The Honors College at EMU is an excellent place to develop and foster your research skills. The importance of research is taking hold at the undergraduate level because it helps successfully prepare students for graduate school and professional work. The primary ways that The Honors College helps support student research are:
- the senior thesis
- undergraduate fellowships
- research workshops
It’s never too early to start research. In fact, many of our students are drawn to The Honors College because of its rich research opportunities.
Undergraduate Research Workshop
The Undergraduate Research workshop is offered to help students begin pursuing research at EMU. Led by our faculty fellow, Suzanne Gray, you will have the opportunity to learn more about available resources to you at EMU as well how to begin developing a research topic and thesis. We encourage students as early as their first year at EMU to attend. To find out when these workshops are offered, visit our Calendar.
Senior Thesis Workshop
The Senior Thesis workshop is geared to help students understand specific requirements with their thesis and how to graduate with Departmental Honors. Dr. Ramona Caponegro will lead the workshops to help answer questions you may have as you begin to complete your thesis.
We encourage students to attend the workshop no later than the semester before they start their thesis for Departmental Honors; however, we encourage student as early as their first year in college to attend as well. To find out when these workshops are offered, visit our Calendar.
As the major culminating research experience, all Departmental and Highest Honors students must complete a Senior Thesis or project. Both academic and Honors credit must be earned for the thesis/project. Usually (but not always), this is done through three hours of independent study.
Some departments require that students complete a specific Honors thesis seminar or a research course, so be sure to check with your Departmental Honors Advisor about the requirements in your field.
The thesis/project may take various forms, including:
- a lengthy research paper
- a public performance
- a documented lab experiment
- a computer program
- a work of art
- a mathematical proof with appropriate documentation
Whatever form it takes, it should be a demanding exercise of approximately 150 hours of work. The result should demonstrate exceptional skill and understanding.
For non-traditional projects, the work should provide sufficient prefatory information to help contextualize the project for the reader. In addition, a section should be included that helps the reader understand the value of the work to the researcher and how it pushed the researcher’s own scholarly or creative work forward.
Published theses are posted to the Digital Commons through the library. Stop by The Honors College to view copies of past Senior Theses, as well (located on the bookshelves near the Honors Commons).
Please refer to the Senior Thesis Handbook for more information.
The Honors Undergraduate Fellowship program provides upper-level Honors students the opportunity to acquire advanced skills in an area of study by working on special projects in collaboration with EMU faculty. Stipends are awarded on the basis of competitive applications.
Fellowships may be available in spring or summer depending on budget. The stipend is eligible for renewal for one full semester, subject to approval by the award committee and the availability of resources. Previous winners may apply for additional awards in support of a new project.
Undergraduate Symposium and Other Resources
In addition to the many research opportunities within The Honors College, honors students also have access to the university resources available to the greater student body. Students may also be recommended to present their research findings at the annual Undergraduate Symposium .