Honors Thesis

All Honors Students end their Program with an Honors Thesis: a sustained, independent research project in a student’s field of study. Under the guidance of a thesis advisor, you will likely produce a significant paper (30-50 pages) that follows a format similar to journal articles in your field. Your thesis must count for at least 4 credits, and no more than 8 credits, of the required 16 credits of Departmental Honors work.

What do theses look like?

In 2012 we began digitally archiving Honors theses. Students are encouraged to peruse scholars.unh.edu/honors/ for examples in relevant disciplines. Older Honors theses are available in the Special Collections & Archives department at Dimond Library. 

Will my thesis count as my capstone?

Most majors accept an Honors Thesis as fulfilling the Capstone requirement. However, there are exceptions. In some majors, the thesis counts as a major elective, and in a few, it is an elective that does not fulfill major requirements. Your major advisor and your Honors advisor can help you figure out how your thesis will count.

How do I choose my thesis advisor?

The best thesis advisor is an experienced researcher, familiar with disciplinary standards for research and writing, with expertise in your area of interest. You might connect with a thesis advisor during Honors-in-Major coursework, but Honors Liaisons can assist students who are having trouble identifying an advisor. You should approach and confirm your thesis advisor before the semester in which your research will begin.

What if I need funds for my research?

The Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research offers research grants, including summer support. During the academic year, students registered in credit-bearing thesis courses may apply for an Undergraduate Research Award for up to $600 in research expenses (no stipend).  Students who are not otherwise registered in a credit-bearing course for their thesis research may enroll in INCO 790: Advanced Research Experience, which offers up to $200 for research expenses.

What if I need research materials for a lengthy period?

No problem! Honors Students can access Extended Time borrowing privileges at Dimond Library, which are otherwise reserved for faculty and graduate students. Email honors.program@unh.edu with note requesting “extended borrowing privileges” and we'll work with the Library to extend your privileges.

Can I get support to stay on track?

Absolutely! Thesis-writers have an opportunity to join a support group during the challenging and sometimes isolating period of writing a thesis. Learn more about thesis support here.

When should I complete my thesis?

Register for a Senior Honors Thesis course (often numbered 799) in the spring and/or fall of your Senior year.

This “course” is an independent study, overseen by your Thesis Advisor. Your advisor sets the standards, due dates, and grades for your project. It must earn at least a B in order to qualify for Honors.

What happens with my completed thesis?

Present your thesis

All students must publicly present their research prior to graduation. Many present at the Undergraduate Research Conference in April; other departmentally-approved public events are also acceptable.

Publish your thesis:

Honors students are asked to make their thesis papers available on scholars.unh.edu/honors/. This creates a resource for future students and other researchers, and also helps students professionalize their online personas.

These theses are publicly available online. If a student or their advisor prefers not to make the work available, they may upload an abstract and/or excerpts from the work instead.

Students may also publish research in Inquiry, UNH's undergraduate research journal.