To graduate with the designation of “SAS Honors Scholar” an SAS Honors Program student must complete a set of requirements, one of which is the Capstone. The Capstone Requirement is satisfied by completing a senior honors thesis through either Departmental Honors within the major department or the SAS Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis (see Options A and B, below).
Work completed to satisfy the Capstone Requirement must total a minimum of 6 credits (3 credits per semester), and must involve a substantial, sustained, and original writing/research component; in all cases, an approved faculty advisor is required.
Students are encouraged to begin thinking about plans for the Capstone no later than spring of the Junior year. A good preparation for the Capstone is Introduction to the Thesis, a 1-credit course (01:090:391, 392). This course can be taken in either semester of the Junior year.
As noted above, there are two options for completion of the SAS Honors Program Capstone Requirement.
Option A: Departmental Honors Program/Thesis
Most departments have a departmental honors program for outstanding students in their majors, and in most cases, those programs require a senior thesis of some kind. To learn about the requirements of the departmental honors program in your major, visit the website of your major department. For a list of all academic departments, go to nbpweb.rutgers.edu.
Note: the departmental honors programs of some departments – e.g., Computer Science, Economics– offer variations on a standard thesis that are important to understand; please review the information on those department websites, and then contact your Honors Program dean for further discussion.
Option B: Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis
The Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis is a two-semester research project, 3 credits each semester, which results in a written thesis and an oral defense before a faculty committee. Students must submit an application for approval.
Upon approval of the application, a student completing an Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis will enroll in 01:090:495-496, Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis, and must also enroll in either an appropriate department-based 1-credit thesis support course for each semester, or in 01:090:491-492, Research Workshop.
An Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis/Research is the option for students who:
- are interested in a topic that spans more than one academic discipline (students may be double majors), or
- want to complete a research project in a field other than the major, or
- are in a major that does not have a departmental honors program.
Funding is available in support of research. All applications for research funds are submitted to the Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates.
Please note that all SAS students who are completing a department-based honors thesis or an SAS Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis will be designated as SAS Paul Robeson Scholars. SAS Paul Robeson Scholars will be eligible for extended library borrowing privileges and for nomination for consideration for a Henry Rutgers Thesis Award.