Undergraduate Honors in the Major

An Honors project offers students with a strong academic record the opportunity to pursue independent research on an advanced topic under the direction of a faculty mentor. It is necessary for nomination to Phi Beta Kappa and for graduating with honors in the math major. See also CAS info on Honors in the Major Students completing an Honors project will be enrolled in a two-course independent study sequence (MA 401/402), produce an Honors thesis, and present the results to a committee of at least three faculty members.

Students wishing to complete an Honors project should complete the following steps:

  1. Find a faculty member willing to supervise the project and develop a plan for the subject matter and scope of the research. Students often find Honors faculty mentors through their 500+ level courses.
  2. Have the faculty mentor contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), confirming their willingness to supervise the project. The DUS will arrange for the student to be enrolled in a two-semester MA 401/402 independent research sequence. Each of these courses carries 4 credits and can count towards the upper division requirements of the math major.
  3. In consultation with their faculty mentor, find two additional faculty members willing to serve on the student’s Honors committee. Members of the committee will serve as readers for the thesis and evaluate the final presentation (see below).


  • Students wishing to complete an Honors project must meet the GPA requirement of 3.3 or higher.
  • The student will complete an honors thesis detailing the project and its results/findings. While there is no minimum length requirement for the thesis, these are generally at least 20 pages. The thesis needs to be completed by the end of the second semester of the project, and a draft submitted to the committee at least two weeks prior to the final presentation to allow for feedback and edits.
  • The student will present their project and results to their Honors committee in the format of an oral presentation. The presentation must be completed by the end of the second semester of the project.

For further information about the Honors program, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.