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Getting Things Done: The Thesis & Graduation Timeline

Each form listed below (with the exception of the Graduation Audit) must be downloaded from this website as a Word Document, completed in typeface, and submitted to the Honors Office by the deadline listed (if any).

Junior Year:

  • You should start thinking about your thesis no later than your junior year
  • Select your advisor. It's advisable to consider selecting an advisor based on your experiences with Honors contracts and other classes in your major.

For Spring Graduates:

  • Select your topic and submit your Senior Thesis Preliminary Proposal with the appropriate signatures to the Honors Office by February 15th of the year BEFORE you plan to graduate. Your topic may be very broad at this stage, but you should know enough to start doing some preliminary research and working on a bibliography/reading list.

Summer before Senior (Final) Year:

  • Complete preliminary research on your thesis question. This should include the work you need to do for the literature review. If your advisor/committee requires a reading list from you, now is when you should be reading those works.

First Semester of Senior Year:

  • Submit your Senior Thesis Formal Proposal with the appropriate signatures to the Honors Office by September 15th of the semester BEFORE you plan to graduate
  • Set up a meeting with your entire committee to establish a clear timeline for drafts and your defense
  • Schedule your defense
    • Please note that the defense should be scheduled no later than April 1 of the spring semester!! If your major does not require a defense, the final draft of your thesis is due no later than April 1. This is to provide you enough time to complete any required revisions in the thesis.
  • Schedule an appointment with Amber Summers-Graham to complete your Honors Graduation Audit prior to the end of the third week of classes. This is to check if you have earned enough Honors credits to graduate with Honors
    • You'll need to take the graduation audit form and have it signed by your Thesis Advisor and your Departmental Honors Advisor, then return it to the Honors Office.

Final Semester of Senior Year:

  • Submit drafts to your advisor according to your established timeline.
    • If you miss two deadlines, the thesis advisor must notify Honors so that we are aware you are not on track to graduate on time. It is expected that your thesis will go through multiple drafts!
    • You should provide your entire committee with a complete draft no later than two weeks before the defense/due date
  • Complete the Honors Checklist to Graduation to make sure you have finished all the required paperwork required for your thesis
  • Complete the Senior Exit Survey so you can get your Honors medallion for commencement


  • Submit final draft of thesis and/or participate in thesis defense
  • Submit application to Student Showcase. All Honors Spring graduates are expected to participate in Student Showcase during Research Week. Abstracts are generally due in early March


  • Attend Honors Graduation Celebration
  • At this event, you will get your Honors medallion to be worn at gradation and a certificate acknowledging your accomplishment in Honors