Research Opportunities for Honors Students

Honors Thesis Research

Honors thesis projects offer students the chance to focus on a particular topic of
interest, passion, or conviction. These projects may take the form of a scholarly paper,
original writing (plays, poems, short stories), artistic composition or design, science
experiment, a curricular module, or other project that meets academic standards for
originality in a student’s major discipline. Honors students conduct their thesis projects
with the guidance of a faculty member whom they select from within their major field of
study. Students present their work publicly at the biannual Honors Colloquium.
Please visit the  FAQ for current students to learn more about the Honors thesis. 
Examples of recent Honors Thesis titles include:

  • To Build A Space: A Reading of Bodies, Temporality, and Urban Colonization (Delaney Tax, Ethnic Studies)
  • Empathy, Interiority, and Narrative: My Participation in the Legacy of Fiction (Jordan Hagness, English)
  • Evaluating the Use of Appropriate Technology Principles in the Design of a Water Remediation Device for Use in Rural Uganda (Mechanical Engineering)
  • India’s Nuclear Energy Conundrum: An Assessment of the Country’s Energy Futures (Political Science)
  • Why Bother? A Philosophical and Historical Analysis of Motivation (Philosophy)
  • Diverse Community of Arsenic Resistant Bacteria Display Arsenic Reducing Capabilities (Biology)
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Sarbanes-Oxley and the Current Auditing Climate (Accounting)


Hinman Grants

The University of San Diego Honors Program invites all Honors Program students 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 serve to alert graduate schools, professional programs and employers about the quality of research work.
Applications are admitted on a rolling basis.

Go here to apply for the Lawrence Hinman Research Grant.


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.
Students who are selected to attend NCHC are those who actively participate in the
Honors Program beyond classwork (e.g., serve as an Honors student leader, attend and
organize Honors events), and who have indicated an interest in attending the