Jesup Scott Honors College

Honors Thesis/Capstone/Creative Achievement

Honors ResearchThe Honors thesis, capstone, or creative achievement is the culmination of an Honors student's journey of personal, intellectual, and professional growth. As such, it is a requirement to earn College Honors and the JSHC medallion at graduation. The skills, organization, discipline, and insight necessary for a sustained research project prepare you for career success and to be a contributing member of society. Its completion additionally reflects mastery over your discipline and familiarity with the tools, standards, and methods employed by scholars and practitioners in your field. This formative work thus anchors your Honors experience in your major and connects you closely with a faculty specialist of your choosing as a project mentor. Establishing this relationship comes at an advantageous time as you begin the transition into your chosen profession. Producing a thesis, capstone, or creative achievement also powerfully illustrates your talents and capacity for responsibility as well as self-motivation when applying for a job or a graduate program.

This page offers an overview of this process. It walks you through identifying a research topic, selecting a faculty mentor, developing a timeframe for the project's completion, scheduling any associated course(s), observing guidelines for the project, and submitting it.

File a Project Proposal | Review Current & Draft Submissions

What Is Involved?

You may work on the thesis, capstone, or creative achievement for one semester or a few - usually as your undergraduate career nears its end. Some majors require you to take a specific class or a slate of them associated with the undertaking while other programs stipulate when the underlying research should be completed, all of which helps determine the project's timeframe. Every Honors student must identify a faculty mentor for the project. This faculty member should be in the department hosting your major and be a full-time employee of The University of Toledo. After identifying the mentor and that person agrees to serve in that role, you will file a proposal for the project (do so no later than by the end of the second week of classes in the semester when you are graduating, but the proposal should be filed ideally right before you begin work on the project).

Ideally the proposal will be approved by your mentor, your College Honors Director, and JSHC leadership before you begin your research. It is best to first ensure your approvers won't suggest any changes to your proposed research before you spend significant time conducting it. These approvals will be secured electronically via the automated submission system - as will the approvals of the finished work when you are ready to submit that to the same place. Once your approved research is finished, you will be able to start working on the written or creative portion of the project. It is also acceptable to begin while your research is underway. Those pursuing a creative achievement will instead of writing a paper submit the work in a different medium (e.g., a video file of a movie or a recording of a theatrical or musical performance) to the same system. Submission of this document/file is due by the end of the final week of classes before exams begin in the semester when you are graduating.

What Should I Do My Research on?

Although this question is best posed to your faculty mentor (or any professor in your field) or your College Honors Director, here is some general guidance to get you started. An Honors thesis, capstone, or creative achievement should aim for the scope and depth of a graduate-level research project in your field. You have much flexibility in choosing the topic and the goals of your work, but it will ideally achieve knowledge or an outcome that is relevant to current research in your discipline or responds to the needs of a community. It should achieve something of value and meaning to you but to others as well. Do not select a project that cannot be completed in the time you have left before graduating, but also take care to choose something that can consume at least a semester's worth of focus and labor. It is also helpful to pick a topic that prepares you for your intended career or graduate school and aligns sufficiently with the research interests of an available faculty mentor.

Who Should Be My Faculty Mentor?

You ultimately get to decide! The mentor should be a full-time faculty employee at UToledo (and not a part-time / adjunct instructor or graduate student) in your major department. If you would like to have a faculty member outside of your major/degree-granting college or UToledo serve as your mentor, you must receive permission first from your College Honors Director to do so. Your mentor's research interests should align (at least somewhat) with those of the project. You might begin your search informally as soon as you start taking major classes with your faculty, getting a sense for who among them eagerly supports undergraduate research and has the time as well as bandwidth to do so. Considering how closely you will work with your mentor, you may want to take into account how the person's personality and working style would mesh with yours. It is also important to find a mentor who is readily accessible for questions and guidance. Your College Honors Director or department may be able to suggest a mentor to you if you need assistance.

Are There Requirements for Writing the Thesis/Capstone?

The length, formatting, citation style, and tone appropriate for a thesis/capstone document summarizing the assumptions, aims, methodologies, and findings of your research will be informed by the expectations of your department and degree-granting college. Beyond including a cover page at the beginning of your thesis or capstone document, the JSHC does not have any universal set of requirements applicable to the diversity of disciplines pursued by UToledo Honors students. Consult your faculty mentor, department Honors advisor (where available), and College Honors Director for guidance on these points. Even though pursuing a creative achievement will not entail producing a written document, its expectations will similarly be set by your department and degree-granting college.

What Is the Timeframe for Its Completion?

Submission of the thesis/capstone document or creative achievement to the system linked atop this page is due by the end of the final week of classes before exams begin in the semester when you are graduating. This will allow your approvers enough time to review your work. However, you can complete the project as early into your undergraduate career as you would like - barring any related restrictions imposed by your department (LINK). The proposal for the project is due no later than by the end of the second week of classes in the semester when you are graduating, though some departments require an earlier submission. Ideally, the proposal should be filed right before you begin work on the project - in whatever semester that work is to occur. You can similarly submit your proposal for approval as early as you'd like. We recommend starting your research only after the proposal is fully approved. While it is possible in many programs to complete the proposal, research, and overall project in one semester, many students will take at least two to do so. This often occurs during your last undergraduate year, but sometimes happens earlier or ultimately occupies you for more than a year. The JSHC recommends as a set of general guideposts using your freshman year to become familiar with your major and college life before beginning to consider a faculty mentor in the sophomore year. The junior year then might see selection of a mentor and the beginning of the research while the senior year is usually when you complete and submit the work.

Will I Need to Take a Course for This?

Many programs and degree-granting colleges do have a specified course (or a sequence of them) that allow you to earn Honors credits as you conduct your research or as you produce your thesis, capstone, or creative achievement. These courses are sometimes optional but are often required by your major or degree-granting college to earn the Honors medallion. To see if your program of study has any expectations in this regard and to determine which course(s) you should take and when, head HERE. The instructor of this course is often the same person as your faculty mentor - but not necessarily. Completion of this project is often built into the requirements to earn "departmental Honors" for programs that offer that recognition (which in turn is a necessary condition for earning College Honors). However, only JSHC students set to earn College Honors should submit anything to the system linked at the top of this page.

Should I Present My Research?

A few programs require a public presentation of your research at a department symposium or through a poster display. Head HERE to see if such expectations exist for your major. Other programs may provide opportunities for sharing your research but don't mandate that you do so.

How Do I Submit the Project?

Submission of the thesis, capstone, or creative achievement happens through the online system linked on this page. The submission process will happen in two stages - the proposal phase and the finalized project phase. Both phases will be managed by the same online form. Only once the proposal is submitted and endorsed by all approvers - your faculty mentor, your College Honors Director, and JSHC leadership - will you be able to upload the finalized project as an attachment to that form. Make sure to include the appropriate cover page (thesis or capstone) in your file and to complete both stages by the applicable deadlines. You will be notified by e-mail when the system receives your submissions, when each approver reviews them, and when you are able to upload your finalized project. You can access or review the status of your submission at any time here. The system will automatically manage soliciting these approvals through e-mail and recording them on the form. Because of this, there is no need to submit print copies of any documents to the JSHC, to obtain physical signatures on anything, or to e-mail the Honors College an electronic copy of the project. Your degree-granting college or department, however, may still ask such things of you. Please note - your proposal and uploaded project will not be submitted until you electronically sign the form (during both phases) on its last page by typing in your name and clicking the "Sign Electronically" button.

What Do Engineering Students Submit?

All Engineering students besides those in Chemical Engineering will traditionally submit their Senior Design Project as their Honors thesis or capstone (Chemical Engineers must complete a separate Honors thesis in CHEE 4960 beyond the Senior Design Project). As such, the majority of Engineering majors to earn College Honors must submit a proposal for the Senior Design Project and the written report generated upon its conclusion using the system linked above according to the applicable deadlines. When Honors Engineering students are on Senior Design teams together, each one should submit their own proposal and final report under a separate cover page individually (thesis or capstone).

How Do You Submit a Creative Achievement?

Students undertaking a creative achievement instead of a traditional written thesis or capstone will submit their finished video recording, artwork, or audio recording to the same system detailed above. Please contact the Honors College at before its final submission to coordinate the upload of your file there.


Although knowledge is valuable for its own sake, we realize its true power only when we share our insight and inspiration with others. Doing so allows us to collaborate and adequately tackle the medical, socioeconomic, artistic, and technological challenges that face us as a society. The Honors College encourages you to share the fruits of your intellectual labor by publishing your thesis, capstone, or creative achievement when possible to OhioLINK. To do so, log-on to its Electronic Theses and Dissertation Center after registering an account as a student submitter. Then, upload your project as a PDF (where possible). Before doing so, please verify that you have the approval of your faculty mentor so as to prevent the sharing of any sensitive research of theirs.

Last Updated: 7/16/24