honor instructions

Instructions for Graduating with Undergraduate Honors

For the Student:

  1. At the end of your Senior year, you must have an overall GPA of 3.000.
  2. At the end of your Senior year, you must have a GPA of 3.300 in your physics classes.
  3. You must participate in a mentored research project and you must pass Physics 381 for at least one semester.
  4. You must write an honors thesis (see below for content requirements and deadlines) and defend the thesis before an honors committee. Your honors committee consists of your research mentor plus two others from the faculty or research staff, chosen in consultation with your research mentor. (3 people total)
  5. You should give a short (<10 minute) presentation of your research at an end-of-year colloquium.

Deadlines for Honors Thesis:

The following deadlines apply to the semester of graduation (either Spring or Fall)

  1. The first draft of the thesis distributed to honors committee members: five weeks before the last day of classes. April 1 for Spring 2021.
  2. Corrected draft of the thesis distributed to honors committee members: three weeks before the last day of classes semester. April 15 for Spring 2021.
  3. Honors thesis defense: two weeks before the last day of classes. (Note: when this deadline falls during Thanksgiving break, a one week delay will apply.) April 22 for Spring 2021.
  4. The final copy of the thesis emailed as a pdf to the departmental administrative assistant and the signature pages signed and submitted to your Physics major advisor: one day before the last day to turn in Senior grades. May 19 for Spring 2021. Note, this is a hard absolutely final deadline. The department will provide funding for three bound copies: one copy for the research mentor, one copy for the department, and one copy for the student. Additional copies can be bound at the student’s expense.

For the Research Mentor:

  1. Ensure that all changes to the honors thesis, as requested by the honors committee, have been made.
  2. Ensure that the signature pages have been signed and are formatted correctly. The signature pages are to be printed on high-quality, water-marked paper obtainable from the administrative assistant

Thesis Content:

Typically the thesis should contain the following components.

  1. An introduction including a broad overview of the topic
  2. A detailed account of the methods used in the work
  3. Results and findings
  4. Conclusions
  5. A comprehensive bibliography

Thesis Format:

  1. The thesis will be printed one-sided and must be properly formatted for binding. Margins should be 1.0″ along the top and bottom of the document. On the binding side of the page (left side), the margin should be 1.5″. On the open side of the page (right side), the margin should be 1.0″.
  2. The title page should begin with a centered Thesis Title. Following this, the centered statement “A paper presented to the faculty of the Department of Physics of Wake Forest University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in Physics.” Next, on consecutive centered lines, the student’s name and the date of the honors defense. Finally, left-justified, an area where the three committee members can sign. The first line should say “Approved by”, then on consecutive lines, an underscored blank line with the committee member’s name underneath for each member. See this example page.
  3. Additional formatting requirements are at the discretion of the student’s research mentor.
  4. The title pages submitted to committee members for signatures must be printed on high quality, watermarked paper, which can be obtained from the administrative assistant.  Once signed, the title pages will be submitted to the Physics major advisor.  These will then be given to the administrative assistant by the major advisor.  The emailed pdf will be printed by the administrative assistant and, along with the signed pages, be submitted for binding.

Remote Contingency 

In the event that theses need to be finished remotely, modifications may be made. These modifications might include:

  1. The requirements of signatures may be replaced by an email from the research advisor.
  2. The defense may be virtual.
  3. The departmental talk may be virtual or waived.
  4. The binding of the theses may be delayed.
  5. Changes to the research project would be at the discretion of the research advisor.