Project of Excellence

Cohort 10 (Fall 2013) to Present

As the senior capstone of the overall Honors experience, the Project of Excellence is required of all students who graduate from the Honors Program. The project provides each student the opportunity to design and implement work unique to his/her own major and/or interests. It consists of a paper, performance, or presentation of research results typical of professional work in the major field.

Honors Junior Seminar culminates in a proposal for the Project of Excellence and selection of a mentor. The proposal must be approved by your mentor, the Honors Head, and the Honors Council. The proposal must be approved by the Honors Council and your mentor. Results of the Project of Excellence are defended orally before an examining committee upon completion and housed permanently in the Honors Program office.

To ensure that students receive feedback and guidance during the entire process, students will meet in Senior Honors Seminar for 1-2 hours each week with the Honors Head to review drafts, discuss research, and assess results.

Project Proposal

The project proposal must include the following:

  • Title Page.
  • Approval Form.
  • Introduction to the problem/issues, including the context and rationale for the project. Your introduction should have appropriate citations from primary literature in a documentation style customary in your discipline. Also identify your over-all goal: are you developing this project to publish your research, refine your skills, demonstrate your knowledge of a particular subject, or to more deeply study a topic or concept?
  • Project hypothesis or objectives.
  • Methods of approach - how will you test the hypothesis or achieve your objectives?
  • Outcome - what format will your completed Project take?
  • Bibliography.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, if required.
  • Timeline - when you intend to complete primary research, dates that drafts will be completed, and times that you can discuss these drafts with your faculty mentor.

Examples of Project Proposal

Holton, Leblanc, and the Trombones of Accession 2156: A Historical Compendium

Decoding GnRH neurohormone pulse frequency and amplitude with mathematical model on GnRHR activation and expression revealed convergent signaling modules of ERK and NTAF

Effects of Government Subsidized Food on Childhood Overweight and Obesity in Nueces County

Required Format for the Honors Project of Excellence

  1. Title Page to include: title, name, date, cohort number, and Project of Excellence faculty mentor.
  2. A one-page abstract.
  3. If a running title is used, it must be limited to 50 characters
  4. Submit an electronic copy of the final draft to the Head and Director.

Examples of Project of Excellence

Effect of Government Food Programs on Nutritional Value of Food Purchases

Music and Language in the Brain: Evolutionary and Cognitive Perspectives

Evaluating the Project of Excellence: The Oral Defense

The Honors Head designates a three-faculty examining committee to evaluate the Project of Excellence. Typically the examining committee will consist of the Honors Head, the faculty of record, and a faculty member who also serves on Honors Council. Oral defenses are usually held during the Fall and Spring Honors Symposia. Defenses are ordinarily held to 30 minutes: 10-15 minutes student presentation; 10-15 minutes committee examination; and any remaining time for audience questions.

The specific method of evaluation is detailed on the Project of Excellence Assessment Form provided to the examining committee members. The Honors Head will notify students of the outcome of their defense. Students will not, however, have access to individual committee votes, comments, or notes.