The capstone experience of the USA
Honors Program is the Honors Senior Project.
This program requirement is designed
to provide the student an opportunity to apply
the knowledge base and tools of their discipline
in a mentored scholarly exploration suitable
to the student's academic interest and background.
Most projects will be at least a year
in length and may earn up to six (6) hours of
credit toward the degree.
Students are required to enroll in "Honors
Senior Project" within the appropriate
academic department or program (course may be
repeated for a maximum of six cumulative hours).
Satisfactory completion of all projects
includes a public presentation of the project
(e.g., paper reading, recital, exhibition) at
the Honors Senior Showcase each semester and
a written presentation in the style and format
acceptable to the discipline.
Students will select a Project Mentor
from the faculty. In some cases, it may be desirable
to establish a mentor relationship with more
than one faculty member (e.g., multi- or interdisciplinary
projects). The Honors Program Director, the
student's academic advisor, the department chairperson,
or others can provide assistance in selection
of the mentor, as appropriate.
The mentor relationship should be established
no later than the student's junior year.
(Note: Some majors, e.g. Biology, may require
an earlier initiation of the Senior Project.)
The mentor will be responsible for assisting
the student in project design and implementation,
preparation of the project prospectus, development
of necessary methods and skills, providing guidance
in professional ethics and integrity, analysis
of results, preparation of the final presentation,
and final evaluation of the project.
Together, the student and mentor will
select two additional faculty members to provide
additional assistance, especially in evaluation
of the project results
Prospectus: No later than the end
of the student's junior year, a Project Prospectus,
approved by the mentor, must be submitted to
the Honors Program Director as the final graded
work in HON 301, Introduction to Senior Project.
This document represents the project
plan and will serve as a "contract"
for conduct, completion and evaluation of the
Although a binding agreement, the prospectus
may be modified or amended, as required, to
accommodate unexpected results, new opportunities
or techniques, or other circumstances.
The student, the mentor and the Director
must agree upon changes to the prospectus. In
general, the prospectus should contain the following
elements, which will also serve as a template
and starting point for the final written presentation
of the project.
page (format will be provided by the Director)
or Introduction - A presentation of the
context and rationale for the project
This section should be supported
by appropriate citations from the primary
literature in a style and format customary
to the discipline.
Hypothesis (-es) or Objectives - clearly
present the focus of the project.
or Approach - How will you investigate
and test the hypothesis or achieve the
Should include citations from the
literature, as appropriate.
Outcome - What are anticipated results
or the scholarly product of the project?
What will be the format of the
of "References Cited" in a style
and format appropriate to the discipline.
Timeline - Provide a reasonable calendar
outline of project benchmarks, achievements
Needs - include supplies and materials,
equipment, space, logistical support and
any other requirements to complete and
present the project.
Indicate those that will be provided
by the mentor or academic unit and those
that are not currently available.
If financial support is required,
provide a detailed budget.
to Senior Honors Project"
(HON 301): Each participant in the
USA Honors Program will be required to enroll
in this course during their junior year for
one hour of credit.
The course will include: an overview
of what it means to do research and other scholarly
work, in general and specifically in various
disciplines; academic integrity and professional
ethics; professional writing; presentation skills;
and guidance in development of the individual
The Project Prospectus will be the final
course product for each student.
Senior Showcase: The Honors Senior
Showcase will be held each spring semester (fall
if necessary to accommodate individual student
Seniors will present their Honors Senior
Projects in a public forum and will be honored,
together with their mentors, at a reception
to which their families will be invited.
All USA Honors Students will be required
to attend at least the showcase presentations
and strongly encouraged to attend the reception
in support of their peers.
The director, the mentor, and two additional
faculty members will evaluate projects.
Evaluations will be based upon both the
public presentation and the written presentation
of the project.
A letter grade will be assigned after
completion of the project to each incidence
of enrollment in "Honors Senior Project".
Archives: Theses will be compiled
for each year, bound and duplicated.
Copies will be placed in the University
Library, the University Archives, and in the
Honors Center as reference documents.