The due date for Honors Proposals is provided in the Honors Program Calendar.

The body of the proposal should be limited to seven pages of text (double-spaced using a 12 point font), plus a bibliography and appendices. The proposal should include:

1.  A thesis statement or concise description of the topic of study.
This statement or description should indicate clearly the objective(s) of the project. If the project is very technical in nature, the topic should be described in terms that are understandable to an educated non-specialist in that field.

2.  A description of the project.
The proposal should include a plan for accomplishing the objective(s) of the project. The specific details of how to write this section of the proposal will vary by academic discipline and, in some cases, by sub-field within a discipline. The Council encourages advisors who are inexperienced with Honors proposal writing to consult with their department heads and other colleagues about the structure of past successful thesis proposals. Some examples of how one might discuss a methodology or approach to different types of projects are provided below.

3.  A discussion of the independent contribution of the student. How does this project relate to the overall research of the advisor? What is the student's intellectual contribution?

4.  A discussion of the significance of the project.

5.  A bibliography at the end of the proposal.

6.  A title page formatted as shown in this example title page (PDF).

  • In the case of creative projects, a discussion of genre or style that indicates familiarity with the subject and the specific approach to be taken.

  • In scientific studies, the research design should be clear to a non-specialist.

  • In studies involving statistical analysis, the model to be tested and the data sources should be specified. The estimation and testing procedures should be explained in a way that an educated non-specialist might understand.

  • In all studies the proposed work should be put into context with the field as a whole to make clear the significance and where appropriate, the originality, of the project.

Print one hard copy of the proposal title page and have it signed by your advisor and your co-advisor or second evaluator. The signed form must be submitted as the title page in your electronic proposal submission. Scan the document and then use Adobe Acrobat to make a final PDF of your proposal with signed title page.

Proposals must be submitted using the Honors Thesis Proposal Form.

*The guidelines above are not exhaustive of the possible kinds of Honors projects; they are meant to illustrate the expectations of the Honors Council. It is rarely the case that Council asks a student to revise a proposal because Council takes issue with the method(s) for accomplishing the objective of the project. It is much more common that the method(s) is/are not clearly stated in the proposal.