Guided by a faculty mentor, qualified seniors may conduct an independent project leading
to a scholarly/artistic product. Successful review by a faculty committee leads to
Research Honors recognition at graduation.
Students wishing to pursue research honors will work with the Associate Provost's office and the chosen academic unit. Examples of honors projects from previous years
can be found under individual unit pages in Digital Commons. Each unit will have different criteria for projects - be sure to begin work with
a Project Advisor as soon as possible.
Students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, meet the first requirement for
qualifying for Research Honors. If you are interested in applying for Research Honors,
you must also have a 3.5 cumulative GPA in the field in which you want to pursue your research.
To check if you meet the second criteria, please access your Degree Evaluation Report
through myIWU. If you have questions on how to determine your cumulative GPA, please
contact Tameka Myers (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition, students must have completed six courses in the field in which they are pursuing their
Research Honors. To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in, or have completed
these six courses, by the application deadline.
Students are limited to one Research Honors project.
Declaration of Intent to Seek Honors
Eligible students are encouraged to begin exploratory work that may lead to a Research
Honors project in the spring of their junior year. Those students who decide to seek
Research Honors must declare their intent to do so before initiating their project,
or as soon thereafter as possible. The deadline for declaration of intent is October 1 of the senior year.
Declaration of intent is accomplished through completing and filing the Research Honors Record . This form is available through the office of the Associate Provost (Holmes Hall
211). Completion of the form involves identifying a Project Advisor and a Project
Hearing Committee, and submitting a proposal, including a “working title”, no more
than one page in length describing the nature of the project.
The student seeking Research Honors must secure the cooperation of a faculty advisor
in the field in which the research project is to be done. The advisor will be responsible
for evaluating and aiding in the direction of the proposed work, including any independent
study taken for credit in connection with the project. The advisor will also act as
convener of the student’s Honors Project Hearing Committee.
Honors Project Hearing Committee
In consultation with the Project Advisor, the candidate will identify a Honors Project
Hearing Committee composed of three faculty members in addition to the Project Advisor.
One of these faculty members must be from a field different from that in which the
work will be done. The faculty members appointed to the hearing committee must meet
with the approval of the candidate, and the candidate must obtain their consent to
participate. Approval and consent are indicated by each party initialing the Research Honors Record appropriately. Visiting faculty are eligible to serve as a member of the Hearing
Committee. Adjuncts may serve as members of the Hearing Committee with approval from
the Project Advisor.
Research Honors Content
The form of the Research Honors project will vary from discipline to discipline. As
a general rule, the research should be consistent with the kind of scholarly projects
undertaken by professionals within the field in which the project is to be done. The
best source of advice as to the appropriateness of the project would be the Project
Advisor and members of the Honors Project Hearing Committee.
A proposal describing the project must be submitted as an attachment to the Research Honors Record . The proposal should be one page or less. The proposal should include a working title for your project, and at least one paragraph describing the problem you will be pursuing in your project. Remember, you are only at the proposal stage.
Once begun, projects often develop and move in unanticipated directions. The proposal
is meant to demonstrate that you have already thought carefully about your Research
Honors project. It is not meant to unduly limit or constrain the actual project as
it unfolds. Once begun, however, changes in the direction or scope of your project
should be discussed with and approved by your Project Advisor.
Hearing Process and Decision
It is the candidate’s responsibility to set up the meeting with the Honors Project
Hearing Committee. The Project Advisor usually assists in these arrangements. Candidates
should pick up the previously completed and filed Research Honors Record from the Associate Provost’s office prior to the hearing, and bring it to the hearing
with them. Candidates for honors must present documentary results of their work to
their Hearing Committees at least one week prior to the agreed-upon date of the hearing.
Hearing Committees normally require a candidate to give an oral presentation in defense
of the project. This hearing must be completed no later than Friday of the last week in which classes
In a closed session following the hearing, the committee members shall consider the
merits of the completed project and any associated presentation, and decide by a majority
vote (3 to 1 is required for positive decision) whether or not to grant the designation
“Research Honors in (field).”
Decisions regarding Research Honors must be reached and a signed Research Honors Record submitted to the Associate Provost prior to 4:30 p.m. on Friday of the last week in
which classes are held. At this time a digital copy of the finalized honors paper or document should be submitted
to the Associate Provost for the University’s permanent records, and you will be
asked to sign a release so that your paper can be archived in the library.
Credit and Grades for Research Study
Students may receive credit and grades for work done in connection with projects submitted
for Research Honors consideration. This is done by registering for appropriate independent
study or independent project courses under the direction of the Project Advisor. The
Project Advisor alone is responsible for assigning grades for this work and decisions
regarding Honors shall not affect the grading process.