How to Apply - University of Houston
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The undergraduate Senior Honors Thesis Program at the University of Houston is a two-semester, six-credit-hour capstone research experience completed under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards is responsible for overseeing undergraduate thesis work throughout the University. Students who complete the senior honors thesis graduate with the Honors in Major transcript designation.

Students interested in completing a Senior Honors Thesis should apply the semester prior to the beginning of the thesis coursework:

  • Application Deadline to Start in Fall: May 15
  • Application Deadline to Start in Spring: December 1


Regardless of affiliation with the Honors College, all University of Houston students who meet the following requirements are eligible to complete a Senior Honors Thesis:

  • 3.25 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 GPA in major
  • Approval from the student's academic department and the Honors College
  • Has at least two future semesters remaining at the University of Houston to enroll, and no more than three future remaining semesters.

Application Steps

A student's registration in thesis course hours does not guarantee enrollment in the Senior Honors Thesis Program. The steps below must be followed carefully. Participation in the program also does not guarantee that the courses will fulfill degree requirements. Students should review the College-Specific Information pages for additional details specific to their college and speak with their academic advisor to determine if and how the thesis course hours might count toward their degree plan.

Further questions about the Senior Honors Thesis Program may be directed to Dr. Rikki Bettinger or the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards.

Identify a potential thesis topic and speak with an academic advisor about how a thesis might fit in your degree plan. Ask a faculty member to serve as your thesis director and receive confirmation from them that they will serve as the mentor for your thesis. Your thesis director should be a faculty member in your major department.

Submit your Verification of Eligibility (VOE) form with part one completed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in your major department. The second section must be signed by the director of undergraduate studies in your major department before it is sent to OURMA. Once the VOE is approved by your department, send this form to Dr. Rikki Bettinger in OURMA who will sign in part three. The deadline to send this form to OURMA is December 1 if you are starting your thesis in the Spring, or May 15 if you are starting your thesis in the Fall. If there are any GPA eligibility concerns, an email of support is needed from the thesis director.

Once approved for enrollment, the student receives the Verification of Eligibility form back from OURMA and takes it to their academic advisor or department contact who creates the thesis course (3399) in their major. The thesis director is the instructor of record for the course. Often the department also requires a general petition to create the course. Infrequently, this course is created with the HON prefix for interdisciplinary theses. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they are enrolled in the 3399 course with their thesis director listed as the instructor of record. The student will repeat this process for the 4399 course in the second semester of the program.

The student develops a thesis prospectus under the guidance of their thesis director. The 3-5 page prospectus should outline your project, explaining the topic, question, methodology, data sources, and bibliography. It should also address the relevance and significance to the field (illustrating knowledge of existing scholarship). Finally, the prospectus should include a planned chapter breakdown and a timeline for completion.

The student should receive and incorporate feedback on the thesis prospectus from the thesis director. With the thesis director's support, the student will identify, contact, and secure a second reader for the thesis committee.

Once your prospectus is finalized, have your thesis director and second reader sign your Prospectus Approval Form. In the first semester of your thesis, you will be assigned an Honors Reader who, along with OURMA, will provide the final signatures on your Prospectus Approval Form.

No later than the first day of the semester you begin your thesis, submit your prospectus, Prospectus Approval Form, and Thesis Checklist to Dr. Bettinger in OURMA.

Each semester there is a mandatory orientation for students beginning the thesis program. You can ask any questions you might have and sign up to attend the Thesis Writing Studios. This will be communicated via email to enrolled students.