Committee on Undergraduate Honors



The Senior Honors Thesis is the culmination of your college experience, emphasizing critical thinking, writing, and independent work. Your thesis may relate to your major, but it does not have to. You are encouraged to select a topic that you find exciting and satisfying, and that will allow you to be creative.  Completing an Honors Thesis is an opportunity to:


Students who successfully complete their theses are eligible to graduate with honors in the discipline in which the thesis is written. Though not a requirement, completion of an honors thesis is highly recommended for BA majors and for all students who are considering pursuing an advanced (masters, doctoral, or professional) degree.


The Honors Thesis is, in most cases, a two-semester project completed under the supervision of a faculty mentor.  Students completing theses in the Natural Sciences may be given permission to undertake a three-semester project.  Since the thesis constitutes six to twelve semester hours of the baccalaureate degree program, it should reflect a significant time commitment, be of high quality, and demonstrate personal intellectual growth.


If you are thinking of writing an honors thesis, please contact Dr. Frank Heiland, Chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Honors [frank.heiland@baruch.cuny.edu] one full semester prior to the anticipated start date. Most students write a thesis in their senior year, though it may be possible for upper juniors to enroll. 



Proposing a thesis project

In order to pursue an honors thesis project, a student must meet the following qualifications:


Please note that some departments/disciplines may have additional prerequisites. If a student has fulfilled the perquisites in more than one discipline/department, it is possible to undertake an interdisciplinary thesis project [IDC 6001H/6002H]. While most students complete traditional research projects, creative endeavors [e.g. writing a play or novel] may be considered.




Please consult with the department in which you plan to do honors works and with the Chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Honors for further information. If you are enrolled in the Baruch College Honors Program, you should also consult with your academic advisor.


Preparing a Prospectus

The “Application and Prospectus for an Honors Thesis” cover sheet (2 pages, available at this site <http://blsciblogs.baruch.cuny.edu/honors/honors-program-requirements/academic-requirements/>. Scroll down to click on “Honors Thesis Application”).  Instructions can be found there, but the major requirements include:


1. A statement of the major objectives of your proposed study.

2. A description of the procedures you will follow to complete your research.

3. A statement of where the experimental, field study and/or the library work is to be performed.

4. A short bibliography, including some of the seminal works relating to the thesis topic



The prospectus must be completed during the semester prior to the one in which you expect to begin the thesis [usually upper junior or lower senior year]. The proposal must be submitted to the Chair of the College Committee on Undergraduate Honors committee by April 1st for a project starting in the fall semester or November 1st for a project starting in the spring semester. The committee will review the proposal and approve it or suggest revisions. If you are asked to make changes then you must complete your revisions and resubmit the prospectus to the committee chair no later than May 1st for enrollment in the fall semester or December 1st for enrollment in the spring semester.  Students may not enroll in either Thesis I [6001H] or Thesis II [6002H] during the winter session or summer session terms.  


The prospectus must be approved by your mentor, department chair, and the Committee on Undergraduate Honors.  The Committee on Undergraduate Honors reserves the privilege of recommending changes in the thesis proposal.  Students must not commence work on their theses until the proposal has been given full approval.  Where human subjects are involved, students will also have to secure Institutional Review Board approval before collecting data.


For more guidance on writing a prospectus and selecting a mentor, please see Charles Lipson’s How to Write a BA Thesis: A Practical Guide from your First ideas to your Finished Paper, which is on sale in the Baruch College bookstore. This text is available as an e-book through Baruch’s library: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/baruch/docDetail.action?docID=10216904





After approval: The first semester



Support throughout the thesis-writing process

In addition to the primary guidance of your mentor, the following resources are available to support you in the process of writing your thesis:



Thesis Requirement

Due Date

One hard copy, one e-mail attachment (as a Word document), and one copy of your thesis on a flashdrive must be submitted to the Chair of the College Committee on Undergraduate Honors on or before the first Monday in December or the last Monday in April, depending upon the semester of completion.  If the student anticipates any difficulty meeting this deadline, s/he must consult with the thesis mentor and with the Chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Honors. 


Although there are certain formal requirements of every thesis, listed below, the vast majority of requirements, such as page count, appropriate presentation and citation styles, etc. will be determined individually for each student in conversation with his or her mentor. Students should work with their mentors to determine a length appropriate to the scope and discipline of their project. Please do this work early so that expectations are clear throughout the thesis-writing process.  Remember, a thesis is significantly more than a traditional term paper.  It entails at least as much time and effort as two upper level honors courses.






Thesis Evaluation