What is an Honours project?
An Honours project is a usually 6-credit research project that a student undertakes during their undergraduate degree. It can be done in the summer (4 months) or over the course of the academic year (8 months). A student finds a supervisor who has a research project, conducts the research, and usually writes a thesis at the end or is graded in some other way for their entire project.
Is that all?
No. Usually, a project is not enough to be an Honours student. There are other requirements, such as maintaining a minimum cGPA and taking extra courses. They vary from major to major, and all of the requirements can be found in the McGill website under your major and by talking to your advisor. To make it even more complex, sometimes you can be an Honours student without even doing a project! This is program-specific. This guide, however, is designed for students who do have to do an Honours project.
Why should I be an Honours student?
Being an Honours student isn’t easy. There’s a lot of work, time, and dedication that goes into an Honours project, not to mention the extra courses and minimum grades! However, it is extremely rewarding! If you are looking into pursuing research in the form of a Master’s, for instance, an Honours project is a great way to stick out from the crowd. It also gives you valuable experience and knowledge. You can get a great reference letter, learn how research works, and improve your research and writing skills. You can also present a poster of your work. A completed Honours project can be a great source of pride!
I’m not sure…
That’s okay! Just explore your options and this guide. Talk to other Honours students, to your advisor, and to your professors. Above all, don’t think that you aren’t capable or that it’s too hard! Factor in what you can gain from the experience versus what you want to do in your life and with your future, and decide if it’s right for you!