Skip to main content Skip to search

The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program

The mission of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program is to enhance education throughout Yeshiva College by providing an exceptionally broad, deep, rigorous education for our most talented students.

To fulfill those aims, we emphasize research, intensive writing, and sophisticated thinking: critical, analytic, quantitative, scientific, interdisciplinary, and creative.

Students who take honors courses commit themselves to hard work, a challenging search for understanding, and intellectual excellence.

Students who pursue the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program will experience especially rewarding interactions with faculty members through honors courses, individual mentoring, advanced work, and senior honors theses.

Upon graduation, honors students should feel confident that they can fulfill their potential through advanced training, lifelong learning, and leadership within their various communities.

For questions or further information on the Schottenstein Honors Program:

Dr. Eliezer Schnall, Director

Chad Hegelmeyer, Program Coordinator

Program Information


The mission of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program is to enhance the education of Yeshiva College undergraduates by encouraging talented students to undertake an exceptionally broad, deep, and challenging course of study. To fulfill this aim, the Honors Program emphasizes research, intensive writing, and sophisticated thinking. Students commit themselves to rigorous challenge, a search for understanding, and intellectual excellence. Those admitted to the Program will experience especially rewarding interactions with faculty members through unique coursework, individual mentoring, advanced study, and senior theses. 

Students apply simultaneously to the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program and for academic merit scholarships. (Students may also apply for need-based assistance.) To retain their scholarships, students must remain in good standing, which entails maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or higher; taking at least two honors courses in each academic year, for a total of six courses; and demonstrating progress toward an honors thesis, by enrolling in thesis preparation and writing courses (beyond the six required honors courses) no later than their final year of residence. Simultaneously, each student must maintain a comparable level of excellence in Torah studies. Overall, students must spend at least three full years and complete at least 94 credits in residence.

The culmination of the Honors Program is the thesis, in which a student, over the course of multiple semesters, develops an independent research project closely supervised by one or more faculty mentors. It is not uncommon for students to present the fruits of their research at both academic conferences and in published form in respected scholarly journals. Recommendations written for an honors student from administrators and faculty members are virtually guaranteed to be exceptionally strong, and the students' diplomas specifically confirm their graduation both from the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program and Yeshiva College. 

Faculty Honors Committee

The Honors Committee ensures the day-to-day success and determines the long-term direction of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program.

  • Prof. Irina Catrina
  • Prof. Maria Zaitseva
  • Prof. David Lavinsky
  • Prof. Matthew Incantalupo
  • Prof. Shalom Carmy

Student Honors Council

This council serves as the main liaison between Honors Program students and the Program Director.

  • Daniel Goldstein, President
  • Chaim Book, Vice President
  • Benjamin Jacob, Events Coordinator
  • Jacob Sundel, Communications Director


Spring 2023 Honors Program Courses

The curricular component of the Honors Program is distributed between the general education and the major: six required honors courses, typically in Core Curriculum areas, and the completion of a thesis, typically in the major field of study. Of the six required courses, two are completed in the students' first year of residence: a first-year-only, honors section of a Core Curriculum class in the fall term and Honors First-Year Writing (FYWH) in the spring. For the remaining four courses, students may choose from the variety of Honors sections of Core Curriculum courses, including HEB, JHI and BIB, offered every term. Students qualified to enroll in graduate-level courses may count these, too. 

Non-Honors students interested in taking an Honors course should complete the requisite Permission for Honors Course form and obtain the signature of the course instructor and approval of the director of the Honors Program. Forms should then be submitted to the Yeshiva College Dean's Office for the director's approval. Students will be informed by e-mail of the status of their request in a timely manner. NOTE: Successful completion of this process does not guarantee enrollment in a course that is already closed. 



●   Students should generally enroll in at least one honors course per semester so as to fulfill the required 6 honors courses.

●   Graduate courses, such as those at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, count as honors courses.

●   It is not recommended to take more than two honors courses per semester.

● Students intending to graduate in June 2023: Should already have registered for Thesis Proposal and should submit the Proposal by the end of the current semester. You should then register for Thesis coursework credits for Spring (HON 4981H). Please email the Director to arrange registration for thesis coursework credits for Spring.

Students intending to graduate in January 2024: Should be planning to write their thesis and must enroll in the 1 credit thesis proposal course for the Spring (HON 4977H).

Students intending to graduate in June 2024: Should be on the lookout this semester for thesis topics/advisers as they take classes.


Honors Courses

Please also see the Registrar’s website, which is updated in case of time or other changes.


ART 1633H Language of Architecture

Prof. Paul Glassman

T 6:45-9:30


Learn about building systems from ancient Egypt to post-modern Paris.  Compare buildings from different eras and from different cultures.  The result will be the basis for an architectural vocabulary and a greater consciousness of the built environment.   You will explore the elements of architecture from domes to space frames, from open-air ventilation to full climate control, and from stone load-bearing walls to light-weight glass curtain walls.  Examine not only work of the masters of the discipline, but also architecture without architects.  This introductory course will include lectures, discussion, presentations by class members, and numerous on-site visits.


BIB 1200H Early Jewish Biblical Interpretation

Professor Moshe Bernstein

MW 3:00-4:15


A survey of the development of Jewish biblical interpretation from its earliest representation in the late books of the Bible through its varied manifestations during the Second Temple and rabbinic periods. The course will introduce the major works as well as the significant methods and forms of interpretation originating in this period.


Among the topics which may be discussed are: interpretation: the theoretical framework; biblical interpretation in the Bible; biblical text vs. biblical interpretation; Erez Yisrael vs. Diaspora biblical interpretation; rabbinic and non-rabbinic legal exegesis; biblical interpretation in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; biblical interpretation in the Dead Sea Scrolls; Josephus and Philo as biblical interpreters; commentary before the development of the commentary form; comparative issues in ancient and medieval biblical interpretation.


BIO 3230H Immunology

Prof. Rad Maitra

M 6:45-8:25pm, W Lab 6:45-10:05pm


In this course we will get an overview of the immune system as intended to introduce you to the complex

yet fascinating subject of immunology. We will learn in detail the functions of the immune system

beginning with its cellular components, followed by a description of the molecular structure of the

immune molecules and understand the process of activation of the cellular and molecular components

of the immune apparatus required to generate a response. We will integrate the response mechanism

in correlation to the innate (early) and adaptive (late) immunity. Next, we will learn about cytokines, the

soluble mediators that regulate immune responses and play a significant role immune cell maturation

and differentiation. Finally, we will evaluate the mechanism involved in allergic reaction, organ

transplantation, graft versus host diseases and the necessity of immune suppression during foreign

object implantation.

We would then focus on the spectrum of microorganisms that challenge the immune system with

special emphasis on how immune responses are mounted in a vigilant, orchestrated fashion to protect

the host from infectious diseases with a discussion of immune-prophylaxis use of vaccines that protect

us from a variety of pathogenic organism. We would learn in-depth the mechanism of HIV infection, the

process entailing the development of full-blown AIDS and evaluate the clinical consequences of

resistance development with emphasis to epidemiology. This year we would add to our knowledge the

immunological deficits that allowed Covid 19 to rampage the entire world population and how new class

of nucleic acid (RNA/DNA) vaccines were developed in a short window of 7 months. We will evaluate

why boosters are needed and follow the span of immunological memory for Covid 19.



CHE-1377H Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Prof. Irina Catrina

TR 3:00-4:15


In CHE-1377H students will use the previously learned Biochemistry principles to study metabolic pathways and synthesis and metabolism of biomolecules. Students should be familiar with the molecular properties for biological macromolecules (nucleic acids, proteins, and carbohydrates) and lipids; understand the relationship between structure and function of biomolecules; demonstrate knowledge of enzyme catalysis and reactions that make up metabolic pathways.

COM 4580H Cybersecurity

Professor Wymore

MW 3:00-4:15


This course gives an in-depth survey of the ever-changing front lines of the battle to secure computer-based information, along with a chance to experiment with offensive and defensive security techniques in a laboratory situation.  This course includes both in-person and online components.


Specific Objectives:


Cybersecurity is a competitive game for high stakes waged between offensive and defensive forces.  Neither offense nor defense can claim a high moral ground – it all depends on who is paying the bills and for what effect.  The goal of this course is help students understand

•           how various attacks work,

•           what their fundamental causes are,

•           how to defend against them, and

•           how various defense mechanisms work.


Based on such understanding, students will be prepared to

•           evaluate the risks faced by computer and network systems,

•           detect common vulnerabilities in software,

•           use proper methods to protect systems and networks, and

•           design and implement software systems and applications that are (more) secure against attacks.


ENG 1005H Parisian Views

Professor Rachel Mesch

TR 4:30-5:45 PM


This course will consider the ways that nineteenth-century Paris inspired artistic creation through its cultivation of a variety of new ways of seeing, which led in turn to new forms of entertainment. The artistic products of this imaginative time were in many ways responsible for contemporary mass culture and our lingering fascination with the real. To explore this fascinating history to our own cultural tastes, we will employ a host of colorful characters as tour guides: from Balzac’s young student, who abandons legal studies for a Parisian education of another sort, to Baudelaire’s flâneur, who invented a whole new way of wandering the city, to Zola’s naïve young woman cruising the newly invented department store, to Colette’s writer-turned music hall dancer, facing the city on her own terms.


But we will not limit ourselves to the strictly literary: in addition to reading novels and poetry, we will consider the overlapping ways through which painting, art criticism, photography, early cinema, architecture and various kinds of public exhibits addressed the feelings of excitement and anxiety around the new points of contact that the modern French city offered. Juxtaposing poems and novels with paintings and early photography, we will compare the different idioms through which these art forms attempted to respond to a shared set of questions. As we consider the panoply of new desires and fascinations for which Paris itself seemed wholly responsible, we will also not fail to notice the deep and lasting impact of those practices on our current modes of entertainment -- from cinema to celebrity culture to reality TV.


HIS 2503H New World Encounters

Professor Ronnie Perelis

MW 3:00-4:15


The arrival of Columbus’ caravels to the Caribbean islands of Guanahaní, Haiti and Cuba in the Fall of 1492 forever changed the course of world history. There could be no turning back for either the Europeans or the Americans. This course examines the nature of that encounter –beginning with Columbus and following it through the first 150 years of European exploration, conquest and colonization of the Americas. How did European travel writers make sense of the “New World”? How did they relate to the people that inhabited the “West Indies”? Where can we find the voices of the Native Americans? How did the encounter transform the Europeans and the Native Americans? What challenges do we as modern, western readers face when we attempt to understand the Columbine encounter?


We will pay particular attention to the ways that the Americas and the Americans are imagined, at the same time we will investigate the self-fashioning of the “Imaginers”; how does writing about others impact the self-understanding and self-presentation of the writer/observer?


We will focus on several Spanish narratives of the discovery and conquest of the Americas. In addition, we will consider the deceptions, distortions and illuminations offered by film. Shakespeare’s The Tempest will serve as a dramatic epilogue.



JHI 1465H History of NYC's Jews

Professor Jeffrey S. Gurock

F 9:30am-12pm


This course’s initial objective is to examine the history of the Jews of New York from their first meager numbers in the 17th century to, and through, its emergence by the late 19th century as the largest Jewish community in the world. The collateral objectives are to examine how New York’s Jewish history fits into the larger saga of the metropolis and compares with experiences of Jews elsewhere in America and the world during these three and a half centuries. In each stop along the way, while learning much about the metropolitan Jewish experience, we will examine if and why New York Jewish history was different from that of other Jewish communities while examining fully how events that took place elsewhere impacted upon this “local” Jewish experience. We will also frequently examine how N.Y. Jews lived with, among, and against, other ethnic and racial groups in this diversified city. One highlight of the class is a walking tour of Jewish Harlem and a visit to the South Bronx.




JTP/POL 5498 Zionist Political Thought* *(Graduate course open to juniors and seniors)

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Professor Neil Rogachevsky

F 10-12:30


This course aims to illustrate how Israel today can be best understood by an in-depth study of the history of Zionist debates, and of the original writings of those who partook in them. Over the semester, we will analyze ten arguments that have historically defined Zionism and that continue to shape it today


JTP 1362 Maimonides and His Enemies

Prof. Dov Lerner

TR 4:30-5:45


Perhaps the greatest Jewish mind of the medieval period, Maimonides fought on many fronts. He fought for both his life and his conception of the good and the right--leaving an inimitable literary legacy in his monumental works of codification, philosophy, and exegesis. We will explore the encounter of his ideas with the thought of those who fought most fervently against them--both in his time and beyond.


JTP 1465 Rav Kook

Prof. Shalom Carmy

MW 4:30-5:45


Our task is the study of R. Kook's texts and their intellectual and literary background. We will try to divide the time between R. Kook's views of history and nationality, ethics and religion (using his letters and sections of Orot haKodesh); theory of knowledge (using various essays and Orot haKodesh). There will be an emphasis on mastering R. Kook's writing and learning to read him microscopically. We will also look at some of the (ab)uses to which R. Kook's writing has been subjected.


 Tentative Writing: a) 2-4 short papers on assigned texts; one will probably be on עין איה ; b) 8-10 page paper on any aspect of R. Kook or religious Zionism or other pertinent topic. 


JTP 4931 Nature of God

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Professor David Johnson

Th 6:30-9:00


In this Honors seminar we will examine traditional Judaism’s understanding of the nature and attributes of God. Utilizing Maimonides, Nahmanides, Judah Halevi, and modern Jewish thinkers such as Michael Wyschogrod and Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, we will ponder the Bible’s and Talmud’s description is the nature of God’s perfection, the nature of His omniscience, the nature of His omnipresence, and most importantly the nature of His love.


MUS 4930H The Late Style

Prof. Beliavsky and Prof. Sugarman

TR 6:45-8:00


As listeners and readers, we yearn to understand the works of art that help define our worldview. We pose and explore the fundamental questions: do great artists develop linearly, evolving continuously from earliest works through a middle period and ultimately to a late period? Or, does the creative impulse operate multi-dimensionally, searching for outlets in nuanced ways where artistic temperaments intersect with the cultural milieu?


Starting with the final study of the great polymath critic, Edward Said, this course will examine the late musical works of Bach, Beethoven, and Stravinsky and the final literary works of Shakespeare, Melville, and Conrad. The overarching concern is to determine if there is a definable unity in these ultimate works or if these late styles constitute fragmented elements. As Edward Said wrote in support of a Late Style, it is a moment when artists, who are fully in command of their medium, nevertheless abandon communication with the established social order of which they are a part and achieve a contradictory, alienated relationship with it. The late works, accordingly, are a form of exile from their milieu.



FTOC: First year students must register for Honors First Year Writing


Good writing is more than just an introduction, body, and conclusion. Writing is nothing if it doesn’t mean something, for the writer and for the reader. Good writing is intimate, and it is 

surprising. It reveals deep truths about the self, about one’s local and global communities, 

about one’s place and responsibilities therein. Good writing elucidates the human experience. Ideas are the foundation, but a strong piece of writing also has organization that is logical and effective, a voice that is individual and appropriate, word choice that is specific and memorable, sentence fluency that is smooth and expressive, and it follows writing conventions (punctuation, spelling, grammar, and mechanics) that are correct and communicative. All these elements have a symbiotic relationship and converge through a process that involves brainstorming and free writing, gathering and evaluating information, outlining, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading.  


Throughout this semester, we’ll be talking, reading, writing, and rewriting about a lot of things, including your transition to college, your expectations for what happens here, and why reading and writing matter - to you personally and within the wider world. We’ll be developing the writing skills you’ll need for the rest of your time on campus and exploring how writing can enrich many aspects of your life, in college and beyond. We’ll look to join larger conversations taking place at YU and across the country, while you work to articulate your ideas & questions with clarity, nuance, and relevance.  





Students Admitted to the Program

To remain in good standing, students must:

  • Take 6 Honors Courses, typically 1 per semester
  • Maintain GPA 3.5 or Higher
  • Complete Honors Thesis
  • Complete at least 94 on-campus credits

Current Yeshiva College Students Applying for Admissions

Students currently attending Yeshiva College who wish to apply to enter the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program must fill out an application form.

Criteria for admission:

  • A 3.7 GPA while at the college
  • Competent writing: the grade of A or A- in two courses in Composition or Literature
  • At least two strong recommendations from your college instructors.
  • In addition, it is advantageous to have achieved at least a 1400 on the SATs or a 32 on the ACTs.
  • Interest in completing the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program

Criteria for All Types of Honors Courses

As one goal of virtually all honors courses, regardless of field, the Honors Committee welcomes especially articulate communication and self-expression in person and in writing. In addition, to receive approval from the Committee, you must design your Honors Course to meet some of the following criteria:

  • Sophisticated, challenging thinking: critical, analytic, quantitative, scientific, interdisciplinary, and/or creative. 
  • Active employment of current discourse, methods, techniques, and theories in the relevant field or fields of inquiry. 
  • Critical investigation of primary as well as secondary sources. 
  • Independent learning with opportunities to exercise intellectual initiative. 
  • Pursuit of one or more research projects. 
  • Experiences that take advantage of the rich cultural, intellectual, institutional, and environmental resources of the New York area. 
  • Synthesis of discourse, knowledge, methods, theories and/or modes of thinking from two or more disciplines. 
  • Intensive writing and revision which facilitate growth as a thinker and as a writer, with publishable writing as an ultimate goal. 
  • Substantive participation by students in relevant professional activities such as a conference. 

The Senior Honors Thesis is the capstone project at the end of every Honors scholar’s Yeshiva College career. It is an opportunity to find mentorship from a favorite professor, investigate a pet interest with one-to-one guidance, and improve upon an academic resume. Thesis students will push their writing and analytical skills to their limits as they explore a question that matters to them in a meaningful, satisfying, and hopefully exciting way.  

A well-written and original thesis of high quality may substantially improve your chances for admission to the top graduate and professional programs around the country and abroad. Students who have completed theses have been successful in winning high academic honors: 50% of the valedictorians of Yeshiva College are graduates of the program, and honors students have garnered a disproportionate number of the graduation awards each year. They also have become very competitive in applying for the most prestigious fellowships: the winners of Rhodes, Goldwater, NSF Graduate Fellowships, and most of Wexner Fellowships have all been graduates of the program. These have been published as scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, chapters of books, or even books in their own right in the humanities and/or Jewish Studies.

The process of writing a thesis involves the following steps (described below)

The Thesis Writing Process
Steps Timeframe
Finding a Mentor Spring semester 3rd year
Drafting the Proposal Summer after your third year
Submitting the Proposal September 4th year
From Proposal to Thesis October-April 4th year
Thesis Submission May 4th year

This calendar is tentative and the specific circumstances of a student (field of research, post graduate plans), etc might require to move forward or backwards those deadlines, so please read the document carefully. 

For more information, please contact the Honors Program at

Finding a Mentor: Academic Matchmaking

Writing a thesis should grow organically out of your regular academic program.  Specifically, while you are taking classes or working in a lab, keep mental notes about ideas you would want to explore further or people whose work interests you.   As you think, consider who might mentor you through the process. To find a mentor, you can:

  1. Choose your mentor first, and find out what he or she is working on. Ask the potential mentor if you can join his or her research team by contributing to one aspect of his or her project. Working with the mentor, you can find a topic for your project that fits within the mentor’s research.
  2. Choose a topic, and then find a mentor willing to work with you. Consider the topics that interest you and will help you further your intellectual, academic, and career goals. Then find a professor who has both the expertise and the inclination to help you conduct the research that interests you.

It is quite acceptable to tell a professor that you are interested in doing research in his/her field of expertise, but that you do not have a specific project in mind. This will give him/her the opportunity to suggest several research possibilities for you to consider. You can begin researching who might be a suitable mentor here, via our faculty webpages.

The Honors Program can help you with ideas for professors whose interests match yours. If no appropriate professor is on the YC faculty, the Honors Program can help you find a professor at another college.

Drafting the Proposal: Getting Your Feet Wet

In its written form, the honors thesis proposal is the crucial first step for every student who aspires to complete this final requirement of the honors program. It sets forth in a concrete way the student’s commitment to write a thesis, the topic to be studied, and the faculty member who will serve as mentor. There is no “one form fits all” in the case of the honors thesis proposal nor is there a set length. However, every thesis proposal must have the following several elements:

  • Cover Sheet. This sheet should be filled out and signed by both the student and the mentor. The faculty mentor must indicate his/her approval of the proposal. You can find that document here.
  • A Working Title. While the title may be modified as time moves on, in its initial form, it should clearly indicate the topic and scope of the thesis.
  • The Thesis Statement. The thesis statement should discuss what it is the student wishes to accomplish in the thesis and/or the question(s) he wishes to answer. Depth of discussion is not the objective here, i.e. the proposal should, in summary fashion, go over previous scholarship, provide a sense of the methodology to be pursued, e.g. a thesis in the social sciences might employ a questionnaire if statistical analysis is the goal, and clarify how the thesis will contribute to the current state of research in any field of academic/intellectual endeavor.
  • Bibliography. Finally, the proposal should have a bibliography of primary and secondary sources appended which indicates that the student has investigated published books and articles relevant to the thesis topic. This bibliography should follow the citation format of the particular academic field of the thesis and thesis writers should familiarize themselves with such prior to submitting their proposal.

Submitting the Proposal and Other Paperwork: Conscientiousness Rewarded

Once your proposal is finished you will need to submit it to the Honors Program, along with any other relevant paperwork. Upon submission of the proposal, you will need the following paperwork:

  • Paperwork signup sheet
  • Finished proposal with expected bibliography

Once your proposal has been reviewed and accepted, the Honors director will sign you up for the remaining thesis courses. While HON 4978H must be worth 1 credit, you may choose how many HON 4980H is worth. You will usually take HON 4980H in your penultimate semester and 4981H in your final semester. These two courses should add up to a total of 4 credits. You may decide on the credit value for each class once your proposal is accepted.

This means that if you sign up HON 4980H for 2 credits in your penultimate semester, you will sign up HON 4981H for 2 credits in the final semester. If, on the other hand, you sign up HON 4980H for 1 credit in the penultimate semester, you will need to sign up HON 4981H for 3 credits in the final semester. Note that in some cases, it is possible to assign all 4 credits to HON 4981H in the final semester.

From Proposal to Thesis: Writing the Thesis

During the thesis writing process, you should meet regularly with your mentor. While there is no formal requirement, in general, a schedule of more regular meetings leads to steadier progress on the thesis. The mentor should help you to determine deadlines for individual pieces of the project. He or she should also guide you through the general aspects of thesis writing like time management, organization, introduction and conclusion writing, research documentation, revision and editing, and oral presentation.

Please note while you write what past graders have said about the thesis. When asked about the qualities of a successful thesis, they answered that a thesis should be an original, compelling, sustained argument, written effectively, lucidly, correctly and interestingly.

Thesis Submission: The Home Stretch

Theses must begin with a cover page and follow formatting guidelines available here. A signed publication consent form must accompany your submission. 

Once we receive your thesis, the evaluation process starts. Your thesis will have two different readers, each one of which will submit a review, and a grade for the work. One of them will be your thesis mentor, while the other will be designated by the program in consultation with you and your mentor. They might suggest some minor modifications. The final grade will be assigned by the program and it is arrived at by averaging the grades submitted by the readers. In the very unusual case of a discrepancy between the grades proposed by the two readers by more than a full letter grade, the program might request the opinion of a third reader.

There is a graduation dinner/luncheon to celebrate the achievement of the graduating honors students. It takes place at the end of the year usually the day before commencement so that parents and family members can attend, and students have the opportunity to give a short presentation of the highlights of their research.

The final version of the thesis is bound and kept in the honors library and also is stored electronically in the Yeshiva University Library. Since the electronic version is accessible from outside the University, students have to give a consent for this publication.

See past theses in the Honors Library, and the YU Library, and follow the link to see last year’s Honors Dinner Program with titles of all the theses.

Important FAQs

  • Does the thesis have to on a topic related to my major?
    For many students, the answer is yes. But, it is not unusual for a student to choose a topic from an academic field in which he is minoring, or one connected to some other interest of his, for example Jewish studies.
  • May I choose a mentor who is not a member of the YU faculty?
    Although most students find a mentor within the YU community, over the years some have chosen to work with someone from, for example, Columbia, NYU, Bar- Ilan University, and the University of Pittsburgh. You will need to identify who your external mentor is and get approval from the honors program before beginning your thesis research and writing. The honors program will be in regular contact with the external mentor to make sure that the process goes smoothly and that we share the same expectations from the thesis. And, in many cases, it will designate an internal mentor as a liaison between the external mentor and the program.
  • May a collection of short stories, a novella, a portfolio of artwork, or the making of a film, for example, fulfill the requirements for completion of an honors thesis?
    Several recent thesis writers have submitted works of fiction, a photographic essay, or musical piece as part of the thesis, always under the mentorship of a faculty member, and as part of an academic project. We encourage these types of submissions, and can help explain the specific requirements.
  • May I begin my thesis work before the beginning of my fourth year on campus?
    By all means, we strongly encourage it. At the beginning of your third year on campus, you should start to think about possible topics and mentors.
  • By when must a thesis be submitted?
    Students should submit the thesis during the last week of classes, prior to reading week, in the semester in which they plan to graduate.
  • May I finish writing the thesis during the summer?
    If you are in no hurry to get your diploma in May, then you may continue your writing over the summer. If you wish to receive a September diploma, then your thesis should be completed and submitted by mid-August.

All forms below are PDFs.

Skip past mobile menu to footer