Business Thesis Guidelines - University of Houston
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The Senior Honors Thesis in business is typically envisioned and executed entirely as a written piece of work. This kind of thesis might resemble a long research paper in form, but it is different than a class paper. It approaches an existing business topic from a new angle or tackles a newly developing business problem that others have not yet addressed adequately. Often, the topic for a Senior Honors Thesis arises from close collaboration with a faculty member on an existing research project. You may choose to identify a significant aspect of a faculty member's research to investigate in more detail or expand upon a case study completed as part of a previous course or business competition. Research into what others have said and done is the essential first step, but your thesis should go beyond prior work to include your own insights and critical thinking. You should have an acquaintance with the relevant scholarship and display originality in the formulation of your arguments. Typically, such a thesis will run 50-75 pages.

Students receive a total of six credit hours for participating in the Senior Honors Thesis program. Students complete the project over the course of two semesters. Consult an advisor in the College of Business for more details.

Examples of Senior Honors Thesis Business Topics:

  • Ecommerce: A View of Legislation and Its Results
  • Liquefied Natural Gas: An Emerging Global Commodity
  • Effective Marketing Strategies for Self-Published Authors
  • Accounting for Contingent Liabilities and Assets
  • Facebook vs Renren: A Comparative Study of Social Networking Sites in the U.S. and China
  • The Financial Impact of Franchise Relocation and Stadium Finance Issues in Minor League Baseball
  • The Use of Fiscal Policy During Recessions: Tax Legislation Analysis & Macroeconomic Suggestions
  • An Overview of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Implications and Resolutions

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

  1. First, schedule an appointment with Sarah Gnospelius, Bauer Honors Administrative Director, to certify your eligibility to begin a thesis project and to complete the Verification of Eligibility Form. After completing Parts I and II, this form is sent to Dr. Rikki Bettinger for Honors College approval in Part III.
  2. After receiving approval to conduct a thesis, students should meet with Bauer Honors Faculty Director Dr. Elizabeth Anderson-Fletcher to discuss your research question and the timeline for completion of your thesis project. As a faculty member that has served on numerous thesis committees, Anderson-Fletcher will be able to provide you with a faculty perspective to ensure you are prepared to meet the expectations of the thesis program.
  3. Submit the prospectus along with the Prospectus Approval Form to your thesis director and second reader for their signatures.
  4. Complete a General Petition Form. Select number 17 "other" on the form, and in the explanation section, write: "Please enroll me in the Senior Honors Thesis hours 3399 for [your major]." Have the petition form signed by your thesis director and by the department chair of your major.
  5. Read and sign the required Bauer Thesis Contract.
  6. Turn in all signed paperwork (Prospectus Approval Form (PAF), General Petition Form and Bauer Thesis Contract) to Sarah Gnospelius in the Bauer Honors Commons (Suite 250, Melcher Hall). Gnospelius will ensure you are enrolled in the 3399 thesis course and forward your prospectus and PAF to Dr. Rikki Bettinger in the Honors College. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards will review the prospectus and assign a third Honors reader to serve on your thesis committee. Bettinger will notify you via email when an Honors reader has been chosen to serve on your committee.

**The Verification of Eligibility Form, the Prospectus Approval Form, the thesis prospectus, General Petition Form and Bauer Thesis Contract must be submitted before the start of classes.

  1. Check your myUH/PeopleSoft record to ensure that the 3399 course is appearing on your class schedule.
  2. Create a plan for the various stages of the project, including deadlines. Your faculty advisor should be able to help you devise a timetable and determine reasonable expectations for your work within the given time periods. It is essential that you adhere to the timeline that you create for completion. This will keep you on track and ensure you complete the project in time to meet the binding deadlines set by your college.
  3. Begin (or continue) writing/research. Remember that the Honors Thesis is a major time commitment, and you must begin early if you expect to finish on time.
  4. Communicate with your thesis director and readers on a regular basis. You should be checking in with your thesis director on a weekly basis to provide updates on your progress. If you find that your thesis is not progressing as it should, seek help immediately. Remember, all of your committee members are here to assist you in this process.
  1. Complete a new General Petition Form. Select number 17 "other" on the form, and in the explanation section, write: "Please enroll me in the Senior Honors Thesis hours 4399 for [your major]." Have the petition form signed by your thesis director, and turn the petition in to Sarah Gnospelius, Bauer Honors Administrative Director. This is necessary to ensure your thesis director believes you are making adequate progress and are eligible to continue into the second semester of thesis work.
  2. Complete and submit your rough draft prior to the W drop deadline for the semester. To ensure you meet the deadlines for thesis defense and binding, you must have a rough draft submitted to your thesis director before the W drop deadline. Visit the academic calendar to view the W drop deadline for the current semester. Bauer students who do not submit a rough draft by this deadline will be dropped from the second semester 4399 thesis class with a grade of W.
  3. Make necessary revisions. Upon receiving your first draft, your thesis director will make recommendations to help you shape your thesis into the draft you will present to your readers for the oral defense.
Schedule an oral defense. Find a time that is convenient for all of your readers, ideally several weeks before graduation and before the College of Business binding deadline. The College of Business binding deadline is always the last day of classes (prior to finals) for the semester. Visit the academic calendar to view the last day of classes for the current semester.
All readers should be given a copy of the version you wish to defend. Remember to bring a copy of the Defense and Final Evaluation Form with you to your defense.

Most commonly, you will give a presentation or narrative about your project and then respond to questions from each of the three readers. Should your committee members approve it, we encourage you to invite your peers, mentors, and guests to your defense.

Make any necessary revisions based on the feedback given by your readers at the Oral Defense. When you successfully pass the defense, the instructor of record (your thesis director) will submit grades for both 3399 and 4399.

Prepare the final copy according to the UH Graduate School template for the front matter. For assistance obtaining the dean's signature if you desire original signatures for a bound copy, please contact Sarah Gnospelius, Bauer Honors Administrative Director.

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 Bauer, the final thesis must be submitted to the Senior Honors Thesis Electronic Portal by the last day of the term.

Turn in one copy of your bound thesis to Gnospelius. This copy will be available for other students to view in the Bauer Honors Commons.

There are no additional 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.

When the final version of the thesis is submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards, a member of the Honors College will notify the office of records and registration, and the appropriate Honors designation will be added to your official transcript.

Senior Honors Thesis Representatives