Skip to main content
Are you okay? Emergency/Crisis UOIT Home

Honours thesis

Undertaking an honours thesis allows students to conduct a larger research project over approximately eight months (two semesters). Only high achieving fourth-year students with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 (A-) may complete an honours thesis. Successfully completing an honours thesis requires the ability to:

  • Conceive of a thoughtful topic.
  • Conduct independent research.
  • Pay careful attention to detail in organizing and communicating your research findings.

Details about the honours thesis process can be found in the Honours Thesis Handbook (PDF). 

Download the printable version of the Honours Thesis Overview (PDF).

  • What to expect

    An honours thesis is an undergraduate student’s first significant piece of independent scholarly research. The student is responsible for seeing this entire research process through from start to finish with guidance from the Thesis Supervisor (TS). The honours thesis articulates a research question and/or a hypothesis and describes why it is important to answer the question or test the hypothesis. It outlines the methods to be used to measure concepts and how the data will be collected to answer the research question posed. The thesis may involve collection of original data, reanalysis of secondary data, or library research to provide new insights about a problem.

    Both empirical and conceptual/theoretical projects require extended research designed to satisfy students’ intellectual curiosity, develop their research, argumentation, and writing skills, and advance knowledge in a specific academic area of study. Although length varies, an undergraduate honours thesis in the Political Science program shall meet the following criteria in order to fulfil the requirements:

    “A manuscript that is thoroughly researched, well-written, consistently and carefully formatted, which shows sufficient evidence of synthesis, integration, and originality in the analysis. The thesis should also point to future research and, possibly, lay out a research agenda that the student may wish to pursue further in graduate school.”

    In addition, students are required to present their completed project as a poster in the Honours Thesis Showcase.

  • Application process and important dates

    Winter term (third year)

    1. Determine if you are eligible to enrol in the honours thesis course by consulting with the Academic Advising office. They can check your GPA and advise you on the application process.

      To be considered for Honours Thesis I, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7, They must apply during their sixth semester (i.e., the end of third year) to begin their Honours Thesis I in their seventh semester (the start of fourth year).

      Please note: Only a limited number of applicants will be admitted to the Honours Thesis. Students must meet the minimum GPA requirement of 3.7, as stipulated in the UOIT Undergraduate Academic Calendar and Course Catalogue. Consent is required from the instructor who will act as Thesis Supervisor and the Dean or Dean’s representative.

    2. Determine your research topic. Your topic may come from something you encountered in a previous course and would like to explore more deeply or it may be something not covered in any of your classes.

    3. Speak with your instructors about your research idea. Based on your conversations with them, determine who you would like to work with (only full-time instructors are able to supervise students).

    4. Meet with the instructor and ask if she or he is willing to supervise you. Remember—instructors may decline if they do not feel like they have the necessary knowledge of your topic or if they are already supervising the maximum number of students. Do this by May 30.

    5. Once you have confirmed your thesis supervisor, complete the application form. You will need to write a brief proposal that includes your thesis question/hypothesis, an overview of your topic, a sample reading list, and so on. Do this by June 30.

      The application must include a detailed statement of intent outlining the topic and research question, methodology, theoretical significance and the projected timelines for completion of the project. To proceed to Honours Thesis II, a student must have successfully completed Honours Thesis I with a minimum grade of A- and have prepared a written statement outlining the projected timelines for completion of the project. After completing an Undergraduate Honours Thesis Application Form, students should meet with their thesis supervisor to discuss the thesis topic and proposal by the end of the student’s third year. 

    Project proposal (to be submitted along with Honours Thesis Application)

    Students who meet the admission requirements must submit a short project proposal to a potential thesis supervisor at the end of their third year. The project proposal, which is about one to two pages long, should accomplish all of the following:

    • Identify the topic of study and a tentative research question/thesis.
    • Provide two or three key sources to start the research.
    • Identify the research method to be used (e.g., quantitative or qualitative or mixed methods).
  • Selecting a topic