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William O. Douglas
Honors College

Hebeler Hall 219
(509) 963-1900
dhc@cwu.edu

Upper-Division Curriculum

Curricular Changes (2020)

Please be aware that the DHC has designed a new curriculum outline as of 2020. The most current course requirements can be found on this page, as well as pre-2020 requirements and equivalencies.

Because several DHC courses have been restructured with fewer credits, students who began in the DHC prior to 2020 may find that the total credit count for their honors plan is now lower. We remind you that students must complete at least 180 credits to graduate from CWU.

Don't hesitate to reach out to honors advisor Chris Denison or DHC peer advisors if you have any questions about your course requirements.

Chris Denison with Ambassadors Alejandro Jimenez and Molly Thomas

Chris Denison with Ambassadors Alejandro Jimenez and Molly Thomas.

Upper-Division Honors

Completing the Upper-Division Honors earns students the title of Arts and Sciences Scholar. Completing both the Upper-Division and Core Curriculum expands that accolade to Douglas Honors Scholar. This Info To-Go : Honors Curriculum

Upper-Division Honors (Current)
Courses Description Credits
DHC 310 Honors Junior Seminar: Elements of Research 3
DHC 410 Honors Capstone Seminar 2
DHC 497 Honors Thesis and/or Creative Project 2
DHC 380 History of Science 4
DHC 480 Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar 4
Grand Total 15

Upper-Division Honors Equivalency Table (Pre-2020 to Current)

Courses Pre-2020

Credits Pre-2020 Equivalents Post-2020 Credits Post-2020
DHC 301 2 DHC 310 3
DHC 380 4 DHC 380 4
DHC 480 4 DHC 480 4
DHC 401 3 DHC 410 2
DHC 497 2 DHC 497 2
Grand Total 15 15

Capstone Thesis

Overview

The William O. Douglas Honors College Capstone Project is the culminating experience and final product of Upper-Division Honors. The thesis is an original and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of a faculty mentor and the instructor for the DHC research and writing skills course series. The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, creativity, and writing competency.

Steps

  1. Pass DHC 310 as a junior with a B or above. (Juniors have between 90 and 135 completed credits.)
    1. Write a project proposal.
    2. Find a faculty member to be your first reader or mentor.
  2. Pass DHC 401 / DHC 410 as a senior with a B or above. (Seniors have between 135 and 180 completed credits.)
    1. Create an outline of your final project.
    2. Find a second reader.
  3. Complete independent research through DHC 497; earn a B or above. (Some students can substitute independent research credits from other areas' capstone courses.)
    1. Work with your first reader or mentor.
  4. Submit the project to the DHC.
    1. Earn signatures of approval from your first and second reader.
    2. Send in all contents before the 5th week of your graduation term.
  5. Present your findings publicly. (This can be done through either SOURCE or the Western Regional Honors Conference.)
  6. Upon final DHC approval, upload your presentation and material to CWU Scholarworks.

Requirements

The thesis should be a maximum of 10,000 words, excluding the title page, abstract, works cited/bibliography pages, endnotes, tables, figures, images, and appendices. If writing is not the main mode of your project, further details will need to be discussed with faculty.

The thesis should be an original research project that engages critically not only with relevant secondary literature but also with primary sources. Scholarly work builds upon and responds to existing bodies of research and literature. It is extremely important to acknowledge the work of other scholars, while also making original contributions that engage with conversations taking place within relevant fields.

The DHC is an interdisciplinary program and your senior honors thesis should reflect that. While the main topic and research question of your thesis will be based in one particular discipline or major, it should also draw upon the literature and methodology of other disciplines.

Your thesis should be well written, organized, clear, and free of all grammatical and mechanical errors. You are writing for a general audience, so when possible avoid jargon and explain relevant concepts fully.

Thesis Advisory Committee

Your final thesis advisory committee will be made up of three members: the thesis committee chair, the additional committee member, and the DHC Director. Each member of the committee serves a different role.

The thesis committee chair should be a faculty mentor whose area of expertise complements and supports the research question of your thesis. This relationship is very important in the success of a senior honors thesis project and so the selection of the appropriate mentor is a key step in the process. To this end, before you approach a potential mentor, you must write and submit a brief justification for why this faculty mentor is the appropriate choice for your project. You are responsible for providing a copy of these guidelines to your thesis committee chair and discussing the DHC requirements and expectations with them.

The additional committee member should be a faculty member in a different field from the committee chair. The additional committee member should be chosen in consultation with your committee chair. You are responsible for providing a copy of these guidelines to your additional committee member and discussing the DHC requirements and expectations with him or her.

The Director of the DHC will serve as the third member of your thesis advisory committee. The final, completed draft of your thesis will be submitted to the Director of the DHC for final assessment and grading. The thesis is not completed until it is accepted and signed by all members of the advisory committee.

Deadlines

  • By week five of DHC 310: submit brief justification for the selection of faculty mentor to the Director of the DHC for approval.
  • By week eight of DHC 310: submit signed Thesis Committee Chair and Student agreement to the Director of the DHC.
  • Upon completion of DHC 310: submit a copy of the completed proposal to the Director of the DHC for approval.
  • By week five of DHC 401: submit signed Additional Committee Member and Student agreement to the Director of the DHC.
  • By week ten of DHC 497: submit completed Senior Honors Thesis to the Director of the DHC electronically on Canvas.
  • Upon thesis approval: submit your work to Scholarworks at CWU Library.

This Info To-Go : Thesis Guideline

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