Research and Opportunities
The curriculum of the Honors Program is centered on core-curriculum classes that challenge the student beyond regular courses, interdisciplinary team-taught classes to exhibit the interrelatedness of all fields, and independent scholarly work by the students. All students who complete the Honors Program are required to conduct scholarly activity in their major field of study and present their work in the forms of an oral presentation to their colleagues and faculty mentors, and as a written thesis that demonstrates their mastery of the material.
The scholarly activity that constitutes an Honors Thesis is conducted in conjunction with a faculty member in the student’s major field of study, and the presentation of this work generally occurs in the last semester of the student’s career at USD. However, the basis for this capstone generally occurs in the semesters prior to the student thesis. Students must enroll in either an independent study/research course or the senior project course associated with their field of study. As part of this course, the student will be required to submit an Honors Thesis Contract, detailing the thesis project, goals, and timeline that will be submitted to the Honors Office. The student must complete this assignment prior to enrolling in HNRS 495, the Honors Thesis Course.
All students are strongly encouraged to start research prior to the beginning of their senior year. Often, the full extent of the project is not known until the student and mentor are actively involved in the project development. Getting approvals and/or funding for various projects can be time consuming and can potentially derail a thesis project. Students should make contact with their thesis mentors no later than the spring semester of their junior year. Starting projects earlier is strongly encouraged and generally yields higher quality work!
Research may be funded through Hinman Grants (offered every semester), Associated Students Research Grants (offered every semester), and Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Grants (deadline mid-February). Hinman Grants may be used to fund research or travel to conferences to present research results. AS Grants must be used during the semester in which the award is funded. SURE grants are used to fund summer work on campus.
The University of San Diego Honors Program invites all Honors Program students in their Junior or Senior year to apply for the Lawrence Hinman Honors Research Grant. The purpose of the grant is to support the growth and development of Honors research. These grants can be spent on research to develop the Honors Senior Thesis, to develop a presentation for a conference, or to travel to present at a conference. Not only will these research grants be important to help improve the quality of student research, but they will be important for those who want to show research success for application to graduate schools, professional schools, or jobs.