In their junior and senior years, Honors College students focus more intensively on their major field of study in their home school or colleges.  The specific requirements for students vary by school and college, but generally revolve around the senior thesis project.  During their junior year, students must typically complete 3-4 credits of Honors requirements in their home colleges or schools designed to help them develop their projects and prepare for research.  A one credit thesis preparation course, HON 101, is open to all juniors.  While this course is open to all Honors College students, it is required of those in the College of Arts and Sciences. In the senior year, students complete their 6-credit thesis project under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

If students complete all four years of Honor College requirements in addition to their school or college major requirements, they will graduate as Honors College Scholars. As always, students should work with their academic advisor to ensure all requirements are met both in their major(s) and in the Honors College.

Click below to find the thesis guidelines and expectations for each college.

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND LIFE SCIENCES

 
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)
Thesis prep: required courses, finding a thesis advisor, timing, and study abroad considerations

For the Spring 2017 semester, please direct all questions about CALS Junior and Senior year requirements to  Brenda Tessmann (Brenda.Tessmann@uvm.edu)

All CALS juniors planning to write the Honors thesis must take CALS 196 (Junior Honors Seminar, for 2 credits) in the spring of junior year. Each CALS Honors College student must also take a minimum of one additional credit of research-related coursework. This required coursework varies by major.

PDF icon CALS JR_SR Req.pdf

Some students may have already identified a research mentor by the junior year; others will do so either during CALS 196, or in their junior year research-related coursework.

Students should consult with the CALS Honors College Program Director, Professor Doug Johnson, to learn more about the junior year research requirement in their specific major. NOTE: For the Spring 2017 semester, please direct all questions about CALS Junior and Senior year requirements to Brenda Tessmann (Brenda.Tessmann@uvm.edu).

CALS students planning to study abroad in the spring of their junior year and thus unable to take CALS 196 during that semester must instead take HON 101, the thesis preparation course offered by the Honors College, in the fall of the junior year. It is very important that students considering this possibility consult with the CALS Honors College Program Director as early as possible in order to ensure the completion of all required curriculum.

More information is available here

Thesis proposal: materials required, proposal timeline & deadlines

CALS students writing a senior thesis may choose to pursue the CALS Distinguished Undergraduate Research (DUR) Award.  CALS procedures differ for those pursuing the DUR Award and those writing a senior thesis without applying for the DUR.

For the Distinguished Undergraduate Research (DUR) Award: a formal 6-page project proposal must be submitted to the CALS Academic Awards Committee (AAC).  Specific due dates are published every year; usually the due date is the second Friday in September of the senior year.  The DUR application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the project mentor. Students have a 15-minute oral defense of their project with the CALS AAC in late September prior to approval.

For writing the CALS/HCOL Senior Thesis without DUR Award application: students must discuss project progress with the CALS Honors College Program Director, Professor Doug Johnson by the second Friday of September of the senior year.

The thesis: structure, timing, and enrollment

All CALS seniors must take an additional 6 thesis credits across the senior year. Course names and numbers vary by department and major. PDF icon CALS JR_SR Req.pdf

Thesis scheduling, progress reports, and other required meetings also vary by department and major.

For the DUR Award: an email update on research progress is due to the CALS Academic Awards Committee (AAC) by the last Friday in January of the senior year.

For CALS/HCOL Senior Thesis only: email update on research progress is due to the CALS Honors College Program Director, Professor Doug Johnson  by the last Friday in January of senior year.
Thesis due date

Deadlines for thesis submission, approval, and defense vary by department. Contact the CALS Honors College Program Director for more information.

For the DUR: a DUR thesis is first defended to the student's department or major review committee, usually by mid-April of senior year.  Departmental approval or disapproval of the DUR thesis is then conveyed to the CALS AAC.

For the CALS/HCOL Senior Thesis only: thesis is due to CALS Honors College Program Director, Professor Doug Johnson, and to the student's departmental or major review committee, by mid-April of the senior year.
Defense requirements

The thesis approval and defense process varies by major and department.

For the DUR: oral defense of the DUR thesis takes place by mid-April of the senior year. DUR oral defense is evaluated by the student's departmental/major review committee.  Final endorsement letters from the department or major review committee are due to the CALS AAC by the last Friday in April of senior year.

For CALS/HCOL Senior Thesis: oral defense of the thesis takes place in mid-April of senior year.  The oral defense is evaluated by the CALS Honors College Program Director and the student's departmental/major review committee.  Final endorsement letters from the department Chair are due to the CALS Honors College Program Director by the last Friday in April of senior year.
Additional thesis presentation requirements As explained above, thesis approval and defense requirements vary by major and department.
Notes, web resources, and thesis contact in the college

See College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Webpage for more information.

Students should contact the CALS Honors College Program Director, Professor Doug Johnson (Douglas.Johnson@uvm.edu, 802-656-8203) during the fall of junior year (or earlier) with any questions regarding CALS/Honors College requirements or the senior thesis process.  NOTE: For the Spring 2017 semester, please direct all questions about CALS Junior and Senior year requirements to Brenda Tessmann (Brenda.Tessmann@uvm.edu).

 

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

 
College of Arts & Sciences

Thesis prep: required courses, finding a thesis advisor, timing, and study abroad considerations

During junior year (fall or spring) Honors College students in the College of Arts and Sciences must enroll in one of the following Honors Enrichment Contract (HEC) courses:
  1. HON 196A: a 1-credit, binding agreement with a faculty member for enriched course work in one 100+-level 3-credit course taught by that faculty member. In general, a one-credit HEC would entail about three hours of additional work per week.
  2. HON 196B: a 3-credit undergraduate research project taking place in a laboratory/field/studio setting, also specifically contracted with a faculty member. In general, for each credit of HON 196B, the Lab/Studio/Performance Space HEC must include around 3 hours/week in the lab/studio/performance space (working alongside and in regular consultation with their faculty mentor). Thus, a 3-credit HEC would entail approximately 7 to 8 hours of work each week.
  3. HON 196C: At least 3 credits of focused and customized pre-thesis work in the form of a readings and research project. HON 196C must also be specifically contracted with a faculty member. Students should carefully plan the semester of their HEC so that a faculty member with expertise in the area of intended research is available to work with them. Ideally, this faculty member will then serve as their thesis adviser. In general, a 3-credit HEC would entail approximately 7 to 8 hours of work each week.

Students studying abroad for their entire junior year should either take the HEC course in the spring of their sophomore year or arrange (with approval from the CAS Dean's Office) to complete an HEC-type project as part of their junior year study abroad.

Honors College students in the College of Arts and Sciences must also take HON 101. HON 101 is a 1-credit thesis prep course offered in both fall and spring. Students will ordinarily take HON 101 in the spring semester of junior year; HON 101 should be taken in the fall semester if a student plans to study abroad during the spring semester.

HON 101 may be waived via the submission of a waiver request form completed by the student and their thesis supervisor. Students eligible for a waiver of the HON 101 requirement include the following:

  •  Students studying abroad for their entire junior year.
  •  Environmental Studies students enrolled in ENVS 201.
  •  Students who are already engaged in their honors research project.
Students typically identify a thesis advisor through courses taken in their major department, through their HEC work, or through the curriculum of HON 101.

More information on junior year requirements (both the HEC & HON 101), including the HON 101 waiver request form, can be found here.
Thesis proposal: materials required, proposal timeline & deadlines

A College Honors application, formal 8-page thesis proposal, and faculty recommendation form must be submitted for approval by the CAS Honors Committee. Students can submit the proposal either during the spring of their junior year, or in the early fall of their senior year.

To submit an application, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.40 or higher at the time of application. Application forms, examples of successful proposals from past years, and specific guidelines and deadlines for applying for College Honors are available here.

It is important to note a terminological item that can be confusing. CAS designates its senior honors thesis project the "College Honors Thesis." Students in CAS who are not in the Honors College, but who have a GPA of 3.40 or higher, can also write a College Honors Thesis. So, the terminological item: Honors College students in CAS must write the College Honors Thesis.
The thesis: structure, timing, and enrollment

The College Honors Thesis a two semester, 6-credit hour research project. Students will register for the appropriate 3-credit HON 2XX section (depending on the department in which they are pursuing their thesis) in the fall & spring semester of their senior year. Research updates, progress reports, and other meetings are determined by agreement with the student's individual thesis advisor. 

During the senior year, the thesis advisor will help the student find two additional faculty members to serve on the thesis defense committee. More information is available here.

Honors College students in the College of Arts and Sciences must also take HON 201 during their fall & spring semester of their senior year.  HON 201 is a zero-credit seminar that brings together students writing their College Honors Theses in semi-monthly meetings to share their research problems, concerns and findings.

When thesis credits are spread across multiple semesters, students making satisfactory progress towards completion of the thesis in the first semester are awarded a grade of Satisfactory Progress (SP) for their first semester of thesis research, and course credit is awarded. (Unsatisfactory Progress receives a grade of UP, and no credit is awarded.) When the student finishes the second semester and earns a final thesis grade, the instructor assigns that grade for the second semester, and changes the fall grade of SP to match the final grade. 

The temporary SP grade does not affect a student's GPA. Once the final thesis grade is entered and the fall SP is converted to a standard letter grade, that letter grade is calculated as part of the GPA.
Thesis due date The completed thesis is due to the advisor and defense committee at least one week prior to the scheduled defense.
Thesis defense requirements Students must complete an hour-long oral defense before their 3-person thesis committee. Generally, the defense must be held on or before the Friday of the last week of classes of the second semester of thesis work. Specific dates may vary in different academic years, and are available on the Important Dates tab here.
Additional thesis presentation requirements Students are encouraged to present their work at the Student Research Conference, held in the Davis Center in the spring.
Notes, web resources, and thesis contact in the college

Specific deadlines and more information about the College Honors Thesis are available at http://www.uvm.edu/cas/timetable_honors_work. Additional College of Arts and Sciences curriculum information for Honors College students is also available at http://www.uvm.edu/cas/honors_opportunities.

Students may contact Amelia Wilcox (802.656.3344, amelia.wilcox@uvm.edu) in the College of Arts and Sciences with any questions about curriculum, College Honors Thesis requirements, or deadlines.

ENVS students with questions about the thesis should contact Elizabeth "Ibit" Wright (ewright@uvm.edu) in the Environmental Program offices.

 

GROSSMAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

 
Grossman School of Business
Thesis prep: required courses, finding a thesis advisor, timing, and study abroad considerations

BSAD/HCOL students preparing to write the thesis must enroll in BSAD 193 Honors Research Methods, during the fall semester of their junior year.

Students begin to identify a thesis advisor and develop their proposal in the fall of junior year during enrollment in these courses.

Students planning to study abroad in the fall of their junior year must speak with their academic advisor or a member of the BSAD Students Services team as early as possible in order to plan coursework and thesis preparation.

FOR THE 2017-2018 ACADEMIC YEAR ONLY: BSAD 193 Honors Research Methods will be offered in Spring 2018.

Thesis proposal: materials required, proposal timeline & deadlines

The BSAD Honors Thesis Proposal Form must be approved by the student's thesis advisor (who will also be the faculty supervisor for BSAD 299, Business Administration Honors Thesis), and submitted to the BSAD Undergraduate Studies Committee by the Monday following Commencement of the junior year. Students work with their individual advisor; there is no committee or outside readers.

The proposal form and related information are available here

In order to register for BSAD 299, students should contact BSAD Student Services (at 656-4015, studentservices@bsad.uvm.edu, or 101 Kalkin Hall) for appropriate override and registration instructions.

The thesis: structure, timing, and enrollment

BSAD/HCOL students must enroll in BSAD 299 (Business Administration Honors Thesis), for a total of six credits.  Credits are usually divided evenly between the fall and spring semesters of the senior year.  If warranted due to the nature of the thesis project, all six credits may be taken during one semester.  A student seeking to complete all six credits of BSAD 299 in the spring semester of senior year must apply for an extension by April 15 of the junior year, and must submit the thesis proposal to the BSAD Undergraduate Studies Committee by December 1 of the senior year.

The BSAD thesis extension form may be found here.

Details of the individual research and writing schedule are negotiated with the student's faculty thesis advisor for BSAD 299.

When thesis credits are spread across multiple semesters, students making satisfactory progress towards completion of the thesis in the first semester are awarded a grade of Satisfactory Progress (SP) for their first semester of thesis research, and course credit is awarded. (Unsatisfactory Progress receives a grade of UP, and no credit is awarded.) When the student finishes the second semester and earns a final thesis grade, the instructor assigns that grade for the second semester, and changes the fall grade of SP to match the final grade. 

The temporary SP grade does not affect a student's GPA. Once the final thesis grade is entered and the fall SP is converted to a standard letter grade, that letter grade is calculated as part of the GPA.

Thesis due date A completed thesis is due no later than the last officially scheduled day of spring classes in the student's senior year, with an electronic copy submitted to BSAD Student Services.
Thesis Defense requirements BSAD/HCOL students present their thesis projects (usually by preparing a poster and participating in a poster session) at the University's spring Student Research Conference.
Additional thesis presentation requirements N/A
Notes, web resources, and thesis contact in the college

For more information on thesis research requirements, credits, and graduation requirements, please contact BSAD Student Services (at 656-4015, studentservices@bsad.uvm.edu, 101 Kalkin Hall), speak to BSAD Professor Glenn Walberg (gwalberg@uvm.edu), or visit these School of Business Websites:  Propoal FormHonors College Thesis
 

 

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES

 
College of Education and Social Services
Thesis prep: required courses, finding a thesis advisor, timing, and study abroad considerations

CESS/HCOL students must meet with the CESS Honors College faculty advisor to plan thesis work and learn more about requirements. Holly-Lynn Busier (Holly-Lynn.Busier@uvm.eduHolly-Lynn.Busier@uvm.edu) serves as the CESS Honors College faculty advisor.

Depending on their major, CESS/HCOL students preparing to write the thesis must take one of two designated research courses during the junior year:

  • SWSS 196, Intro to Social Work Research (students in Social Work)
  • EDFS 209, Intro to Research Methods (students in Human Development & Family Studies and the Department of Education)

Students should plan ahead carefully, because these courses may not be offered in both fall and spring semesters.

All CESS/HCOL students completing the thesis need six credits total of EDFS 197, Honors Thesis Research.  EDFS 197 may be taken for 1-4 credits in a given semester; credits may be divided between the junior and senior year, and students are strongly encouraged to enroll during the junior year.  Students wanting to enroll in EDFS 197 must meet with Holly-Lynn Busier (Holly-Lynn.Busier@uvm.edu), who is the CESS Honors College faculty advisor and the instructor for EDFS 197.

CESS students may locate a thesis advisor through discussion of their research interests with their general advisor, or through the research course taken in the junior year. 

Students interested in studying abroad should speak with their advisor as soon as possible to plan coursework and research scheduling.  Some students may be able to take their required research course, listed above, during the sophomore year in order to enable them to study abroad.

CESS/HCOL students must meet with their advisor or with the CESS Honors College faculty advisor to plan thesis work and learn more about requirements. Holly-Lynn Busier (Holly-Lynn.Busier@uvm.edu) serves as the CESS Honors College faculty advisor.

Thesis proposal: materials required, proposal timeline & deadlines

Thesis proposals will be completed in the spring of the student's junior year, in the appropriate research course. (See above.)  Timeline, structure, and deadlines will be set by the course instructor.

Students may select a thesis committee, with their advisor's guidance, either in the junior year or early in the senior year.  The thesis committee consists of the advisor and two additional faculty members.

The thesis: structure, timing, and enrollment

CESS/HOL students writing the thesis enroll in a total of six credits of EDFS 197: HCOL Thesis Research.  The six credits may be distributed across multiple semesters; arrangements may be made to fit the specific research project and the student's curriculum and student-teaching requirements.

When thesis credits are spread across multiple semesters, students making satisfactory progress towards completion of the thesis in the first semester are awarded a grade of Satisfactory Progress (SP) for their first semester of thesis research, and course credit is awarded. (Unsatisfactory Progress receives a grade of UP, and no credit is awarded.) When the student finishes the second semester and earns a final grade, the instructor assigns that grade for the second semester, and changes the grade of SP that had been entered for the previous semester to match the final grade. 

The temporary SP grade does not affect a student's GPA.  Once the final grade is entered and the earlier SP is converted to a standard letter grade, that letter grade is calculated as part of the GPA.
Thesis due date The thesis is submitted to the thesis committee at least one week prior to the thesis defense date.  The thesis defense usually occurs in the last week of classes.
Thesis Defense requirements

CESS requires that all Honors College students complete a thesis defense. The defense is arranged by the student and their advisor. 

Students may find useful information about writing, formatting, and defending the thesis in this document.

Additional thesis presentation requirements N/A
Notes, web resources, and thesis contact in the college Holly-Lynn Busier (Holly-Lynn.Busier@uvm.edu) serves as the CESS Honors College faculty advisor.

 

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES

 
College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
Thesis prep: required courses, finding a thesis advisor, timing, and study abroad considerations CEMS / HCOL students are not required to take a specified thesis-preparation course.  CEMS students writing an Honors College thesis must do the following during the junior year:
  1. Identify an Honors Thesis Advisor, by January 15 of the junior year.
  2. Identify a pre-thesis course that may be relevant to identifying and developing an honors thesis topic.  This may be any course at the 100-level or higher, and may be any course the student has taken by the end of the junior year.
  3. Enroll in CEMS 101. The course CEMS 101 (HCOL Research Experience) is an additional credit of research-related work, supervised by the Honors Thesis Advisor.  Though expectations for this one-credit course will be set by the Honors Thesis Advisor, the coursework should be related to the pre-thesis course identified by the student as described above. The CEMS HCOL Representative will perform registration overrides for CEMS101 for students following approval by the Honors Thesis Advisor, that may be communicated via email.
  4. Identify an Honors Thesis Committee. The Committee is comprised of two members, including the advisor.  At least one Committee member must be in the student's major department.
  5. Submit documentation demonstrating that the above steps have been completed to the appropriate CEMS HCOL Faculty Representative by the end of Spring Semester of the junior year. (An email to the CEMS faculty representative listed below detailing the student's Honors thesis advisor, Honors thesis committee, and work accomplished for CEMS 101 in the Spring semester is sufficient documentation).

For the 2017-2018 academic year, the CEMS HCOL Representatives are Professor Alan Ling (for Computer Science, Math, and Statistics) and Professor Ting Tan (for Engineering).  They may be reached at Alan.Ling@uvm.edu and Ting.Tan@uvm.edu respectively.

Thesis proposal: materials required, proposal timeline & deadlines In the fall of senior year, CEMS/HCOL students must prepare a five-page thesis proposal, which should include sections on background, related literature, a specific work plan, and the anticipated format of the final thesis. This proposal should be submitted to the student's Honors Thesis Committee by October 1; students will be notified of approved projects by November 1.  The student's advisor will notify the appropriate CEMS HCOL Representative that a thesis project has been approved.
The thesis: structure, timing, and enrollment

CEMS / HCOL students must enroll in a two-semester, six-credit Honors Thesis Course sequence.  These sequences will vary by department.

When thesis credits are spread across multiple semesters, students making satisfactory progress towards completion of the thesis in the first semester are awarded a grade of Satisfactory Progress (SP) for their first semester of thesis research, and course credit is awarded. (Unsatisfactory Progress receives a grade of UP, and no credit is awarded.) When the student finishes the second semester and earns a final grade, the instructor assigns that grade for the second semester, and changes the grade of SP that had been entered for the previous semester to match the final grade. 

The temporary SP grade does not affect a student's GPA.  Once the final grade is entered and the earlier SP is converted to a standard letter grade, that letter grade is calculated as part of the GPA.

Timing of specific thesis progress reports is at the discretion of the student's advisor and the student's Honors Thesis Committee, and should be consistent with the approved thesis proposal, as described above.

Thesis due date The thesis is due to the student's Honors Thesis Committee by April 1 of the senior year.
Thesis Defense requirements Students must give some public oral presentation of the thesis, within two weeks following the initial thesis submission, and no later than April 15 of the senior year.  The presentation should be about thirty minutes long, and must be attended by the Honors Thesis Committee and announced publicly at least one week prior to the presentation date.  No formal evaluation is associated with the presentation, which should serve as a discussion of the thesis, with the goal of providing constructive suggestions towards improving the final manuscript. A final grade for the thesis is assigned by the thesis advisor.
Additional thesis presentation requirements N/A
Notes, web resources, and thesis contact in the college For more information, please contact the CEMS Honors College Representatives.  For the 2017-2018 academic year, the CEMS HCOL Representatives are Professor Alan Ling (for CS, Math, and Statistics) and Professor Ting Tan (for Engineering).  They may be reached at Alan.Ling@uvm.edu and Ting.Tan@uvm.edu, respectively.

 

COLLEGE OF NURSING AND HEALTH SCIENCES

 
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Thesis prep: required courses, finding a thesis advisor, timing, and study abroad considerations



 

Depending on the major course of study, CNHS students may find mentors during the sophomore year or the beginning of the junior year.  Sophomore students looking ahead to the thesis are encouraged to make an appointment to speak with Sarah Abrams, Associate Dean of the College. She may be reached at (802) 656-3061, or Sarah.Abrams@uvm.edu.

During the fall of the junior year, students take NH 195, Honors Seminar. The course can be in one of several formats based on the preferred thesis preparation process within a certain major. Those formats could be:

  • A thesis preparation course which includes finding a thesis mentor, and begin the drafting of any thesis proposal or other-research related materials (such as an IRB proposal).
  • An enhanced Honors course
  • A special education seminar of interest to any major in the college (past courses have included Ecology of Parenting; CAM and evidence; Sex, Drugs and Alcohol; Social Injustice)

CNHS requires that all Honors College students take NH 251 – HC: Honors Project and Seminar (three credits) – in the spring of the junior year. This course provides advice and guidance in the development and implementation of a thesis project.  Students write a proposal and draft the first three chapters of their thesis during NH 251.  Students successfully completing NH 251 will receive a grade of Satisfactory Progress (SP). That grade is converted into a standard letter grade upon successful completion of the thesis.

CNHS students wishing to go abroad during the junior year may be permitted to take NH 251 in the fall of senior year.  Students wishing to go abroad, and who believe they might have an opportunity to connect time abroad with a specific CNHS thesis project, should contact CNHS as early as possible.

Thesis proposal: materials required, proposal timeline & deadlines

A formal thesis proposal is due to the instructor of NH 251 and the thesis mentor by Week 8 of the spring semester of junior year.

Students are matched with thesis mentors during the sophomore year where possible, or in fall of the junior year.  Students who have not yet secured a mentor by spring of the junior year will do so as part of the NH 251 course.

The thesis: structure, timing, and enrollment

CNHS requires that all Honors College students take NH 252 – HC: Honors Project and Seminar – during the fall of their senior year. The course provides support and a timetable for the execution and completion of the thesis project. 

NH 252 is usually taken for three credits.  In the event that a project requires two semesters to complete, a student, with their mentor's approval, may divide NH 252 credits over two semesters.  A total of six hours of thesis credit is required between NH 251 and NH 252.

When thesis credits are spread across multiple semesters, students making satisfactory progress towards completion of the thesis in the first semester are awarded a grade of Satisfactory Progress (SP) for their first semester of thesis research, and course credit is awarded. (Unsatisfactory Progress receives a grade of UP, and no credit is awarded.) When the student finishes the second semester and earns a final grade, the instructor assigns that grade for the second semester, and changes the grade of SP that had been entered for the previous semester to match the final grade. 

The temporary SP grade does not affect a student's GPA.  Once the final grade is entered and the fall SP is converted to a standard letter grade, that letter grade is calculated as part of the GPA.

Thesis due date The thesis project must be completed by a date agreed upon between the mentor, the CNHS faculty of record for NH 252, and the student.
Thesis Defense requirements The thesis is presented at a formal defense, open to the public, and evaluated by the student's mentor, the NH 252 faculty of record, and the student's academic advisor.    The defense usually takes place during the last two weeks of the semester in which the thesis project is completed.
Additional thesis presentation requirements N/A
Notes, web resources, and thesis contact in the college For more information, contact Sarah Abrams, Associate Dean of CNHS, at 656-3061, or Sarah.Abrams@uvm.edu.

 

RUBENSTEIN SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 
Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources
Thesis prep: required courses, finding a thesis advisor, timing, and study abroad considerations

All HCOL students in RSENR take ENVS 201 (Research Methods, 3 credits), regardless of program or major. This course covers research methods, project design, and thesis planning, and culminates in the preparation of a literature review and thesis proposal.  ENVS 201 is offered in both semesters, and ideally is taken in the second semester of junior year.  Students who are abroad in the junior year may be able to take the course in fall of the senior year.

RSENR Honors students are also required to take NR 199 (Honors Seminar, 1 credit) during the spring of their junior year. Those spending spring semester abroad during junior year may arrange to take NR 199 during their sophomore year or senior year.

While RSENR students may choose a thesis advisor through these courses, students most frequently identify their advisors through specialized coursework in their program and major.

Students planning to study abroad during their junior year should consult with their advisors and the Rubenstein Honors College coordinator, Associate Dean Allan Strong (Allan.Strong@uvm.edu) to plan ahead for completing required courses. ENVS students planning to study abroad should consult with Elizabeth "Ibit" Wright (ewright@uvm.edu) in the Environmental Program offices.
Thesis proposal: materials required, proposal timeline & deadlines

The thesis proposal is written in the ENVS 201 course.  The proposal must be approved by the instructor of ENVS 201, and by the student's thesis advisor. The proposal is graded, and an Honors student must receive a grade of A- or better on the proposal in order to proceed.

In the unusual event that the proposal is not approved in the semester in which ENVS 201 is taken, the thesis proposal must be approved no later than November 1st preceding a May graduation or June 1st of the same calendar year for December graduates.

The thesis: structure, timing, and enrollment

In the senior year, six credits of thesis research are required. These six credits are usually evenly divided between semesters, but may be allocated in the way that best fits the project and the student's schedule.

The courses taken for thesis credits will vary by major.  RSENR/HCOL students in Environmental Studies (ENVS) enroll in six credits of ENVS 202. (ENVS 202 is a course run by the Environmental Program and designed for ENVS students working on their senior capstone. Note: HCOL students writing an ENVS thesis should enroll in ENVS 202 section A, B, or C. Section D is for students pursuing a capstone internship.)

RSENR/HCOL students in other majors will enroll in six credits of 299 in their own discipline, as follows: ENSC 299, FOR 299, NR 299, PRT 299, or WFB 299. 

Students must assemble a three-person thesis committee, consisting of the advisor and two other committee members. At least one member of the committee must be in the student's major program.  One member of the committee may be from off campus, if that person has special expertise related to the project. The committee should be formed no later than October 1 preceding a May graduation (or June 1 of the same calendar year, for December graduates).

When thesis credits are spread across multiple semesters, students making satisfactory progress towards completion of the thesis in the first semester are awarded a grade of Satisfactory Progress (SP) for their first semester of thesis research, and course credit is awarded. (Unsatisfactory Progress receives a grade of UP, and no credit is awarded.) When the student earns a final thesis grade, the instructor assigns that grade for all thesis credits. 

The temporary SP grade does not affect a student's GPA. Once the final thesis grade is entered and the earlier SP is converted to a standard letter grade, that letter grade is calculated as part of the GPA.

A final thesis grade of A- or better is required for RSENR/HCOL students to receive Honors College Scholar designation.
Thesis due date

Both a public presentation (open to the University community) and an oral defense (before the student's committee) of the thesis are required of RSENR students writing the thesis. Typically, both will take place in a single event, with the committee defense following the public presentation.  The defense must take place prior to the first day of final exams in the semester of graduation.

RSENR/ENVS students must submit the defense draft of the thesis to their evaluators by April 15 for May graduation, or November 15 for December graduation. For more information.

RSENR/HCOL students who are writing the thesis in other majors must submit the defense draft of their thesis to the committee at least three weeks prior to the scheduled defense date.
Thesis Defense requirements See above: public presentation (open to the University community) and oral defense (before the student's committee) are required.  Both usually take place in the same event, and must occur prior to the first day of final exams in the semester of graduation.
Additional thesis presentation requirements Thesis presentation and defense must be publicly announced at least one week prior to its occurrence.
Notes, web resources, and thesis contact in the college

RSENR/HCOL students who are not ENVS majors should contact RSENR Associate Dean Allan Strong (Allan.Strong@uvm.edu) with any questions about completing thesis requirements, and may also visit here.

RSENR ENVS students should contact Student Services Coordinator Ibit Wright (Elizabeth.Wright@uvm.edu), or Brendan Fisher, the ENVS 202 thesis/project coordinator (brendan.fisher@uvm.edu), and may also visit here. 

Note that ENVS requirements listed on this page are specific requirements only for RSENR students. ENVS students in other UVM colleges should consult those colleges' thesis requirements.