Many Honors Carolina students cap their undergraduate experience with a Senior Honors Thesis, partnering with a faculty mentor to develop original research or creative work. Students who successfully defend their thesis before a faculty review panel graduate with Honors or Highest Honors.
Each year, approximately 350 students complete a Senior Honors Thesis. For many of those students, the thesis becomes a first publication or an important part of their application to graduate or professional school.
Students may undertake a Senior Honors Thesis project only in their major field of study (with an exception for students who minor in Creative Writing). Students with double majors may graduate with Honors or Highest Honors in both fields of study. To do so, they must complete a distinct project in each field. All Senior Honors Thesis projects must be completed under the direct supervision of a faculty advisor. Tenured and tenure-track faculty, postdoctoral fellows with teaching appointments, and fixed-term faculty who have been employed by an academic unit for at least one year may serve as thesis advisors. Retired faculty and graduate students may not serve as advisors for Senior Honors Thesis projects.
Students who wish to undertake a Senior Honors Thesis project must have a cumulative GPA of 3.300 or higher. Academic departments may set higher thresholds for course work within students’ major field of study.
Students enrolled in the final semester of their thesis course work must complete their project (including the oral defense) by the following deadlines:
- Fall 2021: Monday, November 8, 2021 (5:00 p.m.)
- Spring 2022: Monday, April 11, 2022 (5:00 p.m.)
These dates are subject to change if adjustments are made to the University Registrar’s calendars.
Your department should report your name to the Honors Carolina office by the relevant deadline above to confirm that you have met the requirements to graduate with Honors or Highest Honors.
Students are required to upload the final version of their thesis to the Carolina Digital Repository by the final day of class in the semester in which they complete the thesis course work. Detailed instructions are included in the guidelines at the bottom of this page.
Research Awards Available
Honors Carolina offers financial awards to support Senior Honors Thesis research. These awards, up to $500, may be used to cover any legitimate cost directly connected to a thesis project: laboratory equipment and supplies, computer software and hardware, travel, artistic supplies, books and periodicals not available through normal library sources, illustrations and duplication, etc.
Students must apply through their major department’s Honors director or their faculty thesis advisor (for units without Honors directors). A Call for Applications is sent to departments early each semester. Students may not submit applications directly to Honors Carolina.
The Fall 2021 Call for Proposals will be distributed to academic units on September 1, 2021. Applications for this round of awards will be due by Thursday, September 30 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.Application Form
Additional funding is available through the Office for Undergraduate Research and individual academic units.
The following research awards are made possible through gifts to Honors Carolina and are awarded annually:
- The Michael P. and Jean W. Carter Research Award
- The Gillian T. Cell Senior Thesis Research Award in the College of Arts & Sciences
- The Sarah Steele Danhoff Undergraduate Research Award
- The Dunlevie Honors Undergraduate Research Award
- The Gordon P. Golding Senior Honors Thesis Award
- The Gump Family Undergraduate Research Award
- The Honors Undergraduate Research Award
- The Rodney F. Hood Undergraduate Research Award
- The Kimball King Undergraduate Research Award
- The William F. Little Prize for Creative Research in Honors
- The Tom and Elizabeth Long Research Award
- Senior Honors Thesis Guidelines for Academic Units, Faculty Advisors, and Students
- Senior Honors Thesis Learning Contract (forms for Computer Science majors are here)
- Sample Senior Honors Thesis title page