The Honors Project

The Honors project may be the most valuable component of your Honors education. Your project is an opportunity to synthesize your experience at Iowa State with a research project or creative work that is uniquely yours.

Honors students have designed projects around a wide variety of subjects. Most Honors students choose to do their projects in their area of study, but some design projects that combine their major with other interests or pursue a topic unrelated to their major. To view examples of Honors projects, visit the digital repository.

Steps to complete your Honors Project:

  • During your freshman and sophomore years, we encourage you to begin thinking about your project by attending the Honors Poster Presentation.
  • During sophomore and junior years, you should begin determining your project topic as well as work to identify a faculty project adviser.
    • To find your faculty project adviser, you may look at the digital repository to find past advisers of similar projects or speak with your academic adviser or Honors program staff.
  • Once you've determined your project topic and found your faculty project adviser, complete your college's project proposal form by September 21 (to present in spring) or February 21 (to present in fall). 
    • The project proposal should be submitted one semester prior to beginning your project as your College Honors Committee will need to approve it.
  • Complete your Honors Project and apply for an Honors Research Grant.
  • You are required to register for 490 (independent study) credit in the term you will complete your project. Please consult with your academic adviser prior to enrolling. This credit is registered as:
    • Departmental 490H if you are doing a project within your field of study
    • Departmental 490 contracted as Honors if the department does not have an Honors designation available
    • HON 490H if you are doing a project outside of your field of study (students registering for HON 490H must submit a completed HON 490 Form- contact Honors office for form- before registering for the credit)
  • Present your Honors Project.
    • Poster presentations are held each fall and spring term, and students are encouraged to present late in their junior year or early in their senior year to allow time to take full advantage of opportunities to share their research as well as to leverage their project during the application process to graduate school and/or during job interviews to gain a competitive edge!
    • Poster presentation guidelines and required forms can be found here.

Project Forms

Poster Presentation

Digital Repository

Honors Project abstracts and posters are included in Iowa State University’s Digital Repository, providing Honors graduates a globally accessible archive. We suggest using the "Browse" option on the left to navigate directly to your area of interest.


Research Poster Example 1

Honors Project Dress