors College thesis, which all honors students must complete before walking
across the commencement stage, looms large in the imaginations of most of these students.
Faculty members who are new to the honors experience may have a few questions about
mentoring undergraduate research, as well.
To demystify the honors thesis process, from finding a topic to defending the thesis,
the Honors College is hosting the second Honors College Research Conference from 12:30-2:15
p.m. Tuesday, October 23 throughout the fifth floor of the Arkansas Union.
The Honors College is partnering with honors directors from all six undergraduate
colleges and schools across campus to organize this event. Breakout sessions will
vary from college to college, as described below. Poster presentations will feature
outstanding thesis research from each honors program. In the poster session, honors students will display and discuss their research and
creative project posters and their overall experiences as honors students. If you
are interested in learning more about the undergraduate research experience, conducting
research, and publishing or presenting research, we encourage you to chat with the
For more information contact Jennie Popp, Ph.D., Associate Dean, at 575-7381 or 575-7381.
Conference Schedule: Rooms to be announced in mid October
12:30 - Dean Welcome
12:45 - Spotlight on Honors in Each College
1:30 - Poster Presentations and Faculty-Student Meet and Greet
Special sections: Sustainability, art/design pieces, library, publications
2:15 - Closing comments
Breakout Session Topics
The Bumpers College Honors Program invites current honors students and honors eligible
students to attend our breakout session of the Honors College Research Conference.
In our breakout session, honors faculty representing the diverse range of Bumpers
College departments will host a panel to discuss the undergraduate honors experience.
Topics of discussion will include but not be limited to: the undergraduate research
process, how to select an honors mentor, the differences between research and creative
projects, and how to prepare to propose and defend projects.
The College of Education and Health Professions Honors Program will offer a student
panel of current COEHP Honors students. These students will be present to discuss
how they initially got involved in research. The students will offer their unique
perspective on how to seek out a mentor, the thesis process, and honors coursework.
Additionally, they will be available to answer any questions students may have.
The College of Engineering invites current and prospective honors students to come
learn about how the honors thesis is handled by our college and departments, where
we are unique in that the college has a focus on honors but the departments have ownership
of these programs. The engineering departments have many ways the honors thesis requirement
can be fulfilled, including traditional research (even REU experiences), engineering
design, internships, and other creative ways – like a children’s book. Come visit,
ask questions and learn about the honors process in engineering.
The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design Honors session for the Honors Research
Conference will focus on guidelines for the required three-credit Honors Capstone
course. This will include timelines, content categories, format requirements, and
the overall purpose of the Honors Capstone. We will show specific examples of successful
projects and discuss examples of other potential modes of inquiry. We will also discuss
common concerns and potential pitfalls in the Honors Capstone process and how students
can avoid these to ensure success.
The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences breakout session is designed to take the
mystery out of the honors thesis process. We invite current honors students and those
interested in joining honors to attend this roundtable discussion. Panelists, comprised
of three Fulbright Honors alumni, will offer their thoughts on selecting a mentor,
pinpointing a thesis topic, navigating the research process, and preparing for a successful thesis
defense. Come to ask questions and learn from the experiences of these recent honors
Come learn more about the thesis process in Walton and hear about the different thesis
options from current students, faculty and staff of the Walton Honors Program. Students
will have the chance to learn about the three different thesis options available in
Walton including traditional research, business plans, and internships. We will also
go over the timeline for when Walton Honors students should begin focusing on finding
a thesis advisor, beginning research, and completing their project. Additional details
on the poster presentations will be available as well.