Organizational Studies Honors Program (Fall 2012-Summer 2014)

Effective Fall 2012-Summer 2014  | Previous Requirements

The Organizational Studies Honors Plan (OSHC) is designed to enable advanced undergraduate students to gain experience in the design, conduct, and analysis of research on organizations and organizational behavior. In the program, the Honors student will collaborate directly with a faculty mentor to complete an original research project. For students with strong academic records and an interest in research, the Honors program can serve as a capstone for undergraduate studies, and as important preparation for graduate studies or other future endeavors.

The Organizational Studies Honors Plan is focused solely on research skills and activities, and interested students should be certain that they have a serious interest in academic research and the capability and desire to complete a prolonged independent study project culminating in a major empirical research paper.

Overall Structure and Effort for Honors Plan

During the junior year, interested students must apply for and be accepted into the OSHC. The application must include a detailed research proposal, supported and signed by the faculty mentor. If admitted, the student will enroll in the OS Senior Honors Research sequence in the senior year (ORGSTUDY 497 & 498). These are independent study courses in which the student will work on research and a thesis with a faculty mentor.

For OSHC students, the Honors thesis will become a defining feature of the senior year. Completing an Honors research project requires a commitment of at least two terms working in an independent study format, meeting on a regular basis with a faculty mentor. A complete first draft of the thesis should be submitted to the faculty mentor early in the second semester of the project. The Honors student must submit the final thesis for evaluation by a faculty panel by March. The student will also present the research at the Organizational Studies Honors Symposium in April. If the thesis is approved and LS&A cumulative GPA requirements are met, an Honors designation will appear on the student's transcript and diploma.

Arrange Student-Faculty Collaboration on a Specific Project

Students interested in the OSHC should begin exploring research interests during the first semester of the junior year. By February 1 of the junior year, the student should identify a specific UM faculty member who has research interests similar to the student's own. The faculty mentor must be a tenure-track faculty member at the University of Michigan (may be non-LSA). Successful partnerships often result from projects that extend ongoing research by the faculty mentor, but an original student project is also possible. For the Honors project, student and faculty mentor agree to work as a team for two terms to design and complete an empirical study.

Formal Application to the OS Honors Plan

To qualify for the OSHC, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and must maintain it through graduation. To apply to the OSHC, an application including a project proposal that has been approved by the faculty mentor must be submitted. The proposal should be a minimum of 5 pages, and must include:

  •   A brief overview of the project, including the research question to be answered;
  •   An explanation of the research design, data collection methods or data source to be used (include IRB submission info);
  •   A brief discussion of the analysis plan and expected results;
  •   A list of relevant references to the literature;
  •  An initial plan of work with a timeline.

Deadline for submitting OS Honors Plan application: First Friday in March of the junior year

Applications may be obtained  on the OS website. If approved, research may start in the summer if feasible.

Program Completion

An original research report (thesis) must be completed, in collaboration with the faculty mentor. The thesis must be formatted as a standard research journal submission, and is typically 30-40 pages in length. The Honors student must submit the final thesis to the faculty mentor by the first Friday in March, and also must present the findings at the OS Honors Symposium in early April.

Each thesis is evaluated by a faculty panel consisting of three readers: the faculty mentor, an independent faculty reader, and the OS Honors Coordinator. The independent faculty reader is chosen by the student and the faculty mentor, must be a tenure-track faculty member (may be non-LSA), and should be someone who has adequate knowledge of the research area but no previous connection to the project. The readers will complete their evaluation of the thesis by the end of classes.

To receive an Honors designation on the college degree, the faculty readers must approve the thesis, and the Honors student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.40 at graduation.

Students interested in the Organizational Studies Honors Plan may obtain further information on the OS website.

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