Honours FAQs

What are the hours required for an Honours course?

In general, 3 credit courses are designed to take 120 hours. As a 6 credit course, an Honours project should take around 240 hours. However, it really varies depending on the project.


I’m in an interfaculty program (CogSci, Environment, Sustainability, Science, and Society). What courses do I have to take?

As of April 2015:

Cognitive Science: COGS444 – 6 credits

Environment: ENVR495 – 6 credits (can be over non-consecutive terms)

SS&S: ENVR495 – 6 credits (can be over non-consecutive terms)


I’m doing a double major. How do I do an Honours project?

You would actually have to do a Joint Honours! You should definitely talk to your advisor, as this is a lot more complex. In general, Joint Honours students have to do two Honours projects: one in the Arts faculty, and one in the Science faculty. However, it is possible that you do an interdisciplinary research project by talking to their advisors and finding supervisors who are willing. It is unlikely, however.


What are the other requirements for Honours students?

(As of April 2015. Subject to be updated annually – make sure the link is the correct year. Talk to your advisor.)

Cognitive Science



Joint Honours


What happens if I do an Honours project and don’t fulfill other Honours requirements?

This is a situation in which you should definitely go to see an advisor! In general, this can happen if you don’t maintain a cGPA, do a capstone/core/required course, or if you’re a Joint Honours student but only manage to do one Honours project.

Generally, you switch to a major (instead of Honours). You can keep your courses as electives, or complementary courses. Joint Honours students may have to simply switch to a major. If it is a problem of GPA, you may be able to redo courses. Your advisor will know.


Who can be a supervisor?

For the Joint Honours program, this is fairly obvious. For instance, if you are doing a Joint Honours in Mathematics and Anthropology, your supervisors for your two projects would be in the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Anthropology respectively.

For the other interdisciplinary ones, find one who is roughly in your field and email your advisor and the head of your department to make sure!

You may also have multiple supervisors, if you are doing a Joint Honours and just doing one interdisciplinary project.


How to find a supervisor:

– Go to the website of the fields you’re interested in. Look at the research of the professors, read their papers and abstracts, and email them saying you’re interested in doing an Honours project with them. Make sure to send them your unofficial transcript and CV

– Talk to the professors who teach subjects you enjoy. Ask them if they are willing to take on an Honours student. If not, ask them if they know anybody else doing {insert topics you’re interested in}. If you know them well, ask if you can.

– Talk to the head of your department and ask if they know anyone looking to supervise an Honours student, or people who research a field you’re interested in.


What to expect when meeting a potential supervisor:

– Make sure to have read some (or all) of their papers. Have questions and comments prepared.

– There’s usually no need to dress up in a business suit, but don’t dress extremely casually either. First impressions matter!

– The first meeting is usually simply to discuss the supervisor’s research and see his/her lab. However, make sure you have a vague idea of what you want to research in and why.

– Some supervisors quiz you to see if you know your basic stuff. Don’t panic, but review important concepts in your field to be prepared!

– Supervisors will also be interested in you as a person – are you hard-working, what career do you want to pursue, etc?. Be prepared for a mini-interview.

– Have expectations of your supervisor and the lab; just because you need a supervisor doesn’t mean you have to settle! Make sure you decide if the environment and research is good for you.

– Make sure you discuss when you will contact the supervisor next, or if s/he will contact you.


Research proposal?!?!

Research proposals are a general gist of what your project is about. They are submitted to your supervisor, your advisor (e.g. Cognitive Science advisor) and to your departmental head (e.g. if you are doing a Joint Honours in Maths and IDS, then your Maths’ honours research proposal is sent to the departmental head of Mathematics). They have to be approved by the departmental head.

Research proposals vary for departments and supervisors.


I don’t know how to write a thesis!

This is what a general thesis format and example thesis looks like. It’s usually like a long paper. Your supervisor decides all of the specifics – length, date of submission, grade, etc. There’s also a lot of resources online. Don’t panic – it’s a lot of research, but it’s not impossible!


Ahh my Honours thesis is taking too long! Can I get an extension?

You can if your supervisor allows it. Talk to your supervisor if you need an extension, and then contact your advisor to let them know. The absolute maximum is usually by a semester.


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