Thesis Committee

The Thesis Advisor

A thesis advisor is an individual with whom you work closely on developing and executing your thesis.  In addition to serving as your project mentor, your advisor serves as the instructor of record for the courses associated with your thesis (HON 498 and 499).  While typically the thesis is advised by an individual faculty member, co-advisors are possible; talk with the associate dean if you are thinking about co-advisors.   

Finding a Thesis Advisor

Typically, you will find your advisor simply by asking a faculty member if they are available to work with you on your thesis topic. The faculty member may be someone with whom you are already working in a lab or on a research project, someone from whom you have taken a class, or someone with expertise in your field of interest. You will discuss this process in detail in HON 391, though we recommend that you start thinking about this well before you begin your thesis.  If you have trouble finding an advisor, contact the associate dean.  

The Thesis Committee

Effective August 1, 2022, your thesis committee must be comprised of a minimum of three UMaine faculty members, including the thesis advisor; to ensure continuity for the committee, all members should be full-time members of the UMaine faculty; the Honors dean and/or associate dean may also serve. The committee may include a maximum of five total members; the total number of committee members will be determined by the advisor and student.  

  • The committee may include 1 external member (e.g. a  faculty member at another institution, a researcher affiliated with a lab outside of UMaine, or a community partner); the external member may not serve as the thesis advisor. The external member would constitute a fourth member of the committee.
  • If the thesis is meeting the capstone requirements for double majors, the committee may need to have advisors or members from both disciplines. Please consult with the chairs/directors of your departments to make this determination.

Thesis committees sometimes include Honors faculty members. In these cases, the Honors member will help you develop your Reading List. If your committee does not include an Honors faculty member, the Honors College will assign you one.