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Completing the Senior Thesis Requirement as an Engineering or Computer Science Major

College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) students enroll in major-specific capstone/senior design courses recognized as approved equivalents for SCHC 499. Students should only be enrolled in a CEC capstone and SCHC 499 if they opt to complete a traditional/creative thesis in addition to the senior design project.

Capstone experiences may be one or two semesters depending on the major. In a two-course design experience, students will be expected to submit the thesis project during the semester they complete the second course in the sequence. Students enrolled in a one-semester design capstone will submit their project at the end of the semester in which they complete the capstone.

Because many of the capstone projects are designed to be team-based, Honors students may collaborate on required components (e.g., proposal, final project paper).

Requirements for Using CEC Capstone Course in Lieu of SCHC 499

CEC students must complete the same requirements as other SCHC students by the posted deadlines. These requirements include:

  • Submitting a senior thesis project proposal
  • Completing a thesis defense presentation. Class presentations or capstone/design showcases satisfy the defense component. As individual instructors set the dates for capstone presentations, they may occur after the posted deadline for the thesis defense.
  • Submitting a written component for the CEC capstone project even if the CEC major does not require it. Honors students working together as part of a team-based project will list all participants’ names on the title page. Each student will submit a copy of the paper individually by the posted deadline, typically near the end of the final exam period.

CEC Project Proposal

The project proposal format for students in CEC capstone course differs in form and content from that for students completing a traditional/creative thesis. The proposal should be approximately two to three single-spaced pages. While a review of the research and practice literature is not required as part of the proposal, students should appropriately cite any external sources used to develop the proposal. The proposal should include the following sections:

  • Description of Problem. Describe the context and any parameters relevant to understanding the scope of the problem. Offer insight into the importance of resolving the problem (to whom does this matter and why).
  • Proposed Solution. Describe your possible solutions to the problem, including any potential challenges associated with specific solutions. Include a description of any project deliverables.
  • Approach/Methodology. Describe the steps you will take to design or implement the proposed solution.
  • Potential Significance/Application. Describe the anticipated outcomes for project clients or immediate stakeholders. Also, note any potential future application or broader significance of the proposed solution.
  • Timeline. Include a detailed project timeline that reflects the steps described in the approach/methodology section, client and team meetings, background research, site visits, etc. For a two-semester design sequence, the timeline should include projections about work to be completed in the second semester.

Students working with other Honors students can develop and submit one proposal listing all group members’ names. For recordkeeping purposes, each student will submit a copy of the proposal using the senior thesis proposal submission form. The proposal should not be emailed to the Honors College. Proposal deadlines vary by major and are posted annually to the Blackboard organization for students pursuing a thesis equivalent.

Paper Guidelines

If the design capstone requires a final written report, this document can form the basis of the thesis submission. If the design capstone course does not require a paper or does not have specific paper requirements, we recommend that the report submitted in fulfillment of the thesis requirement be organized as follows:

  • Description of Problem. Describe the context and any parameters that are relevant to understanding the scope of the problem. Offer insight into the importance of resolving the problem (to whom does this matter and why).
  • Describe your solution to the problem, noting any alternate solutions you may have considered.
  • Approach/Methodology. Describe the steps you took to design and/or implement the solution. This might also include a discussion of iterations or testing.
  • Use of Feedback. Describe how feedback from peers, instructors or project stakeholders shaped your final design.
  • Potential Significance/Application. Describe outcomes, noting immediate application potential and recommendations for future iterations.
  • Appendix (e.g., graphs, diagrams, illustrations, screenshots)
  • Works Cited or Reference List (if applicable)

Thesis Submission

All Honors students must include the following components in their submission to fulfill the requirement. As with the proposal, Honors students working in a group can collaborate on a single thesis submission, though each student must submit the document. The required components should be combined in a single file and submitted via the senior thesis submission form:

  • Signed thesis title page. Include the names of all students involved in the project on the title page. The capstone instructor will sign as thesis director. A second reader is not required. The Honors College will obtain Dean Lynn’s signature for the title page.
  • Summary or abstract
  • Table of contents
  • Thesis paper. Include the paper or project report produced for the design capstone.
  • Supplemental files (optional). Plan sets, drawings, etc., can be uploaded separately. If the file is too large for upload, include a link to an accessible cloud server where supplemental materials can be accessed in the body of the main report.

The thesis project should be submitted during the semester the student completes the design capstone. The submission date is typically during the final exam period and is posted annually to the Blackboard organization for students pursuing a thesis equivalent.

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