Congratulations! Your undergraduate career is coming to a close, and your Honors thesis
or capstone project in your major stands as one of the concrete representations of your accomplishment.
In addition, the thesis also stands as part of your legacy, to LMU in general and to the University Honors
Program in particular.
These instructions are meant to ensure that your thesis or major capstone is properly presented
and archived as part of the University Honors Program Thesis Library. Please follow them precisely.
Issues with submitting your thesis may delay or impede your graduation.
What Comprises Your Thesis
Your Honors thesis is fulfilled either through an individualized HNRS 497 section
or a capstone project or course within your major. In either case, you are expected to
produce an artifact that reports on or represents the work performed for the option that applies to you.
Examples include a scholarly paper, a screenplay, a recital or other live performance, a work of art, or
digital assets such as software.
This work has been mentored and graded by a faculty advisor who was formally identified prior
to starting your project. For HNRS 497, this faculty member served as the instructor for your
individualized section of that course. For capstone projects within your major, this faculty member
served as the instructor for that capstone course. In either case, your faculty advisor is asked to
grade and sign off on the final version of your thesis.
How to Start Your Thesis Work
As you enter your graduating year, you need to answer the following questions about your
Does my major have a capstone project course?
If your major has a capstone project course, then this course will fulfill your Honors thesis
requirement. If your major does not have such a course, then you will need to enroll in an
individualized HNRS 497 section.
In which semester will I be completing my thesis work?
Most graduating seniors complete their thesis work in the spring semester. However, under
some circumstances, the work will actually be finished in the fall semester. Factors include your
target graduation date, course schedule, etc. What matters is that you know when you’ll be
finishing your work.
Who is my thesis advisor?
If you are fulfilling the Honors thesis requirement through a capstone project course in your
major, then your thesis advisor is the instructor for that course. If you are taking an individualized
HNRS 497 section, you need to identify and “sign on” a thesis advisor on your own. This thesis
advisor must be an LMU faculty member. Once identified, this professor becomes the instructor
who is assigned to your HNRS 497 section, and is thus responsible for guiding your work and
giving you a grade.
Before each semester, the Associate Director of the University Honors Program will contact
you and ask for this information. However, you need not wait for this contact; you can send the
information as soon as you know it:
- Whether you have a capstone project course or need an HNRS 497 section
- Semester for thesis completion
- Course number of your capstone project course (if going that route)
- Thesis advisor
If you have any questions or need guidance in answering these questions, please contact
the Associate Director of the University Honors
Disseminating Your Work
To “close the loop” on your research or creative work, you are required to seek dissemination
of your thesis work by submitting an abstract to the annual
Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Abstract acceptance is not required—just submission. By doing this, you will have modeled the
full process of scholarly or creative work, from the determination and initiation of an inquiry to
its documentation and finally dissemination, all under the mentorship of a faculty advisor.
Presenting your work at a broader academic venue, such as a regional or national conference,
is also highly encouraged, and, if achieved, can substitute for the aforementioned abstract
submission to the Undergraduate Research Symposium. In this case, you may also apply for an
Ambassadorial Grant to help fund your travel, lodging, and other costs of presentation.
Physical and Digital Forms
Where applicable, your thesis should include both physical and digital forms. For example, this
can be: a paper printout and its corresponding file; a recital program and a recording of the
performance; or printed photographs of a physical project and related document or design files,
including digital copies of the photographs.
Submit both physical and digital forms as much as possible. If this is not possible,
please inform the Honors Program of this situation so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Thesis Cover and Signature Sheets
For uniformity of presentation, your thesis submission should include a thesis cover sheet
and a thesis signature sheet. Templates for these sheets are available as public Google Docs:
Access these templates with a web browser, choose File > Make a Copy…
to create your own editable copy of the file, then enter the information that is specific to your thesis.
Ask your thesis advisor to sign the signature sheets before submitting the thesis to the University
Honor Program. The Honors Program personnel will then sign the signature sheets upon receipt and
How to Submit Your Thesis
Thesis submission to your adviser or capstone course instructor for evaluation and grading is
separate and determined by the faculty member. These instructions pertain to thesis submission to
the University Honors Program.
Upon completion of your thesis project, please submit the following items to the University
Honors Program office:
- The thesis cover sheet
- The signed thesis signature sheet
- The thesis paper (or closest equivalent)
- Any additional physical artifacts of your thesis submission
- The digital versions of your thesis submission on electronic media such as a disc or thumb
drive, labeled with your name and the thesis semester/year
The thesis cover sheet, signed thesis signature sheet, and thesis paper (or closest equivalent)
will be professionally bound by the University Honors Program, so they should be submitted “loose”
and without punched holes.
When to Submit Your Thesis
First and foremost, your thesis must be submitted to your thesis adviser before the end of
the semester, so that it can be evaluated and graded. This specific deadline is set by your adviser,
whether for HNRS 497 or for a capstone course in your major.
The thesis binder and loose copy for professional binding must be submitted to the University
Honors Program office by:
- The third Friday in January for fall theses
- The second Friday in June for spring theses
If you have any questions about your thesis submission, please direct them to the Associate Director of the University Honors Program
as soon as possible.