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In SHESC, we offer an array of degrees, but all of them share a belief in three basic principles that build great careers:
First, we believe skills are crucial. Our graduates know how to do things, and have the resumes to prove it. We take our students into the field with us, we teach lots of methods, we run a wildly successful research apprenticeship program across our 40 labs, we publish with our students and we model collaboration and mentorship in everything we do. Grad students get the chance to learn to teach in multiple modalities, and undergrads can work with our graduate students and faculty as assistants on their projects and in their classes. Second, the scale is a major asset. Being big isn’t a bad thing. By being large and in the largest research university, a vast array of classroom and experiential options are available to everyone when they need them. Scale helps students find a wide array of collaborators, training and experiences that enrich their resumes. Third, we collaborate with each other as part of our basic DNA. This extends to faculty working with grad and undergrad students in all aspects of our scholarship, and everyone working across disciplines to get at the most interesting questions. You can read more about some of our major collaborative projects that link faculty, graduate students and undergrads online.
Any Barrett student who is considering majoring or minoring in Global Health or Applied Math should contact the lead FHA.
The Honors thesis is an excellent opportunity to gain experience conducting original research with the help and mentorship of an ASU faculty member. The thesis provides individualized training in the research process, and allows you to explore a research question of your own choosing in great depth. It also ideally gives you mastery of the theories and methods in a research field and the ability to talk about this knowledgeably when interviewing for graduate school or future jobs.
The thesis also requires commitment and planning (see Recommended Timeline below). To take full advantage of this opportunity, we strongly encourage honors students to begin planning their project by the Fall of their junior year. This would ideally involve meeting with the Faculty Honors Advisor to discuss your topical interests, identifying an appropriate thesis advisor and committee, and formulating a brief project proposal and plan in collaboration with your advisor. Starting early is especially important for students who would like to conduct research during the summer before their senior year.
Before embarking on the thesis, we strongly recommend gaining a foundation in relevant research methods and theories from a relevant research course (e.g., ASB 452, practicum-based topics in ASB 494, ASM 414) as well as research apprenticeships with SHESC faculty.
Freshman year: Contact the Global Health/AMLSS Faculty Honors Advisor (FHA) to discuss your research interests. The FHA can steer you to appropriate faculty with relevant interests. Before the meeting, read the profiles for Global Health/AMLSS Faculty to see if there is anyone who matches your interests.
Sophomore year: Review past undergraduate theses to identify the types of topics explored by Global Health students and the methods they use to study them. Consult with the FHA and/or your Thesis Advisor about the appropriateness of any given thesis as a model for your own project (you can find completed theses online). Set up a meeting with appropriate faculty members to discuss your thesis ideas. The FHA can assist you by making the necessary introductions.
Sophomore year is a critical time for students to learn what opportunities are available to them to pursue thesis research in the context of on-going faculty research. In the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Anthropology’s home, the Research Apprenticeship program links students with faculty research and fulfills the Global Health/AMLSS major requirement for a practicum course. Research Apprenticeships are announced at the beginning of each semester.
As soon as you enter SHESC honors, you should apply for an apprenticeship. By the end of Sophomore year, honors students will be expected to have completed a research apprenticeship or an equivalent research experience that will prepare them for their thesis work.
Junior year (1st semester): Choose a thesis director and set up a meeting schedule and timeline for completing your project. You should allow at least one semester for researching your thesis and one semester for writing your thesis, as you will likely write many drafts. The summer after Junior year is an ideal time to collect data for the thesis.
Write a prospectus outlining what you plan to do for your thesis. This prospectus represents a contract between you and your committee. However, it is also a living contract, and can be modified at any time. The prospectus should:
(1) Outline the type of research that you will conduct and the questions you hope to ask.
(2) Specify the methods (e.g., survey, case study) you will use to answer your questions.
If gathering data, you must submit an Institutional Review Board proposal, which your thesis director must review and approve before submission. Research CANNOT begin without IRB approval.
Junior year to 1st semester Senior Year: Begin your research project. While conducting your research, be sure to meet with your thesis director on a regular, ongoing basis. It is your responsibility to make sure you are carrying your research out in a timely manner and it is your director’s responsibility to guide you through this process.
Senior Year 1st semester: Write up your research findings. A common format for a thesis includes: a literature review which describes the questions you are asking and how they fit into a larger body of research, the methods which you used to answer your questions, results which are the answers provided by your methods, and a discussion which summarizes your findings as they relate to a larger body of research, the limitations of the findings, and the implications these findings have for future research efforts. Reviewing completed Global Health undergraduate theses can provide insight into the depth of work required for the thesis. Submit a first draft to your thesis director for feedback and be prepared to make multiple revisions. Give yourself plenty of time to incorporate these revisions as your thesis must be completed before graduation.
Senior Year (2nd semester): Decide, in consultation with your thesis director and committee, on a date for defending your thesis. In Global Health and AMLSS, defenses usually consist of the student presenting a 15-20 minute overview of his/her research (PowerPoint slides are often used and handouts are usually provided to the committee members) followed by a 45-60 minute discussion during which the student is expected to be able to answer questions about his/her work.
Obtain signatures from all committee members on the Honors signature sheet (You must bring this signature page to the defense). The signature sheet is held by your Thesis Director if revisions are required. Once any revisions have been completed, your thesis and the signature sheet are handed into the Honors office.
Honors Sections and Enrichment Contracts
For undergraduate courses in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, the course instructor may choose to set up a formal honors section or work with students on enrichment contracts. Courses which have recently provided formal honors sections include, ASB 100, ASB 102 and ASB 222. Enrichment contracts are created on a case-by-case basis. Some courses, such as ASB 462 and ASB 494, frequently offer enrichment contract opportunities where a group of students work on a common project designed by the students and the professor. View more information about honors enrichment contracts online. Instructors of graduate courses at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change may permit a small number of honors students to enroll in their course. If there is a graduate course which you feel would be important for your educational trajectory, please contact the instructor of the course about the possibility of enrolling.
The School of Human Evolution and Social Change offers a number of opportunities for undergraduates to get involved with faculty research, including Undergraduate Research Apprenticeships as well as Research Assistantship Awards.
Undergraduate + Master's Research Symposium:
Each year, the School of Human Evolution and Change holds a symposium to showcase undergraduate research. Students are free to present on original research, research that is being conducted with a faculty member or on any topic related to anthropology, global health or applied math. For example, students can present on a term paper written for a class. Or students can take an experience from a study abroad program and present their interpretations or findings on the program.
Research Apprenticeship Program:
Most of the world-class faculty in our school started their careers as undergraduate researchers. For many, the experience of working closely with outstanding scientists on their research projects helped them decide on their career paths, gave them mentoring, built their resumes and helped them develop skills far beyond what is possible through regular classroom instruction. Participating as a collaborator in research can significantly help students shape and reach their intellectual and career goals, as well as enrich the learning experience. It also helps students connect with a community of student peers and mentors (such as graduate students) who share their interests and passions, and to gain confidence and skills. Many Barrett students develop their honors thesis project idea from their work as a research apprentice.
Undergraduate Research Award:
Every semester, the School of Human Evolution and Social Change bestows research awards in the amount of $1,000 to select undergraduate students in its majors. The awards allow students to explore a topic close to their interests, giving them unique experience for graduate school in any field, in addition to building and strengthening their resumes. Students are awarded a stipend for 9 hours of supervised study each week (of the semester that they have been awarded) to carry out their own research