Honors liaisons serve as a point of connection between students interested in pursuing an HITM project and faculty members who would be suitable HITM project 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 liaisons also serve as HITM project directors and can answer most questions about the general process of completing an HITM project.
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 faculty director serves as the primary supervisor and instructor of record for the HITM project. Most often, the faculty director is a tenured, tenure-track, or specialized faculty member at FSU. Visiting faculty members and post-doctorate researchers are also eligible to serve as a faculty director, so long as they will be at FSU for the duration of the student’s project. In all instances, potential faculty directors must have a terminal degree in the field of study (a Ph.D. for most academic programs) or have graduate faculty status. Graduate students are not eligible to serve as a faculty director.
If the student wishes to request an exception to the criteria above, they should submit a written request with a rationale and a CV of the candidate to HITM@fsu.edu. The Director of the Honors Program will review the candidate’s CV and, if their professional expertise and experience is deemed central to the student’s HITM work, they may serve as either a committee member or as co-director with one other committee member who is either in a tenured or tenure-earning position, who has graduate faculty status, or who has a terminal research degree in a relevant field. Students should consult the Honors in the Major Handbook for additional information.
The faculty director chairs the supervisory committee for the formal defense, and serves as a mentor and resource for the student throughout the process. In addition to this, the faculty director is responsible for assigning a letter grade for each semester of HITM work.
The best faculty directors are helpful, proactive, demanding, collaborative and supportive. Each academic year, students are encouraged to nominate their faculty directors for the Honors Thesis Mentor Award.
When you have recruited your faculty director, they 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. Students should consult the Honors in the Major Handbook for additional information.
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 faculty director, but do need to commit to the full project timeline. The full supervisory committee must approve and sign the prospectus, as well as attend the formal defense. Students should begin to contact the faculty they would like on their committee no later than the second week of their first research semester.