Senior Thesis and Capstone

Students can fulfill the Senior Thesis requirement by completing the department-approved courses or research that is associated with their major, or students may choose to take one of the following courses offered through the University Honors Program. If a student fulfills the Senior Thesis requirement through their major, they must complete a Special Honors Verification Form (pdf). This form is not necessary if a student takes an Honors Thesis course listed below.

Students can fulfill the capstone in either the fall or spring of their senior year.

Who Should Take These

All seniors must complete a Senior Thesis requirement and take a 1-credit Capstone course. Juniors may take the Capstone and/or pursue senior thesis requirements, but should meet with an Program Officer first.



Honors Senior Thesis

Professor Chosen by Student
HONR 4198: 10- 3 to 4 credits
CRN: 20628

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. The students and professor should meet at least ten times during the semester. 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.


Professor Bethany Kung
HONR 4199: 12- 1 credit
CRN: 26895
F 1:30-3:30 PM

Course description:  This course will meet on September 7, 14, 21, and 28. 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 commodity that can be treasured or wasted?

The Pursuit of Happiness.

Professor Maria Frawley
HONR 4199:13 - 1 credit
CRN: 24350
M 12:30-2:30

Course Description: This course will meet on August 27, September 10,17, and 24. The phrase resonates with meaning for most of us born and raised in the United States, but this capstone will give us the opportunity to reflect on just what we mean by "happiness" and what the implications of its "pursuit" are for our relationships, our career paths, and our sense of the future. Reading will be varied -- some philosophical essays (including John Stuart Mill); some literature extracts (including Jane Austen); some recent work that blends autobiography, psychology, and sociology. Hugh Mckay calls for a moratorium on the word "happiness," believing it a dangerous idea that has led to "a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness." We will reflect on this and many other approaches to happiness in our four afternoons of conversation.

Life and Living

Professor LaTisha Hammond
HONR 4199:14 - 1 credit
CRN: 26896
W 2:00-4:00 PM

Course Description: This course will meet on October 3, 10, 17, and 31. 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.