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Honors Requirements

Students in Information Science should follow the CALS Social Sciences guidelines to obtain research honors in Information Science.

Students are accepted into the social science research honors program of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences after meeting all the college criteria described in Courses of Study, after evaluation of the student's written application, and on approval of a detailed thesis proposal. The application and proposal are due to the program area chair no later than the third week of the first semester of the senior year. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or better to be considered. Each student is encouraged to begin working on this proposal with a prospective faculty thesis advisor during the junior year. The purpose of the proposal is two-fold. First, it formalizes a plan of study and establishes a set of expectations between the student and his or her faculty advisor. Second, the honors committee reviews the proposal to determine whether it is consistent with honors thesis requirements and to make suggestions for improvement.

The proposal should be 5 to 10 typed, double-spaced pages and include the following:

  • Research Topic: State the problem to be studied or the topic of interest. Review the basic literature and the background of the problem or topic; include a more extensive bibliography to be consulted.
  • Research Questions/Empirical Hypotheses: Specify the proposed questions to be answered or hypotheses to be tested empirically via collection of data and a mode of analysis accepted in the social sciences.
  • Research Methods: Discuss the models to be constructed (if any), sampling procedures, data collection procedures (including measurement instruments and survey or experimental designs, if appropriate), and proposed methods of analysis.
  • Expected Significance: State what new knowledge or information is likely to be forthcoming and why it is important. State any practical applications expected as a result of the research.
  • Faculty advisors must be members of the graduate faculty. Exceptions may be granted for persons with special expertise who are deemed capable of thesis supervision; exceptions may be granted pending petition to the Social Science Research Honors Committee. Students should register for honors credit directed by the faculty research honors project advisor. Honors independent study (6 credits) can be awarded accompanying the work.
  • Distinction in research is awarded upon approval of the research honors thesis by the Social Science Research Honors Committee. The research should deal with a substantive issue in one of the fields in the social sciences. Both the results of the research and the methodology (or the logical argument by which the results were achieved) must be reported. Reviews of the literature, practical conclusions or applications, or broad characterizations of an area of inquiry may constitute part of the research report but are not themselves sufficient to count as research.
  • Honors theses should be written according to the form of any standard journal within the appropriate field. Three copies of the thesis must be submitted to the chair of the Social Science Research Honors Committee no later than three weeks before the last day of classes of the semester for which the degree is sought. A supporting letter from the faculty member supervising the work also must be submitted. The thesis will be independently reviewed and revisions may be required before the thesis is accepted. Final approval of the thesis requires a majority vote of the honors committee.