Honors Liaisons serve as a point of connection between students interested in pursuing an Honors Thesis and faculty members who would be suitable Thesis Directors or committee members. These Liaisons are invaluable resources for students who know what they want to research and are hoping to connect with faculty who have similar interests. Many of our Liaisons also serve as Thesis Directors and can answer most questions about the general process of completing an Honors Thesis.
The Honors Program allows individual academic departments to set admissions standards for their Honors in the Major students that are stricter than those laid out by our program. The Honors Liaisons can answer questions about department-specific Honors in the Major Requirements.
The Thesis Director serves as the primary supervisor and instructor of record for the Honors Thesis. Ideally this should be a tenured or tenure-track professor in your department with whom you have already worked and developed a relationship. Non-tenure-track faculty (i.e. specialized faculty), visiting professors, or other permanent members of the university's instructional or research staff can serve as your thesis director with the approval of the Director of the University Honors Program.
The Thesis Director chairs the faculty committee for the thesis defense, and serves as a mentor and resource for the student throughout the process. In addition to this, the Thesis Director is responsible for assigning a letter grade for each semester of honors work.
The best Thesis Directors are helpful, proactive, demanding, collaborative and supportive. Each academic year, students are encouraged to nominate their Thesis Directors for the Honors Thesis Mentor award.
When you have made your decision as to thesis director, he or she will guide you in selecting your other committee members, which must include one additional faculty member from your major department, and one faculty member from another department. You have the option of choosing a fourth committee member from any academic department if desired. Please note that at least two members of your committee must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members.
Faculty committee members do not need to be expert in the specific area of the research, but should have an interest in the topic and in helping the student. They generally have much less responsibility than the thesis director, but do need to commit to the full project timeline. The full faculty committee must approve and sign the prospectus, as well as attend the thesis defense. Students should begin to contact the faculty they would like on their committee no later than the 2nd week of their first research semester.
Honors in the Major Program Staff
General questions about the Honors in the Major program, timeline, and policies can be directed to our Assistant Director and Graduate assistant. We are available to talk via email, phone, and in person with faculty, staff, and students concerning the process of pursuing and Honors Thesis.
Please email us at HITM@fsu.edu with any questions, or to request an appointment.