Research and Opportunities
Honors Thesis Research
All students in the Honors Program are required to conduct independent, scholarly research in their major field of study. They present their work in the form of an oral presentation to colleagues and faculty mentors (Senior Thesis Seminar and Creative Collaborations), and as a written thesis that demonstrates 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 are encouraged to enroll in either an independent study/research course or the senior project course associated with their field of study. This ensures that students make significant progress on their thesis research before enrolling in the Senior Thesis Seminar.
Often, the full extent of the thesis 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. 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 do these research grants improve the quality of student research, but they also look great on applications to graduate schools, professional schools, or jobs.
National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC)
Every fall, we select a group of USD Honors students to attend the NCHC Conference. This annual conference invites Honors Program faculty, students, and staff from colleges and universities across the country to participate in various workshops and interactive presentations. Students are encouraged to share ideas and network with honors professionals. They deliver a presentation about USD's Program, and they learn about different ways to improve our honors teaching, learning, and administration.