Senior Thesis and Capstone

By the end of their senior year, students will complete an Honors Senior Thesis and take an Honors Capstone course. Both the Senior Thesis and Honors Capstone can be taken either semester and do not need to be taken at the same time. 

A Senior Thesis is broadly defined as a substantial work of independent scholarship that culminates in a written product, presentation, or performance. Honors students should register for HONR 4198 unless they are fulfilling a thesis course as part of their major or school. Please review the Senior Thesis Information Packet for details. If a student fulfills the Senior Thesis requirement through their major, they must complete a Senior Thesis Verification Form. This form is not necessary if a student takes an Honors Thesis course listed below. 

The Honors Capstone is seperate from the Honors Senior Thesis as it is a 1-credit, pass/no pass course. The capstone invites students to re-engage with core questions and issues related to the Honors Program curriculum, reflecting on their learning in relation to enduring questions and challenges of our world.


Fall 2020 Courses

Honors Senior Thesis


Professor Chosen by Student

HONR 4198 - 3 to 4 credits

Course Description: The Honors Senior Thesis is a one or two-semester independent study to complete a senior thesis. This course is for students who are NOT doing departmental honors. Any student considering the Honors Senior Thesis option should contact an Honors Advisor. This course is only open to Seniors, and requires a completed Honors Contract to register. Please see an Honors Advisor for further information.

Time - September Capstone


Professor Bethany Kung


HONR 4199:12 - 1 Credit

CRN 54969

F 01:30PM - 03:30PM


Course Description: This course will meet on September 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. Augustine famously said: “What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.” “What then is time?” During our four meetings we will approach this weighty question from a multi-disciplinary perspective. We will ask questions like is it inside our head? Is it real or an illusion? If it is real, is it real only now in the present or do past and future exist as well? Also - what does time mean for our lives when time is seen as a commodity that can be treasured or wasted?

Leisure - October Capstone


Instructor: Ben Faulkner


HONR 4199:13 - 1 Credit

CRN 57539

R 05:00PM - 07:00PM


Course Description: This course meets October 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd. Play is crucial to human flourishing. It helps increase physical and mental health, deepen learning, boost productivity (interestingly), and strengthen our relationships. As kids, it’s our natural instinct to play—we climb trees, explore trails, run around, pretend, create, dream, all for the sake of it. Somewhere along the way, though, we’re expected to grow up, get serious, and do everything for a measurable end. And today it seems we all have less and less time to play than ever before. Why is that, and what are the possible implications? In this capstone, we’ll discuss leisure as an essential ingredient to fulfillment. We’ll read about different perspectives on leisure from thinkers like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Alison Gopnik, Brigid Schulte, Cal Newport, Peter Gray, and more. We’ll also discuss the role of leisure in your own lives by keeping a “time diary” for the month of this capstone.

Life and Living - October Capstone


Professor LaTisha Hammond


HONR 4199:14 - 1 Credit

CRN 54970

M 02:00PM - 04:00PM


Course Description: October 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th. What is life? What does it mean for something to be living? What constitutes a life lived? In this capstone we will discuss life and living from biological and social perspectives, exploring where and how these perspectives converge and diverge. Some of the questions we will ask and attempt to understand will include: what are the biological requirements of life, and what does it mean for something or someone to live at these minimum requirements versus something more? What characterizes living? What is considered a “good" quality of life, and who or what decides this? What are the indicators of a good life, and what does it mean to live well? All of these questions and others will be considered in various readings and media as we reflect on the experiences of life and living.