Thesis Checklist

Lee Honors College Thesis Checklist and Brief Overview

HNRS 4980: How and Why to Write an Undergraduate Thesis (in your sophomore year).

  • This online course is designed to assist you in successfully navigating and completing the honors thesis and will provide you with many tools to help facilitate your work. We also offer a hybrid section if you prefer to meet face to face! We recommend that you take this course in the second semester of your sophomore year.

Select a thesis topic (during the junior year).

  • Ideally, the thesis topic should be chosen by the beginning of the junior year. Most students find this step to be the most difficult, so do not worry if you are struggling to select a topic. Completion of HNRS 4980 will help you tremendously in choosing a thesis topic!

Choose your committee chair/mentor (in your junior year).

  • Your thesis chair/mentor must be a full time WMU faculty member. If you've completed HNRS 4980, you should have a pretty good idea of how to go about choosing a thesis mentor.

Submit your thesis declaration form (in  your junior year).

  • You should submit this form at least three semesters prior to your intended graduation date. Your form must include a one-page maximum description of your thesis topic.

Choose your thesis committee (in your junior year).

  • Your thesis committee should include "experts" on your thesis topic and must consist of at least two people, preferably three. Not sure whom to include on your committee? Ask your thesis mentor for suggestions.

Register for HNRS 4990: Honors Thesis (junior or senior year).

  • Your thesis chair will serve as your instructor for this course. This course is meant to consist of the actual work on your thesis project. While this course is not pass/fail and you are not graded on your final thesis project, you will be graded on your work in this thesis course.

 Submit your thesis defense certificate request form (at least on month but not more than 60 days prior to your defense).

  • All information on your thesis defense form must be final. Should you need to change anything about your thesis defense after submitting this form, you must submit a new defense request form.
  • Your defense request will result in a "thesis packet" which will contain two copies of your certificate and two copies of the ScholarWorks Access Agreement Form as well as a detailed instruction sheet, which you should read very carefully. Take this packet to your defense so that it can be completed by you and your committee.

Defend your thesis (before you graduate).

  • You are not required to defend your thesis in the honors college, but if you'd like to do so, please contact Jennifer Townsend via email to reserve space in the building. Should you choose to defend elsewhere, please visit the Registrar's website to reserve a room. 
  • Your defense should be a 15-20 minute presentation followed by questions and answers from the public, and should conclude with a closed door discussion with your committee. Overall, your defense shouldn't need to run longer than one hour. Practice your presentation in front of friends!

Submit your final approved thesis.

  • Upon completion of your thesis, you have up to 30 days after commencement to submit all required materials to the honors college. Please read the packet instructions carefully! Those materials are as follows:
  1. One copy of your signed certificate, to be submitted to the honors college front desk.
  2. One copy of your completed ScholarWorks form, to be submitted to the honors college front desk.
  3. One digital copy of your completed project as specified in the instruction sheet included in your packet which you've read very carefully.
  4. One digital 300-500 word abstract about your project submitted along with your final thesis project.
  5. Do no upload your thesis project to ScholarWorks. ALL final thesis projects, supporting documents, and abstract must be submitted either to Jennifer Townsend OR the thesis email.

Questions?