Brown University School of Engineering

Honors

According to the Brown University Faculty Rules, “The University shall, at graduation, grant Honors to students whose work in a field of concentration has demonstrated superior quality and culminated in an Honors Thesis of Distinction.”  Eligibility for the honors program in The School of Engineering is determined based on the student’s academic performance at the end of the first semester of the senior year.

Requirements for Honors in Engineering

Students may apply for admission to the Honors Program by filling out the on-line form that can be downloaded below.  The application must be submitted to that office prior to November 8 of the student’s senior year. The application form includes a section on academic performance and another section on the proposal for the candidate’s Honors Thesis.  The proposed thesis project must be endorsed by an engineering faculty member who will also act as the honors advisor to that student. The minimum grade point average for admission to the Engineering Honors Program is 3.4/4.0 on graded coursework. This GPA will normally be calculated based on the courses that are required to satisfy engineering concentration requirements and which are listed on the applicant’s approved engineering concentration form.  No more than one of the required engineering courses may be independent studies (ENGN1970/1971) and courses not taken for a grade will not be included in the GPA calculation.  It is expected that, whenever possible, honors candidates will have taken nearly all the required technical courses (other than EN0030) in their concentration for a grade. The honors application form will be reviewed by the Honors Committee to determine admission to the Honors Program.

Honors thesis work may be fulfilled in part by work done during the senior year in an “Independent Studies in Engineering” course (ENGN 1970/1971).  In such cases, course credit will also be given to the student upon successful completion of the independent studies course(s). The requirements for the Honors Program may also be fulfilled without enrolling in a course, in which case it will carry no course credit.  A written thesis, in the required format, must be submitted to the honors committee one week prior to the thesis defense. The honors committee consists of the Honors Chair, appointed by the School of Engineering, the student’s honors research faculty advisor, and a faculty (or appropriate equivalent) reader.  

The thesis defense will be scheduled with the Engineering Student Affairs Office near the end of the spring semester. The thesis defense is a short, but intense 15 minute presentation (including some time for questions) delivered as part of the Engineering Honors Symposium - an afternoon of honors theses presentations. The audience includes the advisor, reader(s) as well as other students and faculty. 

Admission to the Honors Program does not guarantee that a student will receive Honors upon graduation.  Recommendation for this distinction by the School of Engineering requires that the candidate continues to demonstrate academic excellence in the spring semester, completes an “Honors Thesis of Distinction,” and successfully defends his/her thesis in an oral examination.  It is only when all three of these requirements have been fulfilled that a recommendation for Honors will be submitted to the College Curriculum Council of Brown University.  Additional details on the Honors program and forms are available in the Engineering Student Affairs Office.

Honors Form

2013-14 Deadlines

Date Deadline
Nov 8 Deadline to apply for honors. Students should submit the honors application form to the undergraduate affairs office. If the application is accepted, the student will be sent an invitation to join EasyChair for submission, in April, of the thesis and presentation.
March 7 First, you should register with EasyChair, then fill the title, abstract, first author (yourself), second author (your advisor), third author (your reader). Mark yourself as the corresponding author. Add you concentration (e.g., mechanical engineering) in your keywords field; please add "engineering" and "Brown University" as the second and third keywords. Finally, upload your draft thesis pdf, and press the submit button. Ignore the attachment field for now.

April 18

A complete copy of thesis (PDF format) must be uploaded to EasyChair
April 24 Presentation slides must be uploaded to your initial submission using the EasyChair account. Use the attachment field after you click "submit a new version." Only PowerPoint and pdf are acceptable formats for the presentations.
April 25 Honors Thesis Presentations - The thesis presentations will take place in B&H 190 (15 minutes per student, including Q&A). Faculty, readers, students, and guests are encouraged to attend. All honors candidates are required to attend their full session. There will be a refreshment break in between sessions, and a celebratory reception for all students, faculty and guests at the end of the afternoon.
Following the presentations, the advisor, reader and honors chair will determine if the thesis and presentation are: (a) accepted without revision, (b) accepted subject to specific recommendations, or (c) not accepted for honors. This decision will be relayed to the student over the weekend of April 26/27.
April 28 (5pm) Absolutely the final deadline to upload the final (revised) thesis document (PDF format) to the EasyChair account, and the signed cover page submitted to the undergraduate office (Tori Riccitelli, B&H 307).
*** This deadline is final, there are no extensions. ***

Contacts

Engineering Honors
Jennifer Franck, Co-Chair
Jennifer_Franck@brown.edu
David Paine, Co-Chair
David_Paine@brown.edu
Gabriel Taubin, Co-Chair
Gabriel_Taubin@brown.edu
Administrative Questions
Tori Riccitelli
Victoria_Riccitelli@brown.edu