Honors Interdisciplinary Thesis


The Honors Interdisciplinary Thesis (HIT), a possible culmination of the Honors Program’s emphasis on interdisciplinary education, offers students the opportunity to express their intellectual agility in ways that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. Under the mentorship of faculty from at least two distinct disciplines, the HIT is a work of scholarship that integrates and applies bodies of knowledge accumulated in two or more disciplines; or combines disciplinary expertise with the mastery of an artistic skill for the purposes of creating an original creative work.

The HIT is a one-semester, four-credit independent work (HONR 4997), which may culminate in either of the following:

  1. A written interdisciplinary thesis based on a well-defined research question, extensive original research and data analysis, sound critical argument supported by empirical evidence and relevant expertise in at least two different academic disciplines (as shown through major/minor specialization, coursework, previous research experience, etc.)

Examples of interdisciplinary theses that might qualify for an HIT include:

    • Analyzing the interplay between politics and arts in the creation of a public monument
    • Creating a business plan for a non-profit organization in the realm of K-12 education
    • Studying perceived empathy in human-robot interaction
  1. A creative interdisciplinary work that, in addition to drawing on one or more academic disciplines in which the student possesses relevant background (as evidenced through major/minor specialization, coursework, previous research experience, etc.), also involves the mastery of a specific artistic skill.

Examples of interdisciplinary creative works that might qualify for an HIT include:

    • Writing a short historical novel (or set of linked historical short stories) involving a significant in-depth research into a particular time period;
    • Scripting and producing a video for marketing purposes;
    • Building a fully dynamic and interactive 3-D neuron model for use as a teaching tool in high school and undergraduate science and neuroscience courses.

Funding is available, on an competitive basis, through the University Honors Program to support student work on an Honors Interdisciplinary Thesis.