Year 4 Curriculum

In the fourth year of the program, all Honors students complete one of the following capstone experiences:

Honors Thesis through the Major

Many departments offer the opportunity to write a senior thesis. They typically require a minimum GPA of 3.50 to do so.

To receive UHP credit for a thesis through your major you must successfully complete the thesis AND present your research at the Undergraduate Research Conference in the Spring.

Honors Thesis through UHP

If your department does not offer a thesis option, or if for whatever reason you would prefer to undertake a thesis through UHP you can do so – though as noted above, completing a UHP thesis will not entitle you to high or highest honors on your diploma.

As with most departmental honors programs, you must have a 3.50 GPA to write the UHP thesis, and you must enroll in the appropriate course. IST 194HA/HB is two quarters long and 4 units per quarter. It can be taken either Fall-Winter or Winter-Spring.

If you wish to undertake a UHP thesis, please complete this proposal form that you must have signed by your thesis advisor, who will then become your instructor of record and who will grade your work. The proposal form is due by the 10th day of instruction of Fall quarter for a Fall-Winter thesis, or the last day of instruction of Fall quarter for a Winter-Spring thesis.  Please consult the Quarter Dates and Deadlines calendar to determine the appropriate deadline for your proposal.  There is no Spring-Fall thesis option.  Please share the Information for Faculty Advisors with potential project mentors.

As with the departmental honors thesis, to receive UHP credit you must successfully complete the thesis AND present your research at the Undergraduate Research Conference in the Spring.  Completing a thesis through the UHP does not qualify a student to graduate with high or highest honors. To graduate with high or highest honors status, please speak with your major advisor. 

Senior Engineering Design Project

As with the thesis option, the completion of a major required Senior Engineering Design Project will serve as a UHP capstone. In addition to completing the project through their major, students undertaking this option also present their results at the Undergraduate Research Conference in the spring.

Capstone Independent Project

If you want to undertake a creative capstone of your own design, either individually or in a small group, then you can complete a Capstone Independent Project.

All Capstone Independent Projects must have equivalent intellectual vigor to a thesis. Keep in mind that a thesis is at least two quarters and 4 units per quarter, so by the Carnegie Rule (remember that from orientation?) a Capstone Independent Project should entail about 8-12 hours of work per week. It should be a 2 quarter commitment involving extensive research, community service work, or creative energy.

You must have a project sponsor, and if you would like to receive unit credit for your Project (in the form of HNR 195-Honors Thesis/Honors Project), your sponsor must be a faculty member who is eligible to serve as the instructor of record.

If you are interested in pursuing a Capstone Independent Project, please contact our staff to begin the proposal process. 

By the end of the 4th year, all students must also have presented their research

Presentation options include:

  • The UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference (Registration Deadline: February 20 | 4:00PM)
  • The UC Davis Engineering Design Showcase (June 7, 2018 | 2:00-4:00PM | ARC Pavilion)
  • A local, regional, or national conference related to the student's capstone subject
  • A formal Honors Thesis presentation within the student's major department

Senior Research Examples – Abstracts from the UHP Senior Research Booklets