Undergraduate Honors Program

Honors program

The University Honors Program (UHP) seeks to provide their students with a rich environment in which to pursue an enhanced undergraduate experience.


Students graduating with Latin Honors must complete a UHP first-year experience (if entering UHP in Fall 2018 and beyond), Honors courses, additional Honors experiences, a senior Honors thesis and supporting thesis coursework, and must meet GPA requirements mandated by University policy for the appropriate level of Latin Honors.

 

Honors students who are admitted to the School of Kinesiology participate in directed research and thesis writing in the physical activities sciences, designed to provide the most significant and challenging experience faculty can offer to undergraduates.

Undergraduate students who have been accepted into the University Honors Program (UHP) and who are admitted to the School of Kinesiology are eligible to complete Honors through the department. The honors curriculum follows all UHP honors requirements and requirements to the general Kinesiology and Sport Management majors with the additional departmental course requirements listed below.

Getting started:

All Honors students are required to write a senior thesis. Prior to beginning the research and writing process, it is the student’s responsibility to thoroughly consider their topic of interest, and identify potential advisors with the help of the School of Kinesiology Honors Faculty Representative.

Once an advisor has been identified, the student must fill out both the Departmental Honors Thesis Advisor and Reader Agreement Form (due by May 1 of junior year for following May graduation) and th Honors Thesis Proposal Form or corresponding WorkFlowGen process for students who began UHP fall 2018 or later (due by November 30 of senior year to UHP for that May graduation). The student must consult with their honors thesis advisor to complete the forms.

Honors coursework:

Because the honors thesis represents a substantial commitment to research and writing, it is at minimum a year-long project. Students typically register for KIN 3993H for at least two semesters, and KIN 4001H for at least one semester. Students are advised to begin their honors thesis at least two semesters before they anticipate graduating.


KIN 3993H Directed Study in Kinesiology: Honors Thesis
(two semesters, 6 cr)

  • This is an independent research course that may be scheduled by arrangement with the faculty member serving as the student’s primary thesis advisor. A permission code from the faculty member is required to register for the course. Honors students have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to research in Kinesiology and/or Sport Management. In general, this involves becoming acquainted with the literature and methods of a particular area by assisting with ongoing work and eventually planning and carrying out an original research study, writing an honors thesis, and presenting the project. Occasionally, an honors student completes a comprehensive literature review with a critical analysis section or a research proposal instead — typically, only at the cum- or magna-level is this permitted. The nature and scope of the project are determined in consultation with the primary thesis advisor.

    Because students must work with a KIN or SMGT faculty member, students are advised to begin working in a research lab prior to taking this course. Students may do so by registering for directed research credits in KIN 3993.


KIN 4001H Honors Seminar in Kinesiology
(one semester, 3 cr)

  • This class guides, supports, and provides accountability for students during the thesis writing process. Students create timelines for thesis completion, draft their thesis, and read about and discuss related topics (i.e., Overcoming Writer’s Block, How to Write a Lot, etc.).

    A permission code from the School of Kinesiology Honors Faculty Representative is required to register for the course.

  • Ideal enrollment is during fall term of senior year, once you have worked on your thesis research for a semester to have enough information (i.e., research topic and questions, background literature, and methods) to begin writing your thesis.

This timeline is for students graduating spring semester. Students graduating fall semester should meet with their UHP advisor regarding timeline adjustments.

FRESHMAN & SOPHOMORE YEARS

Ask faculty and advisors about research opportunities in the School of Kinesiology, and get involved in research to begin developing topics of interest.


JUNIOR YEAR

FALL


Take KIN 3982 - Research Methods in Kinesiology.

 

Continue exploring topics for thesis research, and review current literature on a topic.

 

Meet with the School of Kinesiology Honors Faculty Representative to discuss potential Honors thesis advisor(s).


SPRING


Take KIN 3993H - Directed Study (Honors) with the faculty member you are interested in having serve as your honors thesis advisor to begin conducting your thesis research.

 

Identify thesis topic and secure an Honors thesis committee including your primary advisor and two additional readers. See the information in the “Honors thesis requirements” tab for more specific guidelines regarding committee members.

 

Complete and submit the signed Departmental Honors Thesis Advisor and Readers Agreement. (Due to the School of Kinesiology Honors Faculty Representative by May 1 of junior year for following May graduation.)

 

You are encouraged to apply for an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) grant for your thesis research with your primary advisor. (Due End of February.)


SENIOR YEAR

FALL


Take KIN 3933H - Directed Study (Honors) to finish conducting your thesis research with your honors thesis advisor.

 

Take KIN 4001H - Honors Seminar in Kinesiology to write honors thesis.

 

Submit a preliminary draft to your faculty supervisor.

 

Complete and submit the Honors Thesis Proposal Form or corresponding WorkFlowGen process for students who began UHP Fall 2018 or later. (Due to UHP by November 30 of senior year for that May graduation.)

SPRING


All honors levels, apply for a presentation at CEHD Research Day and/or Kinesiology Research Day. (Deadlines are late January/early February.)

 

If accepted to CEHD Research Day and/or Kinesiology Research Day, present at the event(s). (Events are March/April.)

 

If unable to present at CEHD Research Day and/or Kinesiology Research Day, summa-level only must schedule another public presentation. Work with your thesis committee to determine the format. Examples might include: a conference-style paper presentation; an oral exam; a poster session; an invited lecture in a research course offered in the major; and so forth. In all cases, if a student presents the thesis work at an academic conference, this will fulfill the requirement for public presentation. (Due at least two weeks before graduation.)

 

By early April, submit your final Honors Thesis and the Departmental Honors Thesis Evaluation Form to your primary advisor and additional readers. The chair of your Honors Thesis Committee must give you their approval before sharing with your additional readers.

 

Complete the Honors Thesis Completion Form (or corresponding WorkFlowGen for students who began UHP Fall 2018) with your Honors Thesis Committee.

 

By the last day of final examinations in the semester in which you are graduating, submit your signed Honors Thesis Completion Form (or corresponding WorkFlowGen for students who began UHP Fall 2018) to the UHP office in 390 Northrop AND submit an electronic copy of your thesis.

 

Guidelines for thesis submission are available here.


Download printable timeline here.

Summa Cum Laude
GPA: 3.75-4.0
Thesis Type: Original research study required. In rare cases, an original research proposal may be acceptable instead (requires approval from the School of Kinesiology Honors Faculty Representative and Honors director’s committee).
Thesis Length: 35+ pages
Public Thesis Presentation: Required
Magna Cum Laude
GPA: 3.666-3.749
Thesis Type: Original research study strongly recommended--though a comprehensive literature review with a critical analysis section or an original research proposal are also acceptable.
Thesis Length: 25-35 pages
Public Thesis Presentation: Strongly recommended, but not required
Cum Laude
GPA: 3.500-3.665
Thesis Type: Original research study strongly recommended--though a comprehensive literature review with a critical analysis section or an original research proposal are also acceptable.
Thesis Length: 20-25 pages
Public Thesis Presentation: Strongly recommended, but not required
Thesis Committee

Students must choose an honors thesis committee comprised of at last three members, including the primary faculty advisor and two readers.

  • At least one member–not necessarily the primary advisor–must be tenured/tenure-track faculty at the University of Minnesota. The other members may be tenured/tenure-track U of M faculty, or another member of the faculty with specialized knowledge relevant to the student’s research topic. In rare cases a community member, a member of a faculty elsewhere, an advanced graduate student, etc. may serve on an Honors thesis committee: such exceptional cases require that the department make a petition to be approved by the UHP Directors Committee.

  • Committee members need not belong to the same program or college.

  • Each committee will have a Chair, who will often be the primary advisor for the student during research and writing, though students will sort out on a case-by-case basis with whom they do this work, and how often they meet with them to discuss progress and to go over drafts. The Chair will determine when the thesis draft is at a final-enough state that it can be circulated to the other committee members (i.e. , the readers) for additional evaluation.

  • All committee members must sign off on the thesis itself and on the required public presentation.

Students may work with the Departmental Honors Faculty Representative for suggestions regarding appropriate committee members; however, students are ultimately responsible for selecting the committee and coordinating the review.

Thesis Evaluation Criteria (all levels)

According to the UHP guidelines, the Honors Thesis represents the culmination of the student’s scholarly work in the major field. Students are expected to demonstrate the promise of continued excellence in graduate-program or professional work in the field. The thesis should be of the highest quality and in all cases must demonstrate that the student has:

  • the ability to digest pre-existing work, present and summarize it succinctly, and, hence, articulate the context in which the student’s new work is situated;

  • the ability to propose an idea in brief (i.e., the thesis proposal), and then bring that idea to fruition within a given timeline;

  • the ability to present writing whose quality and polish are at a publishable level (even if the data, research, or ideas are still at a preliminary level);

  • the ability to present ideas clearly and compellingly to an audience of non-specialists;

  • and, the ability to go beyond programmatic or major capstone requirements for non-UHP students.

Moreover, a summa thesis must also demonstrate:

  • the ability to do original (i.e., not an extended literature review or synopsis of previous work), highest-quality work. This means conducting an original research study. In rare cases, however, it may include completing an original research proposal instead of a study (requires approval from the School of Kinesiology Honors Faculty Representative and Honors director’s committee).

School of Kinesiology Departmental Honors Thesis Evaluation Criteria must also be met according to this form.

For all levels of honors, students must follow the UHP Honors Thesis Guide requirements. Helpful tip: Follow the style and formatting guidelines and include the Title Page template from the beginning of writing your thesis.

For all levels of honors, an electronic copy of the thesis must be submitted to UHP upon approval by the student’s honors thesis committee.

Click here for the Honors Thesis submission instructions.

Honors Courses

There are currently three undergraduate Honors courses available in the School of Kinesiology:

  • KIN 3993H Directed Study in Kinesiology: Honors

  • KIN 4001H Honors Seminar in Kinesiology

  • SMGT 3501H: Sport in a Diverse Society (Honors Section)

Students may also arrange with the instructor of a non-Honors course to complete an honors contract in the course to receive Honors credit.

Honors Contract

An honors contract is an agreement between a student, a course instructor, and the UHP in which the student agrees to do work above and beyond the regularly required course assignments in order to make a non-Honors course count as an Honors course experience. The additional work required is determined in consultation with the course instructor. Students must complete an Honors Contract detailing the additional requirements, including obtaining a signature from the course instructor. Students then must submit the form to the UHP.

2017

Taylor Hilbrant, Cum Laude
“Female Soccer Players and Concussions”

Megan Holmgren, Summa
“The gender battle': Athletic Trainers’ Perceptions of Rehabilitation Adherence”

2016

Jaimie Albert, Summa
“Psychological Readiness to Return to Play Following a Sport Injury”

Michael Plant, Summa
“Lower Extremity Movement Patterns Before and After Surgical Modification of Severe Patellofemoral Dysfunction”

Sarah Van Valkenburg, Magna
“The effect of aging on hand-eye coordination in an activity based context”

2015

Younggyu Bremer, Summa
“Risk Factors for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries Among Females”

Alyssa Chun, Summa
“Law Enforcement Stress and Health Outcomes: Education as Preventative Measure”

Nicole Ofstedahl, Summa
“Is Fair Play Safer Play: Analysis of Preliminary Results in Youth Football”

2014

Whitney Anderson, Magna
“Healthier, Happier Families: The Role of Exercise in Reducing Post-Partum Depressive Symptoms- a Review”

Allison Gutkowski, Magna
“Digit Activation Differences using fMRI in Individuals with Focal Hand Dystonia vs. Healthy Controls”

Jennifer Lynn, Cum Laude
“Recreation as a Tool for Youth and Community Development: Urban Garden Planning for South Bend, Indiana”

Jamie Mackling, Summa
“Speedskating Peak Heart Rate Response”

Jordan McCarthy, Summa
“NBA Athletes' Use of Twitter: Replication Study”

Nikolas Nicols, Summa
“Box and Blocks: A step-by-step look at a year spent in the Gillick Pediatric Neuromodulation Lab”

2013

Alexandra Anderson, Magna
“Interpersonal Motor Coordination Among an Atypical Population”

Elias DeVries, Summa
“Differences in Activation in the Primary Motor Cortex in Individuals with Focal Hand Dystonia vs. Healthy Controls”

Meghan Fark, Magna
“The Role of In-Home Student Stretching in Multiple Sclerosis: A Case Study”

Ashley Palmer, Summa
“Wrist Circumference in Childhood as a Predictor of Insulin Resistance and Obesity in Adulthood”

Nolan Sell, Magna
“Relationship Between Vertical Jump Measurement and On-ice Performance”

Jennifer Watkins, Summa
“Sexual Dimorphism in Susceptibility to Motion Sickness”

Molly Watkins, Summa
“Walking pelvic angular kinematics in collegiate recreational runners pre-and post-maximal effort treadmill test”

Jamie Webeler, Summa
“Effect of Gender Roles on Physical Activity and Sport Participation of Young U.S. Women across Races”

2011

Abe Fark, Summa
“Combined Resistance and Endurance Training”

Britta Gauthier, Summa
“Race, Gender, and Class: Addressing the Intersecting Oppressions of African American Women in Sport”

Mike Wilt, Magna
“The Correlation Between Football Participation and Self-esteem, Self-efficacy and Academic Success in At-risk Inner-city African-American Student”

2010

Matthew Moore, Summa
“The Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Endothelial Function in Women with Coronary Artery Disease”

Audra Ragan, Summa
“Antioxidant Consumption Negatively Associated with Physical Performance in Participants with Peripheral Artery Disease”

What are the roles of my Honors program (UHP) advisor, Kinesiology Honors faculty representative, and Honors thesis advisor?

  • Honors program (UHP) advisors guide Honors students throughout their undergraduate career on coursework, experiences, opportunities for research and community involvement, and preparing for graduation with Latin Honors. They advise students on UHP-related content.
  • The School of Kinesiology Honors faculty representative serves as a liaison and resource Honors students majoring in for Kinesiology and Sport Management. They advise students on department-related content.
  • The Honors thesis advisor serves as a student’s Honors thesis project mentor. They advise and supervise the student’s Honors project research, thesis writing, and public presentation along with the additional readers on the student's thesis committee.

Can I have a primary thesis advisor from a department other than Kinesiology?

Typically students have a primary thesis advisor who is a member of the School of Kinesiology faculty. However, your primary advisor may be from another department (e.g., physiology, sociology, physical therapy, etc.) as long as the following criteria are met: 1) it has been approved by the School of Kinesiology and the department then makes a petition to be approved by the UHP Directors Committee, and 2) you have a faculty co-adviser who is a member of the School of Kinesiology faculty. The co-adviser should have an active mentoring role along with your primary advisor, and will serve as an additional reader for your thesis.

Can a non-tenured/tenure-track faculty member serve as my Primary Thesis Advisor?

Yes, a non-tenured/tenure-track faculty member can serve as your primary thesis advisor. Students are encouraged to seek out experts in the field for their thesis advisors; in the School of Kinesiology this may result in a non-tenured/tenure-track faculty member serving as the advisor. However, at least one member of the student's three-person thesis committee—not necessarily the primary advisor—must be tenured/tenure-track at the University of Minnesota.

Do I have to complete an original research study to earn honors?

Students graduating with summa-level Honors are required to conduct an original research study. In rare cases, however, they may complete an original research proposal instead of a study (requires approval from the School of Kinesiology Honors Faculty Representative and Honors director’s committee). Students graduating with cum- and magna-level Honors are strongly encouraged to conduct an original research study — though, a comprehensive critical literature review with a critical analysis section or a research proposal are also acceptable at these levels of Honors.
*The nature and scope of the Honors project are determined in consultation with the faculty honors thesis advisor.

Do I need to give a public presentation? What presentation forms are acceptable?

Students graduating with summa-level honors are required to give a public presentation. However, it is recommended and strongly encouraged that all levels of honors students give a public presentation of their honors project. Poster or platform presentations at professional organization conferences, CEHD Research Day, and/or KIN Research Day are preferred outlets for the presentation. However, if none of these are options, you may arrange another presentation opportunity with your honors thesis committee. Examples might include: a conference-style paper presentation, an oral exam, a poster session, an invited lecture in a research course offered in the major, and so forth.
Forms

All UHP Students 

Departmental Honors Thesis Advisor and Reader Agreement Form 

Departmental Honors Thesis Evaluation Form 

 

Legacy forms, for students who began UHP prior to Fall 2018

Honors Contract Form 

Honors Thesis Proposal Form 

Honors Thesis Completion Form 

 

For students who began UHP Fall 2018 or later

WorkFlowGen

Contact

Chelsey Thul, PhD

Lecturer, Psychology of Physical Activity
Honors Faculty Representative

612-301-1382
rodd0020@umn.edu

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