Honors Opportunities at DU

Guidelines for Distinction Projects Based on Work Outside the Major Department


Most honors theses and projects are produced under direct supervision of a faculty member in the student's major Department. Under special circumstances a student may wish to meet the thesis or project requirements with work that is performed outside their Department or between two departments. As examples, students may volunteer, work, or have an internship in a lab at the CU Health Sciences Center, or a community agency, or be involved in a project with a faculty member in a non-major department, including an interdisciplinary thesis. Interested students should talk with their academic, Distinction, or thesis advisor(s) to determine if the proposed work is appropriate. If a major Department approves, the University Honors Program will also approve such projects for completion of the 'Distinction in the major' requirement. For all these projects, the Departmental approval process should occur at an early stage.

To ensure that an experience meets University Honors expectations, the program requires that:

  • As with all projects, a faculty member in the student’s major department in which he or she is earning Distinction must agree to sponsor the proposed work and must verify that the finished product is of Honors quality.  (Forms are at http://www.du.edu/honors/curriculum-and-requirements/thesis.html)
  • When the thesis or project involves work outside the advisor’s immediate supervision, the faculty advisor nonetheless should have sufficient knowledge of the topic and the specific project to be responsible for the academic component of the work.  For example, the faculty should support the writing process to ensure that it meets departmental academic standards for Distinction, should assist the student in learning about background and methods in the field, should work with the student and the outside supervisor to ensure that the project stays on schedule, and should be knowledgeable enough about the subject that the quality of work can be evaluated.
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