One of the most significant educational experiences that students can have at Lafayette is to conduct honors research. From conception, to design, to data collection, to the seemingly endless drafts, and ultimately to the oral defense before the entire department, the students are the ones primarily responsible for this yearlong project. While under the mentorship of a faculty member within the department, this extensive research project is first and foremost the student’s experience.
Within recent years, the number of students selecting this option has increased dramatically (along with the time given by the faculty who supervise these students, and students in Advanced Research and in Independent Study, in addition to their regular teaching responsibilities). So has the breadth of topics selected by students to investigate. The quality of most of these projects is such that many become published in professional journals or are presented at national or regional conferences.
Most of the listed theses are on file in the department.
Independent Study is typically completed by students interested in exploring a topic not available through regularly offered courses, and may include library or laboratory research. Advanced Research is reserved for projects that emphasize original research. Depending on the scope of the research project, students will enroll in Advanced Research for multiple semesters. No more than four credits of Advanced Research may be applied toward graduation or fulfillment of the degree requirements. Frequently, students will use Advanced Research in preparation for Thesis.