Almost Finished?

Frequently Asked Questions

I've Almost Finished My Honors Project - Now What Do I Do?

Also see the complete Guidelines.


Deadlines, etc.

Q. When do I have to give copies of my thesis to my committee?

A. This deadline is two weeks before the last day of classes. In spring 2013, the last day of classes is April 26, so the thesis due date is April 12, 2013 by 5 p.m. In fall 2013, the last day of class is December 6, so the thesis due date is November 22 by 5 p.m.

Q.  Do the committee copies have to be on acid free paper?

A.  No. Only the final, corrected version that goes to the Swem Archives must be on acid free paper.

Q.  When is the deadline for submission of a copy of the signed title page to the Charles Center?

A.  For fall 2012 - spring 2013 theses: by 11 a.m. on Friday, May 3, 2013. For spring-fall 2013 theses: by noon on Friday, December 20.

Q.  Who is responsible for submitting this?

A.  The department is responsible for reporting each student's level of Honors to the Charles Center immediately following the completion of the oral exam. Check with your department for their internal policy (some departments have advisors or students submit the form).

Q.  Why is there a deadline for this?

A.  This is the deadline set by the Publications Office for Honors information to make it into the graduation bulletin.

The Defense

Q.  Does the Charles Center schedule the defense?

A.  No. Scheduling the defense is up to the student and/or advisor. Check with your department about their policy.

Q.  Where should I hold the defense?

A.  Since classes are still in session for part of the time it may be hard to schedule a classroom. Check with departments to see if department-controlled seminar rooms are available or try getting a room in the SC (or elsewhere) through the Scheduling Office (221-3272).

Q.  What do I need to bring to the defense?

A.  Bring a copy of the title page on acid free paper. After it's signed, a copy of this page will come to the Charles Center so that the level of Honors may be recorded. This page will go with the archive copy you give to Swem. You create your own title page - here is a sample (doc).

Post Defense

Q.  Can I make changes to the thesis after the defense?

A.  Only corrections of minor typographical or mechanical errors will be allowed. After the oral exam, the committee may instruct the candidate to correct any errors discovered during the evaluation process.

Q.  What do I do with the final version of my thesis?

A.  The final version of the thesis must be uploaded to the Honors Theses community in the William and Mary Digital Archive no later than 5 p.m. on Friday May 10, 2013 for fall-spring students. See instructions for doing so at

In addition, one unbound copy of the honors thesis, including the original signatures of the examining committee, must be submitted to the Special Collections Research Center (located in Swem Library) no later than 5 p.m. on Friday May 10, 2013 for fall-spring students.  The thesis director may require the candidate to hand-carry it to Swem. This copy must be printed on acid free paper and not bound in any way. 

Q.  Are there guidelines for submission of the thesis to archives?

A.  Yes. You can read them on the Swem Special Collections Research Center site.

Q.  Do I have to give a copy to my department?

A.  Check to see if your department wants a file copy.

Q.  Do I have to give a file copy to the Charles Center?

A.  No, the Charles Center doesn't keep theses on file.

Q.  I presented at the Honors Colloquium. What should I do to have my thesis bound?

A.  Bring a copy of your final version, on acid free paper and following all the guidelines for the Archive copy, to the Charles Center by Monday, May 13. We'll mail your bound thesis to you over the summer.