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. In order to do so, the student must complete a Dual Thesis Authorization Form, which can be obtained from the L&S Honors Program Office.

The form requires the signature of a Primary Thesis Advisor and a Supporting Thesis Advisor.  When submitted to the L&S Honors Program Office, the Dual Thesis Authorization Form should be accompanied by (1) brief letters of support from both the Primary and Supporting Advisors attesting to the viability of the thesis project and its interdisciplinary nature (confirming, in particular, that the thesis work uses a methodology, approach or theory specific to each field) and (2) a one-page proposal, written by the student, 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.).

The purpose of this procedure is to formally verify that the student’s proposed thesis project does indeed cross disciplinary boundaries and, therefore, fulfills the thesis requirement for both departments. An additional intent is to open communication between the departments involved, and, specifically, the corresponding advisors. Dual senior Honors theses will not be approved if the paper to be written does not draw from both field of study clearly and significantly.

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.

If the dual senior Honors thesis is approved, the thesis will be listed under the primary advisor’s departmental name, obligating the secondary department to take a DARS exception to count the thesis towards their own capstone 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.

Please contact the Honors Program if you have any questions about the Dual Thesis Authorization Form or policy at (608) 262-2984 or honors@honors.ls.wisc.edu.