Dual Honors Thesis

Honors in the Major candidates may use one senior thesis to satisfy the thesis requirement in two HM tracks if and only if the thesis is deemed to be appropriately interdisciplinary in nature by the L&S Honors Program. If you have any questions about the Dual Thesis Authorization policy, please contact the L&S Honors Program at honors@honors.ls.wisc.edu and consider scheduling an appointment with the Christine Evans, Associate Director for Advising and Curriculum.

Instructions for Students

To be considered as a dual Honors thesis candidate, you must submit the following to the L&S Honors Program via email at honors@honors.ls.wisc.edu:

  1. A one-page proposal, written by you, that clearly describes the nature of the intersection between the two disciplines (and, if appropriate, addresses issues such as methodological practices, conceptual tools, source materials, etc.). Please also indicate which major would be “primary” (i.e. which department’s thesis credits you will enroll in).
  2. Brief letters of support from the proposed primary and secondary thesis advisors, who should represent your two Honors in the Major departments. These letters should speak to the viability of the thesis project and its interdisciplinary nature. In particular, the letters should confirm the thesis work would use a methodology, approach, or theory specific to the thesis advisor’s field.

We encourage you to submit these materials early, ideally by the end of the spring semester before you begin your thesis. Please plan to enroll in senior Honors thesis credits associated with your “primary” major.

Your dual thesis proposal will be reviewed by the Associate Director of Advising and Curriculum for the L&S Honors Program in consultation with the Faculty Honors Committee. If your project is accepted, the Honors Program will work with your major departments to allow your work to satisfy the thesis requirements for both of your majors (by way of a DARS exception).

Additional Information

This procedure has the following purposes:

  • To verify that the proposed interdisciplinary thesis project clearly and significantly draws from both fields of study and therefore fulfills the thesis requirement for both departments.
  • To open communication between the departments involved, and, specifically, the corresponding advisors.

If the dual senior Honors thesis is approved, the thesis will be listed under the primary advisor’s departmental name. The secondary department would submit a DARS exception to count the thesis credits towards their own thesis requirement.

Academic departments may choose not to allow their Honors in the Major candidates to pursue this dual thesis option. Alternatively, departments may allow their students to pursue this option, but require them to complete additional upper-level or Honors course work to compensate for the overlap. If a department chooses to require additional coursework from one of their Honors in the Major candidates, this decision should be communicated in writing to the student and the L&S Honors Program.

Only on extremely rare occasions will one thesis be allowed to count for more than two HM degrees; such decisions will be made by the L&S Honors Program on a case-by-case basis.