Honors Capstone Experience
The College of Letters & Science Honors in the Major general requirements require that students complete a two-semester (three credits each semester) capstone experience. The first option is a Senior Honors Thesis. For Honors in the Major in Mathematics, we have an alternative offering that is described below.
MATH 681-682 Senior Honors Thesis
These courses, which must be taken in separate semesters, although summer term may be used for one of them, are used for work on the honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.
Prereq: senior standing and enrollment in the math honors program.
If you are interested in participating actively in research activities and writing an honors thesis, it is important to plan ahead. You need to have a faculty thesis advisor selected before your last academic year. (For a traditional four-year plan, this would be before the end of your third year.) Engaging with undergraduate research during your second or third year through the Madison Experimental Mathematics Lab (MXM) is one way to connect with faculty and build a connection that could lead to an honors thesis, but it is not the only option. You may meet with an honors advisor to discuss your options.
Alternate Capstone Experience
In lieu of an honors thesis, students may elect to complete a sequence of graduate mathematics courses for their capstone experience. As with all coursework for Honors in the Major in Mathematics, these courses must be completed with a grade of B or higher. Some sequences that students have used in the past include MATH 703-704, 714-715, 721-722, 721-725, and 741-742. This sequence of courses must be approved by an honors advisor and each time you wish to enroll in a graduate course, you will need to complete an online form to request permission to enroll. The link to the form is available from the honors advisors. Note that the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies reviews requests from undergraduates who wish to enroll in graduate courses and enforces departmentally-established prerequisites. As soon as you know which graduate sequence you might wish to complete, you should speak with an honors advisor to develop a plan to complete required undergraduate prerequisites before you would enroll in the graduate sequence.