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Student presenting at senior colloquium

Completing an honors thesis requires careful planning and pacing.

Junior Winter

  • Enroll in URBANST 202 (“Preparation for Senior Research”) (you should take it in your sophomore year if you plan to be off-campus in winter quarter of your junior year). 
  • Define a viable thesis topic (you will work on this in URBANST 202) and consult with possible faculty members who might serve as your thesis adviser.

Junior Spring

  • Take a course covering the kinds of research methods that you expect to use in your honors research, such as SOC 180B or ANTHRO 93B.  See a fuller list of skills courses here; consult your adviser for guidance.
  • Apply for a major grant from Undergraduate Advising and Research.  Applications are typically due late in winter quarter.  More on research funding here.
  • Consider applying to the Public Service Scholars Program at the Haas Center for Public Service.  Applications are typically due in mid-spring quarter. 
  • If your research involves human subjects, you must file a protocol with the Institutional Review Board and have it approved before you begin your research.  Applications are reviewed once a month, so learn when you need to submit in order to be considered in the cycle that you desire.
  • By the last day of April in spring quarter, submit your proposal, including a one-page abstract and the signatures of your primary adviser and (where applicable) second reader, to the Director of the Urban Studies Honors Program for approval.

Summer

  • Conduct your research.  The more research you do over the summer, the more you can concentrate on writing once you get back to campus.
  • Consider attending the Bing Summer Honors College, which provides honors students free room and board, and the opportunity to focus on their theses for three weeks in September before the start of senior year. 

Senior Autumn

  • Enroll in URBANST 203, Senior Seminar.  If you are writing an honors thesis, your final paper for this class should be a chapter of your thesis.
  • If you are participating in the Public Service Scholars program, enroll in URBANST 198 for 3 units.  However, these units do NOT count toward the 70 units required for the Urban Studies major.
  • Meet regularly with your thesis adviser and, if applicable, your second reader.  You and your adviser(s) should determine the requirements for satisfactory progress toward completion of the project or thesis, and together you should establish a timeline for completing a draft by the end of winter quarter.
  • Complete all core and electives for the Urban Studies major as early in your senior years as possible.  These courses will give you the background for completing your thesis. 
  • Consider presenting your work at the Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Public Service (SURPS), held alumni weekend.
  • Notify the registrar of your intention to graduate with honors via Axess.

Senior Winter

  • Enroll in URBANST 199 (“Senior Honors Thesis”) with your thesis adviser.  You may enroll for as few as 5 or as many as 10 units, spread out as you wish between winter and spring.  We generally recommend 5 units each quarter, as a thesis should be at least as much work as a course.  Please note, however, that these units do NOT count toward the 70 required for the Urban Studies major.
  • If you are participating in the Public Service Scholars program, enroll in URBANST 198 for 3 units.  See above regarding the units for this course.
  • Continue to meet regularly with your faculty adviser and, if applicable, your second reader.
  • Submit a first draft of your complete thesis to your adviser (and if applicable, your second reader) by the end of winter quarter so that you will have sufficient time to make revisions in spring quarter.

Senior Spring

  • Enroll in URBANST 199 (“Senior Honors Thesis”) with your thesis adviser.  See above regarding the units for this course.
  • If you are participating in the Public Service Scholars program, enroll in URBANST 198 for 1 unit.  See above regarding the units for this course.
  • Check that you are registered to graduate with honors on Axess.
  • Submit four bound copies of your thesis to the Urban Studies Program office by 12 noon on the Monday 2 weeks before Memorial Day.
  • Attend and present your research at the Senior Honors Colloquium, held the Thursday of end-quarter period.