What If My Academic Department Already Has Its Own Thesis Procedure?

  • Some IUP departments have "departmental honors programs," and more departments plan to add such programs over the next year or so.

    Some of these programs have an honors thesis as part of their requirements, and perhaps even their own thesis number under which you can register for the credits. Procedures and requirements vary from department to department because different disciplines have their own needs and standards. Your regular academic advisor (or the university catalog or the department website) can tell you whether such a program exists and if it includes a thesis. If so, the key steps toward a thesis may already be laid out for you. Although these departmental programs are generally open to you, if you are in good standing in the Honors College, you may have to apply or sign up for them in your department. Your academic advisor will be able to tell you what is available in your major.

    Departmental honors work is coordinated with the Robert E. Cook Honors College requirements, and a thesis completed through one of these departmental programs will carry an "H" on the transcript and will count in the Honors College, too. The only thing that the Honors College asks is that you deposit two copies of your finished thesis in the Honors College office, so that it can be bound and shelved with those of your classmates and your accomplishment can be acknowledged in the Honors College's graduation program.

    In short, if your department has a particular way in which it expects theses to be done or a particular time at which you should start, follow its advice. The guidelines that follow provide good general advice, but they are written with the entire campus in mind, and you may need to adapt them to your particular situation.

    Next> When should I plan for and begin work on my thesis?