By a student’s junior or senior year, they will be working towards completing a major or majors and will have identified particular areas of intellectual curiosity and excitement through their coursework. Now is the time to think about designing and pursuing an Honors Independent Project.

The Honors Program provides guidance and mentorship to students as they pursue an Honors Independent Project. Students enroll first in an Honors research and inquiry seminar (0.25 units) the semester preceding their Honors Independent Project to develop a plan for their project. Then, while honors students pursue their Honors Independent Project (490 H), they will also enroll in the Honors Capstone Seminar (0.25 units). The semester in which a student completes their Honors Independent Project is typically the fall or spring semester of senior year, but the timing can be flexible to meet the needs of each student.

Honors research and inquiry (0.25 units)

This course is the launching point for senior honors projects. In this class, students will first identify an area of inquiry and a faculty member who will serve as their honors research mentor. Students will then learn about the process of formulating a research thesis and/or defining a creative project and conducting relevant background research in different disciplines. The seminar will culminate in an honors project proposal, developed in collaboration with a student’s thesis mentor, and will include peer-review from fellow honors students in the class.

Honors Independent Study (1 unit, 490H)

In this course, students will conduct a substantial, independently-conceived and executed  research or creative project that is supervised by a research mentor. A written thesis or other appropriate reflective or creative piece will be completed. The Examining Committee will assess the quality, rigor, and appropriateness of the independent honors project to determine if the student has earned the designation of Graduation with Honors.

Honors capstone course (0.25 units)

This course is taken in the same semester as the honors project (490H). Students will meet weekly to share their progress and their scholarly work with fellow honors students. This course allows students to practice their oral and written communication skills about their scholarly or creative works to a diverse audience without detailed knowledge of their discipline. The course also provides opportunities for students to practice scholarly discourse across disciplinary boundaries.

Students who successfully complete and defend their honors thesis will submit their thesis to the Honors Projects collection on the OWU Digital Commons. Here is a link to the Honors Project submission form.

Contact Info


Honors Office
Phillips Hall #214
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3562
P 740-368-3886
F 740-368-3553