How do I choose or find a project topic and/or sponsor? Your Honors Project should represent the interests that you have developed during your undergraduate studies. In addition, we encourage you to build relationships with your professors early in your academic career. Your department’s Honors adviser is knowledgeable about the research activities ongoing in your department and can connect you with potential Project Sponsors. Also, spend some time looking over past projects completed in your major. Seeing the format and scope of projects will often help to guide you in understanding the expectations of the experience. IdeaExchange@UAkron showcases the completed Honors Research Projects.
Does the Sponsor have to be a faculty member at The University of Akron? Yes, your Honors Project Sponsor must be a full-time faculty member at The University of Akron and typically is a member of your major department. If the Sponsor is not a member of your major department then approval must be obtained from the Honors Faculty Advisor in that department. However, the Project Readers may be chosen from any department at the university, or may come from outside the university when appropriate. All readers must be approved by both the student and the faculty sponsor.
What is the difference between a sponsor and a reader? The Sponsor serves as the primary advisor for the project, setting clear expectations for the project and evaluating the depth and quality of the research undertaken. Readers typically provide a secondary resource for the student and serve as an additional evaluator for the final project report.
Can the project be completed by a small group rather than an individual student? In some departments the Honors Project can be part of a larger team-based project. However, in this case the final report should include a section that clearly details the contribution of each student to the overall effort. Please refer to the individual department guidelines or contact your Honors Faculty Advisor for specific information. Note that all students that are involved in the project should be included as authors, regardless of their status in the Williams Honors College.
How do I determine how many credits to register for? You must register for a minimum of two credits of Honors Project in your departmental office up to a maximum of six credit hours, and each department has specific courses that are to be used for Honors Research Project credit. The specific number of credits depends on the nature of the project and the policies of individual departments. Please discuss important plans with your Honors Project Sponsor, including which semester(s) you will register for credits, how many credits, and who/how your final grade will be assigned.The Honor Project Sponsor must approve the courses taken and the total number of credits registered for.
Can the Honors Project be completed in more than one semester? The number of semesters required for completion, as well as the number of credit hours for the coursework must be agreed on by the Honors Project Sponsor. Students often register for their Honors Project coursework only in their graduating semester. However, while it is possible to complete the project in one semester, the scope of the project should be substantial and students often require two or more semesters to actually complete their research and document their results for their Honors Project Report.
How long should the written report be and what format should I use? The format of an Honors Project Report is determined by the student's individual department. Please refer to the individual department guidelines or contact your Honors Faculty Advisor for specific information. Likewise, the report must be approved by the Honors Project Sponsor, Readers, and the Honors Faculty Advisor. The quality of the research described within the report is the determining factor regarding its acceptability, however reports are typically 30-40 pages in length.
Is there a minimum grade required for successfully completing the Honors Research Project requirement? Yes. Students must receive a grade of B or higher on their Honors Research project to successfully complete the requirement and graduate as a Williams Honors Scholar.
May I graduate without completing the project? Yes, but completion of the Honors Project is a requirement for graduating as a Williams Honors Scholar. If the project is not completed the student can petition to withdraw from the Honors College and will still graduate from their degree program, provided that the Honors Project is not part of the degree requirements.
What if I don’t complete my project by the deadline? The Honors Project must be submitted to the Honors College by the deadline to satisfy the requirements of graduation from The Williams Honors College. If a student cannot meet the deadline they must contact the Honors College prior to discuss alternatives.
For questions, comments, and/or suggestions please contact:
Dr. D. Dane Quinn Sr. Research Fellow, Williams Honors College The University of Akron Akron, OH 44325–1803 330-972-8407 firstname.lastname@example.org