Honors Thesis

An honors thesis, while required for all students in the Cursus Honorum and Presidential/Provost Scholars, is an option for all honors students. Writing an honors thesis affords the student an opportunity to explore in detail a topic of interest in his or her major. The honors thesis also helps prepare the student for the rigors and expectations of graduate and professional school.

An Honors Thesis is a significant research project, and often serves as the culmination of months of sustained investigation into an area of a student’s academic interest.  Thesis may take different forms based on a student’s major, areas of interest, and professional aspirations; yet all honors theses must contain polished, scholarly, and original work. An honors thesis results in a written product and public presentation (termed “defense”).

Find a more detailed description of an honors thesis in The Honors Thesis: Context and Communication


Important Information for Thesis

The following documents can be downloaded and provide useful information to students and faculty surrounding thesis guidelines and timeline. 

Honors Thesis Guidelines and FAQs

File Spring 2022 Thesis Timeline


Formal Requirements

Those students intending to graduate as an Honors College Scholar should, at the beginning of their junior year, identify a faculty mentor and a thesis topic. The student may register for Honors Thesis credit during their junior and/or senior years, depending on the length and complexity of the research project.

Honors Thesis Form

The student should, of course, have a thesis advisor who approves the topic of the thesis and provides close supervision of the work. Furthermore, the student is expected to defend his or her thesis before a committee consisting of the thesis advisor, another scholar of faculty rank in the field of the thesis topic, and a member of the Honors College staff. The committee should be selected by the student and formed before the student starts working. The student should sign up for the Honors Thesis class, HON 4093, while writing the thesis.


Deadlines & Thesis Week

It is our goal to have most – if not all – defenses during Thesis Week, which will be held in April. For students defending in the fall semester, Thesis Week will be held in November. If the dates scheduled are not possible, the student should contact the Associate Dean, Dr. Anastasia Elder, at aelder@honors.msstate.edu about other possible dates.

Scheduling your Defense
You are responsible for contacting your thesis committee members and choosing a date and time that works for all members prior to scheduling your defense on this calendar.

You must schedule your Honors thesis date online by the deadline through the OnceHub portal.

Questions about scheduling can be directed to the Honors College Main Office at 662-325-2522 or mainoffice@honors.msstate.edu.

The student is expected to provide a draft of the thesis to his or her committee members with sufficient time to read it before the defense, typically 1-2 weeks.

Upon Completion
We request that Honors College committee members email Katelyn Wright at kwright@honors.msstate.edu once the defense meeting has been successfully completed.

Before the end of the semester, the student must email a pdf file of the thesis including the signed signature page to mainoffice@honors.msstate.edu.