Honor thesis enhancements

The IDEAL Center invites proposals from faculty supervisors of student honors theses who would benefit from collaboration with partners outside Lafayette College. The hands-on learning and individualized instruction that are already hallmarks of an honors thesis at Lafayette dovetail with IDEAL goals; we seek to enhance these offerings by providing support for external collaborators to participate in the scholarly work of our faculty and students. Further, these projects might serve as pilot initiatives for larger-scale IDEAL projects or programs.


  • To facilitate faculty development through connections with collaborators outside of Lafayette.

Non-academic collaborators are strongly encouraged, e.g., industry, government, non-profit organizations.  Academic collaborators are acceptable, but they must be from institutions other than Lafayette.

  • To facilitate student engagement in experiential learning with external partners.

Students will gain experience by working with teams to solve complex problems and communicating with diverse audiences about both problems and solutions.

  • To facilitate the development of full-scale, multidisciplinary IDEAL programs.

The small-scale, one-year, one-student honors project might serve as a demonstration-of-concept and develop into a multi-year, multi-student, multi-faculty IDEAL program.


1.  An external partner must participate in the design and execution of the honors thesis project.

This must involve at least one visit by the external partner to campus and may also entail visits by the faculty and/or student to the external partner’s institution.

2.  The external partner must serve as a member of the student’s thesis committee and follow existing departmental procedures.

3.  The student must present the outcome of the honors thesis to an external audience.

4.  In addition to the departmental thesis document, the thesis must have at least one non-academic outcome.

Examples include a public service announcement, a physical product demonstration, a white paper to the collaborator’s institution, or an off-campus lecture (depending on the nature of the thesis).

Although special consideration will be given to multidisciplinary projects, not every successful proposal will necessarily include multidisciplinary collaboration.

All IDEAL requirements are in addition to all existing departmental requirements.