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The Honors College describes the thesis as “a scholarly piece of writing in which the writer is expected to show a command of the relevant scholarship in his (or her) field and contribute to the scholarship. It should confront a question that is unresolved and push towards a resolution.”

The thesis is likely to be one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors that you will pursue during your undergraduate career. Through the process of developing and writing your thesis, you will build on what you have learned during your coursework, gain insights into scholarship and methodology, and develop your talent as a writer and thinker.

The final thesis should represent your work, and your work alone. This means that you cannot outsource the writing of any part of the thesis, the development of your research instruments, or the analysis of your data.

Once your thesis is completed, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have produced a work of scholarship that is available electronically to anyone who wishes to access it (go to https://honors.libraries.psu.edu/search/ to search all of the honors theses currently available electronically). You are also strongly encouraged, where the subject matter of your thesis lends itself to it, to pursue the goal of submitting your work to an academic journal for publication. New knowledge has to be shared to have any utility. A paper in a professional journal will significantly increase the likelihood that your work will reach the community of scholars and industry practitioners.

If your thesis supervisor recommends that you submit your work to a journal, please make sure that you contact the Schreyer Honors College at least two weeks prior to final submission of your thesis to request restricted access. If restricted access is granted for your thesis, access to the body of the thesis (via PSU) will be denied to everyone for a period of two years. The thesis will be released automatically for access worldwide at the end of the two-year period (see https://www.shc.psu.edu/academic/thesis/submission.cfm).

Return to Thesis Guide Table of Contents