Senior Project

The Senior Project is an exciting opportunity extended to members of the Maynor Honors College. The Senior Project always involves a written component and a presentation, but approaches to the project may take many forms, from laboratory research to artistic expression, from philosophical inquiry to service-learning. The senior project unfolds over two semesters: first taking HON 4000 (one credit hour) and concluding with HON 4500 (three credit hours). Over this span, students plan and complete the project under the supervision of their faculty mentor and with support from the Honors College senior project coordinator. More information about the Senior Project and process can be found in the Senior Project Handbook and in the FAQs below.


Why should I complete a senior project? 

The senior project is a requirement for graduation from the Honors College, but it is also a culmination of the years of honors curriculum that precedes it. Taking on a large self-directed project like this allows students to work closely with faculty experts, to become active members of their chosen disciplines, and to create a material record that can serve as a springboard to whatever comes in post-graduation life: whether a professional career, graduate school, or something else entirely. 

Who can serve as my faculty mentor? 

While technically there are no limits on who among UNCP faculty can and cannot serve as faculty mentor to an honors senior project, there are certainly some best practices. In my experience, students are best served when selecting a (1) full-time faculty member (2) in their major department who (3) they already have a positive working relationship with from a previous class or lab experience. Your mentor will be crucial in shaping and directing the project at every stage, so choosing your faculty mentor wisely is the first step towards a great senior project. 

How long should my senior project be? 

There is so much variation from discipline to discipline and project to project, that providing a simple word count or page count is often difficult. Additionally, many projects will involve creative or service work that isn’t easily represented on the page. However, remember that your honors senior project is designed to meet the expectations for a 3-credit hour course. According to most standards, a student should expect to spend approximately 3 hours of work per week for each course hour taken. By this metric, the senior project (HON 4500) should require around 144 hours of total work time and the final product should reflect that level of engagement. 

Do I have to present my project findings in front of the campus? 

All students participating in HON 4500 will be expected to present their project, but this doesn’t mean standing in-front of a crowd and giving a scholarly talk! Typically, senior project presentations take the form of a research poster (more info here or at the "Research Poster Basics" link to the right) which is displayed in Mary Livermore Library during finals week as part of the Senior Project Symposium each semester. Based on their discipline or format, other projects may require more specialized forms of presentation or performance which can be arranged on a project-by-project basis. 

Is there any funding available to support my senior project? 

Yes, there is! When submitting your senior project proposal at the end of HON 4000, you will be asked to submit a funding request for any materials or services you might need to successfully complete your project. While we cannot guarantee that all funding requests will be processed in the full amount requested, we often have funds available to assist with senior project costs and we’re happy to coordinate with other offices on campus to provide as much support as we can. 

What if I already have a capstone experience as part of my major? 

Depending on the size and scope of your departmental capstone, you might include it in the senior project sequence in several different ways. Typically, the departmental capstone and honors senior project exist as related, but distinct, pieces of research, creativity, and/or service, but these are questions that can be addressed during HON 4000 and the development of the project proposal. In the rare instances that a departmental capstone already satisfies the requirements for the honors senior project as formulated, students would STILL be expected to enroll in HON 4000 and could use a Course Equivalency Proposal to apply for an equivalency between their departmental capstone and HON 4500.