Departmental Honors are awarded for outstanding performance in writing a Senior Thesis in conducting Senior Research.
Departments that have honors programs offer a sequence of two courses titled “Thesis” or “Honors Thesis”. Students who hope to become candidates for Departmental Honors must register for the courses in Thesis during the senior year. Discussions about pursuing honors should be held with faculty well in advance of the senior year. Work in these courses will be supervised by a faculty member and will be graded in the usual way.
Candidates for honors must normally have and maintain cumulative grade point averages of 3.00 overall and averages of 3.20 in the honors department(s) and must fulfill such other requirements as may be established by the department with the approval of the Academic Progress Committee. If a faculty member believes a student to be capable of pursuing honors designation but the student’s GPA falls below the college or departmental required minimum GPA, he/she may submit two letters of recommendation supporting the project to be approved by the Academic Progress Committee by April 1st of the student’s junior year. One of those letters must be from the proposed thesis adviser and the other from the Department Head/Program Chair. Smaller programs may ask their advisory committee members to write a letter on the student’s behalf.
The transcripts of students who receive honors bear the legend Honors in (department or program name) with Thesis.
Students whose first semester work in the Thesis or Research course is of high quality may be nominated by their supervisors as candidates for honors. Nominations must be submitted to the Academic Progress Committee before the end of the first full week of classes in the second semester. If a student’s work is not of high quality, the student will receive the grade that the work deserves in the judgment of the supervisor and will not be permitted to continue to take CE 496.
Honors candidates must submit completed theses or research reports to their thesis supervisor two weeks before the end of classes in the second semester. Each thesis or research report shall be judged by a committee composed of the supervisor, at least one other member of the honors department, and one person from outside the honors department or from outside the College if that is feasible. Unanimous approval is required for honors to be awarded.
Only those persons whose theses or reports show outstanding performance shall be awarded honors. The work that justifies the award of honors must receive the grade “A”. Other work shall receive the grade that it deserves in the judgment of the supervisor.
A student who wishes to pursue honors should meet with their faculty supervisor no later than the summer before the senior year, and preferably during the junior year. A thesis proposal must be submitted to their supervisor and the department head by the end of the first week of the fall semester. This proposal should include a statement of the objectives of the honors project, a sufficient summary of the literature to justify the value of the proposed project, a detailed plan for meeting the objectives of the project, and a list of the members of the honors committee (composed of the supervisor, at least one other member of the CE department, and one person from outside the department or from outside the College if that is feasible). It is not likely that the work required to complete this proposal can be accomplished in the first week of the semester. It is expected that the student will develop the proposal during the preceding spring semester or over the summer months.
The student pursuing honors will give a presentation to the honors committee, department faculty, and students on the progress of his/her work normally during the last week of classes of the fall semester. In addition, copies of a written progress report will be due to members of the honors committee and to the department head no later than the last day of finals of the fall semester.
Students who are nominated as candidates for honors at the start of the spring semester (see “Additional Information” above) must submit completed theses or research reports to their thesis supervisor two weeks before the end of classes in the second semester. The student will also give a presentation to the honors committee, department faculty and students on the results of their work no later than the last week of classes during the spring semester. The honors committee shall judge the thesis or research report. Unanimous approval is required for honors to be awarded. A final copy of the thesis or research report must be given to the thesis supervisor and to the department head no later than seven days after the end of classes.