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Undergraduate Research and Honors Thesis

The Honors College, as the university-wide center for excellence in undergraduate education, plays a crucial role with undergraduate research at Georgia Southern University. Since the beginning of the College, students have been required to complete Honors Theses or Capstone Projects. These faculty mentored projects have spanned traditional research models, applied research, and creative activities in all academic colleges and majors.

Click through the links below to see honors theses submitted in recent years or to view past Honors Research Symposia.  Current students will want to click on the resources section to read about support the College can give them.

What is the Honors Thesis?

The hallmark of an Honors College student’s experience is the Honors Thesis. Students develop a unique research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor in their major discipline. This work gives students the opportunity to become an expert on a topic in their field, and the completed thesis a great accomplishment to share with potential employers, graduate schools, or professional schools.

Students engage in all sorts of projects that fit under the term Honors Thesis including creative, practical, and applied approaches in addition to traditional lab, field, and archival research.

To see examples of research in your major discipline, please look through Honors Theses and Publications. This list is arranged alphabetically by discipline and contains links for completed honors theses uploaded to Digital Commons@Georgia Southern as well as links to other publications by our alumni. (Please note: 2014 was the first year that honors theses were uploaded into Digital Commons.)

What are the steps students need to take for the Honors Thesis?

Students typically start their thesis three to four semesters from their graduation date, and generally they follow these steps:

1. Take their major specific upper-level honors courses. For some majors, these include research hours, research seminars, and thesis seminars. Check your major’s Honors College curriculum sheet for full details.

2. Find a thesis mentor and develop an idea and questions for research. The order of these two actions may vary. Students might settle on a topic and seek a mentor who will work with them. Other students might enjoy a class and ask that professor to work with them on a thesis. And many students find a mentor in the course of doing research or through their thesis and research seminars.

3. Begin preliminary work and develop a Thesis Proposal. Students do this work in consultation with their thesis mentor or in the context of a thesis/research seminar.

4. Submit a Thesis Proposal Form one year prior to graduation. This is also done in consultation with the thesis mentor, and must be signed by the mentor in order to be approved by the Honors College. The deadlines are May 1 for spring and summer graduates of the following year, and December 1 for fall graduates of the following year.

5. Conduct the research and complete the writing. Again, this is in close consultation with the thesis mentor and is ongoing. It is very important that students develop a timeline with their mentor to ensure timely completion of their thesis project.

6. Submit final thesis and upload to Digital Commons. A final thesis must be approved by the mentor. Directions on submission may be found in the Honors Thesis Handbook. Deadlines are April 1 for spring and summer graduates, and November 1 for fall graduates.

7. Present at the Honors College Research Symposium. All graduating seniors must present their thesis research at the Honors College Research Symposium. See more details in the Honors College Research Symposium section below.

Important Links

The Thesis Proposal Form must be submitted one year prior to graduation.

Students and their thesis mentors should also refer to the Honors Thesis Handbook as they prepare their final thesis for submission.

Each fall and spring, graduating seniors in the Honors College present their thesis research to the greater Honors College and Georgia Southern community. In typical years, graduating seniors present on panels of students and field questions from the audience while students at earlier stages in the College would participate in the poster session. This year, like last fall and spring, the symposium will be virtual.

Honors College students interested in participating in the Spring 2021 Virtual Honors Symposium should read these instructions and use this form to submit a proposal.

Below is a list of past symposia programs. The 2020 program links lead to video recordings for most of the presentations.

Honors College Undergraduate Research Fund

Need funding for your project or to travel to a conference? Students seeking support for their research projects may apply to the Honors Undergraduate Research Fund. Monies may be spent on research supplies (ultimately owned by Georgia Southern) or for registration and travel to present research at conferences. Full details are found on the Honors Undergraduate Research Fund Application.

Printing Research Posters for Honors College Students

Presenting a poster at a conference or at the Honors College Research Symposium? We’ll print it for free!

Honors College students can submit posters to be printed on the Honors College poster plotter under the following conditions:

  • The poster is to be used for a presentation of research or creative activity of the honors student in an honors course or as part of an on-campus or off-campus conference or symposium.
  • Poster sizes are typically either 24×36 or 36×48.  (Posters of other sizes will need to be trimmed by student.)
  • The poster must include either the nameplate of the Honors College or the words “Honors College” displayed prominently on the poster.
  • Georgia Southern University and the name of the student’s department and mentor should also be listed.
  • File should be saved and submitted as either PDF or PowerPoint slide.
  • File should be submitted at least five business days before poster is needed. Posters needed in less than five days might not be printed.

Poster Template: Below is a suggested template in a Google Slides file. This template contains the logo, title section, and headers. Feel free to use this format; however, you should develop different header titles.

Keep in mind that you may design your poster however you wish, but you should strive for a clear and readable presentation.

Honors Poster Template

University and Honors College Logos: The Honors College and Georgia Southern University logos should be used on posters.  In fact, these are combined in the Honors College nameplate. Please find the University logo and the College nameplate in this folder:

University and Honors College Logos

Last updated: 3/3/2021