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Thesis/Capstone Timeline Overview

The University Honors Program recognizes that each student and thesis/capstone project is different and that a variety of circumstances will shape each student’s timeline to completion. Honors offers this suggested timeline as a starting point for students and faculty, who will work closely together to develop a timeline that is realistic and feasible for each other and for the proposed project.


• Begin thinking about a project topic in the year before graduation (ideally four semesters prior to anticipated graduation term).
• Enroll in HONR 3900, a one-credit thesis/capstone preparation course. In this course students will…
• Learn what it takes to complete a capstone project.
• Study samples of outstanding thesis/capstone projects in their fields.
• Read samples of outstanding thesis/capstone proposals on related topics.
• Write a 150-200 word paragraph that describes the key questions, tasks, and final product for their proposed projects.
• Secure capstone project mentors and complete their own thesis/capstone proposals by the end of the term.


• Begin project research, working closely with capstone mentor.
• Develop a detailed work plan and research schedule in collaboration with faculty mentor.
• Complete any required capstone course for your major


• Continue research and/or begin the writing necessary to complete the thesis/capstone project – first drafts are typically due around mid-term.
• Maintain regular contact with capstone project mentor and committee members; be responsible about completing high quality work in a professional manner.
• Schedule an appointment with Amber Summers-Graham to complete an Honors Graduation Audit prior to the end of the third week of classes. This mandatory appointment will ensure that students have earned enough Honors points to graduate with Honors the following semester.


• Submit drafts to mentor and committee according to established work plan – remember that the project will go through multiple drafts, so meeting deadlines is crucial. Students should remember that they are involved in professional relationships with their faculty mentors.
• Complete public presentation or defense of the project, which must occur by the last day of classes in the graduation term
• FOR SPRING GRADUATES: Students may participate in Student Showcase during Research Week. Applications and abstracts are required and are typically due in March.
• FOR FALL GRADUATES: Students should work with their mentors and the Honors office to find appropriate venues for public presentation. Honors arranges some such opportunities.
• Provide entire committee with a mentor-approved final draft of the project by April 15 (Spring) or November 15 (Fall).
• Polished, revised, and complete thesis/capstone projects are due to the Honors office by December 5 for Fall graduates and May 5 for Spring graduates. When students turn in the completed thesis/capstone project, they must also include a Thesis Evaluation Form,  University Honors Cover Page, and Honors Electronic Thesis Approval Form.
• Attend Honors Graduation Celebration!

To Read the Full Thesis/Capstone Handbook, Download Here