Getting Started

The thesis/creative project is a required and valuable part of the Barrett experience. Completing a thesis has many benefits including exploring areas of academic interest with a greater intensity than possible in a single course, engaging with professors nationally recognized in their field, and contributing to and advancing the knowledge in a field of study. Other benefits include compiling a writing or research portfolio for graduate school, demonstrating scholarly commitment, and creating tangible evidence of the student’s research, writing, and creative skills for employers. To get started on your thesis/creative project, you will need to complete the Thesis Preparation Requirement, meet with your Honors Advisor, and approach faculty to be part of your committee. Be sure to review the Taking Charge of the Thesis and Creative Project Process document. 

All Barrett students are required to complete a thesis/creative project information session. The session is designed to inform students about the process, expectations, and deadlines. This workshop is designed to help you with, among other things, starting a timeline, finding a thesis director, and brainstorming a topic. Students may complete this requirement in several ways: 

1. In-person Barrett thesis workshops offered on all campuses:

Check back in August for Fall 2018 dates!

2. Major-specific Thesis Prep Workshop or Course:

Available for Biology and Society, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics, SHPRS, and Psychology majors only.

3. Online thesis/creative project workshop via Blackboard. Click on the red button below to self-enroll at any time! Once enrolled, access the workshop through your “Courses” tab on Blackboard.

Enroll in online workshop

Barrett students meet with their Honors Advisor as part of their mandatory advising appointments. The upper division appointment is required for starting the thesis/creative project process. Students scheduling this appointment should complete the Thesis Preparation Requirement. To contact your Honors Advisor, please click here

Once you select several topics of interest, you can begin to identify the specific faculty members doing research in the field in which you are interested and might serve as your Director. Be certain to review each faculty member’s scholarly body of work (typically listed on the faculty person’s website) to determine if your interests align with their area of expertise. The choice of a Director is extremely important as they are responsible for providing project expectations, guidance throughout the entire thesis/creative project process, and evaluation of your final work. 

The thesis/creative project committee structure varies by academic unit. Refer to the FHA documents (found here) to learn more. Requirements for size of the committee and qualifications of each member are determined by the academic unit of the Director.

Finding a Director

  • Think of professors with whom you have developed a working relationship by taking their classes, engaging with them in honors enrichment contracts, or visiting with them during office hours.
  • Consider honors professors with whom you have taken The Human Event or another honors class.
  • You may contact a Faculty Honors Advisor in the discipline related to your topic for recommended faculty who might share your interests in a topic.

Meeting with Potential Directors

  • After you have made a list of faculty you want to approach, schedule a meeting with each of them.
  • Come prepared to discuss your ideas and hear theirs. Be prepared to discuss how your ideas are related to the faculty member’s research interests.
  • Make sure you discuss the professor’s scholarly expertise, availability, communication style, and any other points that are important to you and your thesis/creative project.
  • If a professor with whom you have met is not a match, ask him or her for recommendations of other professors who may be a good fit for working with you on your thesis/creative project.