Architecture and Design Thesis Guidlines - University of Houston
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The Senior Honors Thesis reflects the diversity and rigor of the college studio sequence and is a one-year design studio-based program in the 5th year of the Bachelor of Architecture degree plan. The program includes three courses: an initial fall semester thesis preparatory research class, a spring semester design studio, and a book binding class. Students use the earlier professional studios to develop important topics for independent study and apply to the college program in late spring of their 4th year of study with a single statement of intent (a form from the College) and portfolio. Arguments are synthesized with writing, precedent and site analysis work to be organized into a prep book in the fall semester when readers are assigned. Upon successful completion of the preparatory class, students are approved to begin the thesis design studio with individual faculty advisors. During the spring, arguments are proven through design. Finally, students combine documentation of their studio project with earlier writing and analysis into a bound book completed in May, as per Honors College guidelines.

The architecture thesis, although based in large part on a design component, must incorporate a substantial, research-based written component. Images, content, and context must be cited clearly within the text. While the written content is largely composed in the thesis preparatory research class, it is expected that the writing will be revised in the second semester as the design project takes shape, reflecting on the intersections of theory and practice. Further, the student should incorporate feedback received from each of the committee members.

A senior honors thesis must demonstrate:

  • Substantial research-based argumentation (with all the accompanying effective incorporation, analysis, and synthesis and citation of sources)
  • Quality organization and prose
  • Professional formatting

Deadlines and Procedures

To get started on a senior honors thesis in architecture, fill out the College of Architecture and Design Thesis Intent Form. Submit to the CoAD student services office by the third Monday in May of the spring semester.

The architecture senior honors thesis will be defended at a separate defense in front of a committee of three readers confirmed by the Honors College, which includes an Honors Reader. Students will follow defense and submission deadlines and procedures determined by both the College of Architecture and Design and the Honors College. Please contact the CoAD Senior Honors Thesis representative for CoAD-specific details and deadlines.

The thesis defense form and directions for submitting the final approved thesis to the Honors College can be found on the Defense and Graduation page. After your thesis is approved by the CoAD, the final thesis must be submitted to the Senior Honors Thesis Electronic Portal by the last day of the term.

There are no bound copies of the thesis required for the Honors College. However, all students who complete the senior honors thesis are welcome to submit a bound copy to the Honors College for display in the Estess Library.

Senior Honors Thesis Representatives