Distinction Project

Honors Distinction Project

During the third and fourth years, students bring their academic, intellectual, cultural and/or service interests to bear on a distinctive extended project that spans at least two semesters and includes a significant written or creative work.  This Distinction Project may take many forms; examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Two-unit research or creative project
  • Semester or year of study away with associated project
  • Extended service leadership project
  • Internship and related one-unit research project

The project will be shared with an on- or off-campus audience through presentation or performance, and the culminating written or creative work becomes part of the Honors Portfolio. Students may apply to the Honors Program Director for funding to support the Distinction Project.

Examples of recent Distinction Projects:

Information about current and completed Honors Distinction Projects is available in our new searchable database!

Interested in seeing some examples from successful proposals? Check out the Distinction Project Proposal Examples page!

Distinction Project guidelines and all of the associated forms are available on the Honors Program forms page.

Proposals may be submitted on the Friday before spring or fall break starting in the spring of a student's second year. The final opportunity to submit a proposal is the Friday before break in the third semester before graduation. Generally, this is spring of a student's third year.

Proposal process

The Distinction Project proposal process starts in HNRS 113 and 114, the second-year Portfolio Seminar courses. During both semesters students are responsible for attending Distinction Project Preparation Meetings that are relevant to their interests and emerging plans. The goal is to have a clear, purposeful, and directive starting point by the middle of HNRS 114.

Proposal development must include a drafting and revision process that includes the Project Supervisor. It is recommended that this work involve several contacts with the Supervisor during the weeks prior to submission. Two weeks prior to the Proposal due date you must submit the name of your Project Supervisor, your Project title, and a preliminary abstract to the Honors Director.

The project proposal includes a number of sections:

  • Project Summary
  • Project Background
  • Personal Background
  • Project Outline
  • Timeline and Plan for Academic Credit
  • Study Away Clarification (if applicable)
  • Budget (and justification)
  • Designated Project Supervisor and Committee Members  

Detailed instructions can be found on the proposal form.

Want some examples of these sections? Check out the Distinction Project Proposal Examples page.

Additional information about the approval process, project structure, required products, and funding is available in the Distinction Project Guidelines.

Completing the Distinction Project

The Distinction Project defense checklist summarizes the final requirements for the Distinction Project. This form, as well as the final grade form, should be submitted to the Honors Director when completed.