Senior Thesis Info

All students in the University Honors Program must complete a Senior Thesis as part of their Honors curriculum. A Senior Thesis is, broadly, a substantial work of independent scholarship that culminates in a written product, presentation, or performance. The Senior Thesis project can come in many different forms; this is your opportunity to get creative and explore an idea or topic that interests you. Additionally, your Senior Thesis must be supervised by a full-time GW faculty member.

What kind of topic should I explore?

Think about some of the classes you’ve taken thus far. Was there any topic that sparked your interest? Was there something you touched on but didn’t fully cover? Think about classes you’ve haven’t taken. What courses would you have liked to take? What kinds of material would they have explored?

Does the topic have to be in my major?

Not at all. You can do a thesis on Art History even if you’re a Business major, or a Philosophy thesis as an engineer. In fact, this might be a time to discover more about a topic that you’ve always thought about but would never otherwise explore. On the other hand, perhaps you are going into graduate school for English Literature and you want to have a solid product of work to submit as part of your application. Or perhaps you just want to dive more deeply into the topics you’re already familiar with!

Ok, so I have a topic. How do I find a faculty member to supervise me?

Keep in mind that only full-time GW faculty members can supervise your project. Think about professors that know your work or with whom you’ve already formed a relationship. Have you done research with a faculty member? Is there a faculty member that studies something similar to what you want to research? Is there a faculty member you’d like to get to know more?

If you don’t know the professor too well, you will need to think about how you plan on approaching them. Keep in mind that even faculty that you are close with are not required to be your advisor! If you have questions about how to approach faculty or who to pick, it may be helpful to reach out to the undergraduate program chair in that department, ask fellow students about their experiences, or talk to Brianna or Ben.

How early should I start talking to potential advisors?

Definitely start before the semester you plan to work on the thesis, but the earlier the better. If you can, get the conversation started a year in advance! It never hurts to start having these discussions early on as they may lead you to other paths. Maybe one professor isn’t available to help you—but they know of a colleague who is. Maybe your potential advisor can start narrowing down ideas with you. At the end of the day, the last thing you want is to be scrambling during the Spring of your Senior year to figure out all these details!

Alright, I have a topic and an advisor. What now?

Next on the docket is working on an Honors Contract so you can be registered for HONR 4198 (our Senior Thesis course). . The Contract is an agreement between you and your advisor on the nature of the thesis work, the meeting schedule, deadlines, etc. The course doesn’t have a pre-established meeting time or topic, so the Honors Contract serves as the syllabus. Once we receive the Honors Contract materials, Brianna and Ben will be able to add HONR 4198 to your schedule. Based on the nature of the work, you and your advisor will decide if the course should count as 3 or 4 credits.

I’m already doing a thesis for my major though…do I need to do that and HONR 4198?

Nope! We know that many majors already have a thesis built into the curriculum. As long as the course involves substantial work similar to a thesis, it will fill your Honors Thesis requirement. If you choose this path, you will need to fill out the Senior Thesis Verification form (see below). In this form, you will list the course serving as the replacement for the Honors Thesis and have your faculty advisor sign, agreeing that the course is equivalent to the Honors Thesis. The replacement course must be 3 or 4 credits. If you have any questions on which courses qualify as an Honors Thesis, please reach out to Brianna or Ben (emails below).

My major has Special Honors. Does that count?

In short: if your major(s)’ Special Honors requirements include a thesis, it counts. If not, it doesn’t. Either way, you’re welcome to still pursue it! If you’re not sure of the requirements for Special Honors in your major, we recommend you reach out to your major advisor or school advising center. Once you have more information, be sure to follow up with Brianna or Ben to ensure that your thesis will count (as discussed above).

How many pages should my thesis be?

We don’t require a set page count. A thesis performing quantitative research in Microbiology will likely be shorter than one doing qualitative analysis in Religious Studies, for example. See below for a guide to proposed requirements for various disciplines.

I don’t see my question. Who should I ask?

Program Managers, Brianna Crayton ( and Ben Faulkner ( are happy to help answer your questions on the Honors requirements. For questions on In regards to aspects of your research, for example, a faculty member would be most helpful.

For more on Honors Thesis options: Check out this info packet.

Click here for suggested requirements broken down by various disciplines.

Click here to access the Senior Thesis Verification and Honors Contract forms.

Social Media Spotlight: LinkedIn!

Fun facts: there are two UHP logos in this picture, not just one.

With this, dear UHPers, we have come to the final episode of our social media spotlight series: LinkedIn.

Yes, that’s right, the UHP is on LinkedIn.

For a couple years now, the UHP has had a dedicated LinkedIn group where students can get connected with fellow UHP alumni to network and learn more about different industries. Turns out, we’ve been around for a bit now as a program, and we’ve got all sorts of alumni in all sorts of industries!

Here are the main purposes of this group. We want to:

  1. Connect students with alumni
  2. Connect students with each other
  3. Connect alumni with each other
  4. Build virtual community through career-related posts.

One: This is pretty much self-explanatory. Join the group as a student, scroll through our member list, and connect with one of our alumni that you’d like to learn from. It’s a whole lot more likely that you’ll be able to successfully connect with someone via LinkedIn if you already have the commonality of both being UHPers!

Two: This might seem unconventional, but there’s a lot y’all can learn from one another! If you’re trying to intern for the Department of Justice, there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to find a student who’s currently interning there in our membership. That way, you can chat with them, learn about their experience, and try to see if it’s for you.

Three: That’s right, this isn’t all for students! After you graduate, you can still take advantage of this network and connect with other alumni of the program through this group.

Four: We don’t want this to just be a place for people to LinkedIn-stalk –  we want people to post interesting career-related articles and opportunities here, too! Have something you think the UHP community might be interested in? Don’t hesitate to post it!

Also, we’ll be steadily inviting more and more alumni as time goes on. If you don’t see an alum you’d want to reach out to when scrolling through the group members currently, check back periodically!

Check out the other posts in our social media spotlight series: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

A Hearth for the School-Weary: Townhouse Guide

A Sophomore student enters Gelman library. She’s looking for a place to sit comfortably and lay out her study materials. Floor 2? The computers are taken, the couches are taken, the study rooms are taken. She ascends the stairs to Floor 3 – no luck there either. After spending a half hour searching for a place to study, finally, a study room is open. She settles in, grateful to have finally found a place to study…only to be kicked out 10 minutes later.

Have you ever experienced this? I certainly did when I was a student here. But there is a solution, dear UHPers! The Honors Townhouse!

From 9am – 5pm on Mondays through Fridays, you can come in to the townhouse at 714 21st St NW and make use of our space! It has a lot of components though – so pay careful attention!

Part 1: The Club Room

The Club Room is the communal hub of the townhouse. It’s our most popular study space and where most of our events take place. It’s a great place to study, eat lunch, and just generally hang out (see below).

Pictured: Jared Bulla (CCAS ’20), Anna Peacher-Ryan (CCAS ’20), and the lunch of Patrice Narasimhan (ESIA ’20)

It’s also an excellent “home base” on Foggy Bottom for you Vern-folk! In the words of Trey (SEAS ’20), “When I was a Freshman, I was a Vernie…it was kind of my ‘home away from home.’ And now, again, that I live off campus, it’s true again.”

Jared, a student who spends nearly every day in the townhouse, makes a standing desk out of the Club Room podium.

Part 2: The Kitchen

It is in the kitchen that the true perks of being in the Honors Program come to fruition. If you don’t already know, there is a Keurig machine, a hot chocolate machine, and a water dispenser (with ice-cold, hot, and sparkling settings) to which all UHP students have free and unlimited access! The only requirement? Bring your own mug/water bottle. You can always fill up the mug and then sit around and study in the Club Room or basement!

Jason Rucker (CCAS ’22), fills his mug with coffee

Part 3: The Basement

Not everyone knows about the basement. It’s a unique sort of place. It’s very rare that we have events down there, so it’s almost always open when the townhouse is. It’s usually quiet, secluded, *and* it’s got two whiteboards with an avalanche of markers! Right now, the basement is sad and empty (see below). Fill it with your presence, dear UHPers! In order to access the basement, go down the stairs across from the kitchen, and go to the right!

Part 4: The Front Office

And finally we come to my domain: the front office. The front office isn’t fundamentally a communal space like the Club Room or the Basement, but you’ll often run into faculty, other students, and of course myself here! Feel free to drop by anytime to say hello – I love meeting new students!

More often than not though, the relevancy of this office is the candy and the food! We have a free candy jar that is usually full of goodies:


And also, we often have free food sitting around from after events! Pro tip: we announce when we have free food on Twitter and Facebook, so like us and follow us below!

Part 5: The Thoughts of the Community

And finally, for the thoughts of others within our UHP community:

“My favorite part about the townhouse is…besides the free Keurig drinks, it’s a welcoming and warm place to study and have good discussions, to see people from class that you wouldn’t otherwise hang out with.” – Anna Peacher-Ryan, CCAS ’20

“Coffee, food, a place to study. What more could you need?” – Bridget Carl, GWSPH/CCAS ’21

“I love the townhouse, it’s the place where everyone knows your name. I thoroughly enjoy the free coffee, and recently I’ve been also really enjoying the sparkling water. As a former La Croix addict, I really enjoy the sparkling aspect.” – Jason Rucker, SMPA ’22

“I love the water and snacks.” – Marshall Deng, CCAS ’21

“[The townhouse is] a locus of intellectual activity on this campus…I spend oodles of time here throughout my week. It’s a very productive place, both intellectually and in terms of my…work.” – Jared Bulla, CCAS ’20 (and also the one pictured several times throughout this post).

Also, enjoy these additional photos taken for the purpose of this spotlight, but that did not fit anywhere else:


Social Media Spotlight: Facebook!

This one took me far too long to do in Photoshop. Please admire my handiwork.

Ah, Facebook. Ol’ Faithful. The land of parents, baby photos, extended family members you’ve talked to once, and acquaintances from middle school that you wouldn’t say hello to now if you passed on the street.

The UHP Facebook page is an active place – a hub of free food notifications, event announcements, and program announcements. It is probably the best place other than the blog and the NewsFlash to find information about upcoming events and deadlines for the program.

There’s nothing fancy about our Facebook page. It has no fun Insta stories managed by Peer Advisor Brittney, nor Weekly Wisdom Tweets from Peer Advisor Ryan. The UHP Facebook stands strong nevertheless, a bulwark of regularity in the chaos that surrounds us. It has weathered many a storm, lived through many an SA scandal, seen Honors Advisors and Program Coordinators come and go. It has survived them all.

So, if you have a Facebook and haven’t already, come on over and give us a like. Let your timeline, filled as it is with videos of obscure stand-up comedy and endless political arguing between people you’re not sure you’ve ever even met, be dotted with the delights of the UHP. Find us here:

Social Media Spotlight: The UHP Instagram!

The following is the first of our Social Media Spotlight series. We’re doing a bunch of new things with social media this semester, and we’re really excited to share it all with you! Stay tuned for info on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook!

Instagram: an endless field of photos, the land of strange filters and stranger captions, Selfie Sundays and Throwback Thursdays, and for the last year and a half, the GW UHP. But we’ve got some new things going there – hence this blog post!

Those of you who follow us may have noticed that we’ve started posting more Instagram Stories. You’ll be seeing more of those! Our Peer Advisors and Honors RAs will be doing regular stories to give you a glimpse into their glamorous, magical lives and answer your questions.

We also want to start featuring more of the UHP community out and about on our Instagram! So when you’re hanging out with other UHPers and take a picture, send it over to us! Peer Advisor Brittney is going to be managing a lot of the Instagram, so send your pictures to her at

Check out some of our recent Insta Content below!

That’s all for now folks – follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already!

Midterm Season Cometh: Mental Health and Study Resources

A dog flips through her textbook. She knows she will rock this exam, just like she knows you will rock yours.

It’s a classic college experience: you look at the syllabus to figure out what the homework is this week, and then you see…could it be? We have a midterm next week? But it’s September! How is this possible?! Is my college career about to come crashing down?

Let not your hearts be troubled, dear UHPers! GWU is chock-full of *free* resources to keep you mentally healthy and on top of your workload this season.

First and foremost: the Colonial Health Center offers free short-term counseling for students. This means that if you want support dealing with any kind of short-term mental health issue (midterm anxiety, personal grief, etc.), you can get that support through free sessions with licensed counselors at CHC. Even if you think you might be dealing with a long-term issue, you can get your process of care started in these free sessions, and the CHC will help connect you to a long-term care provider in the area.

Also, don’t feel like whatever trouble you’re having is too small to merit seeking help. As they say on their website: “no problem is too big or too small to address in counseling.” If you’re interested in accessing CHC care, you can find out more on their website.

The CHC also offers free self-help texts that you can find here. I highly recommend looking into these resources: they have tips for test anxiety, coping with stress, even getting good sleep!

Our beloved Gelman Library also offers some free workshops on how to study that can be found on their event calendar. Some upcoming examples include: “The Ultimate Note-Taking Workshop” on Thursday, October 10 and “Getting that A” on Thursday, October 17.

That’s all for now, friends. But I hope you take advantage of some of the resources here, and I wish you all a fantastic midterm season. You’re gonna do great!

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