Why do an honors thesis?

Participation in the Labor Studies and Employment Relations Undergraduate Honors Programs will provide you:

  • A chance to work intensively with an individual faculty member
  • A chance to develop research and writing skills which can be used in graduate study and in many jobs
  • An opportunity to explore in depth a topic of importance to you
  • A chance to improve your record for entrance into graduate programs
  • An opportunity to publish research work

Departmental Honors Program

Both BA and BS students are eligible. Please note that the first Honors class (498) meets the LSER capstone requirement for either degree.

To qualify for the departmental honors program, a student must have completed at least 18 credits in labor studies. The student must also have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or better in the major at the end of the junior year (or when they have earned approximately 90 credits toward the 120 needed to graduate). Honors students are required to complete original research projects under the supervision of a faculty member and present that project to a group of faculty.

An interested and qualified student should discuss topic ideas with an Honors Advisor (see the list below) or another faculty member of their choice from the Labor Studies Department. Before the end of the junior year, the student should formally apply to the Undergraduate Academic Program Director, Paula B. Voos (pbvoos@smlr.rutgers.edu).  At that time, they should be able to specify the faculty member who has agreed to mentor them.

Candidates who are accepted are required to conduct the research project and write the thesis under the direction of their faculty advisor, as well as to present their work orally to a group of faculty before graduation. Completed applications must be in no later than the end of the first week of their second to last semester (typically, but not necessarily the Fall semester).

Students enroll in 37:575:498 in the first semester of their final year. At the end of that semester, the faculty advisor and student decide at that point whether or not the student will go on to write a full thesis. If the student continues to the full thesis, they enroll, in the final semester before graduation in 37:575:499 Honors in Labor Studies.

To remain in good standing in the program, students must maintain regular contact with their faculty advisor.

Funds in Support of Research

All applications for funds in support of research from SAS students completing a senior honors thesis (departmental or interdisciplinary) will be handled by the Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates (ARC). Click here for the application. Students must submit an application for funds directly to the ARC.

Recognition at Graduation

Students who complete the thesis will receive additional recognition during the SMLR graduation.