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Maintaining your Membership

Honors Program Benchmarks

New Honors Students: For students joining the program between semesters (before classes start), it is mandatory to complete the previous Benchmark requirement. If joining mid-semester, students may wait
until following Benchmark requirement to maintain Honors status.

Benchmark Requirements by Year
End of Year 1End of Year 2Before Graduation*Before Graduation*
Submit an Honors Project Planning Form to maintain Honors status. Students who join Honors during year one must submit this form within one semester of joining Honors.Submit an Honors Project Proposal. Students who join Honors during or after year two must submit this form within one semester of joining Honors.Complete an Honors Project Report by the end of year four or the semester of graduation (and include it in ePortfolio for GEN students only).Present the work at the Honors Project Symposium or another approved forum by the end of year four or the semester of graduation (or semester of thesis defense)

*OR semester of graduation OR semester of thesis defense

Contact: All questions pertaining to the Honors Project should be directed to sallade.3.

Benchmark Requirements by Year

Details: Student will submit a broad project idea and verify understanding of ASC Honors Program requirements.

Due Date: First Friday in May (end of Year 1), early submissions allowed after Honors Survey presentation.

Survey Link: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6X7PDhEPBlBxknc

Details: Student will submit a detailed project plan requiring approval from ASC Honors Project Committee.

Due Date: First Friday in May (end of Year 2), early submissions allowed after reviewing feedback from Benchmark 1.

Survey Link: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5zqdn9t0Ot7YOcS

Details: Student will reflect on project goals and outcomes. Student will include this in their ePortfolio if applicable (GEN students only).

Due Date: Last Day of Classes of end of Year 4 OR semester of graduation OR semester of thesis defense (whatever comes first). Early submissions allowed only after Benchmark 2 receives official approval.

Survey Link: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8kWclo35U4y8iWy

Note: It is preferred (but not required) that Benchmark 3 is submitted before Benchmark 4.

Details: Student will present at Honors Project Symposium or other pre-approved forum to share findings and reflections with OSU community. Students pursuing an honors thesis may use their oral defense in lieu of the Symposium.

Due Date: Benchmark 4 sign-up survey due two weeks info final semester and/or semester of Symposium participation. Early submissions allowed only after Benchmark 2 receives official approval. Symposium presentation will happen closer to the end of the semester.

Survey Link: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bNjbqKCVfCHSW7Y

Note: It is preferred (but not required) that Benchmark 3 is submitted before Benchmark 4.

Resources & FAQs

The Honors Project timeline was designed to span four years, but it definitely doesn’t have to. Benchmarks 1 and 2 are “locked in” with due dates at the end of Years 1 and 2, but Benchmarks 3 and 4 are more flexible/due before graduation. You can submit any of the Benchmarks early if your project materials wrap up ahead of time. The Benchmarks/Honors Project should not impact your ability to graduate early.

An honors thesis can be used as your Honors Project with no special details/additions needed. If you successfully defend an honors thesis project, this can be your Honors Project as-is.

A thesis is also the only Honors Project option to…

  1. Impact what is printed on the diploma (you will graduate with honors research distinction in addition to “with honors in the Arts & Sciences)
  2. Require academic credit (4999H)
  3. Require an oral defense that can replace the Honors Project Symposium if you wish (although you are welcome and encouraged to do the Symposium as well!)

For more information on the honors thesis process, please visit our “Thesis” tab or contact Rebecca Sallade (.3), the Honors Thesis Coordinator.

  • Unless you are participating in an alternative approved forum, you MUST participate in an Honors Project Symposium to graduate with honors in the Arts & Sciences. Submitting the Benchmark 4 survey does NOT complete the Benchmark 4 requirement alone.
  • Acceptable alternative forums include but are not limited to: a thesis oral defense, the STEP Expo, the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, and the Stamps Eminence Symposium. As long as your ENTIRE Honors Project is covered within this presentation, you may submit proof of participation in the alternative forum in lieu of the Symposium requirement.
  • NOTE: If ANY part of your Honors Project is not included in the alternative forum, you MUST also participate in the Honors Project Symposium.
  • Even if participating in an alternative forum, you are ALWAYS welcome and encouraged to also participate in the Honors Project Symposium. We would love to celebrate your work!
  • Other acceptable alternative forums may include conference presentations, the Undergraduate Research Festival, Departmental Colloquiums, etc. If you have an event coming up and are wondering whether or not it can satisfy the Benchmark 4 requirement, please contact Rebecca Sallade (.3).
  • For tips on what to include in your Symposium presentation, click here to watch the recording of our B3/B4 webinar and/or view our “Honors Project Resources” drop-down.
  • Tips & Tricks for your Honors Project Symposium presentation graphic: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U9QkyR-orW3R42MpMAjte1IqsDxfK_GD/view?usp=drive_link 
  • After receiving email feedback/approval about your Benchmark 2 submission, Benchmarks 3 and 4 are fair game to submit anytime until your graduation semester. It is recommended to submit Benchmark 3 (a reflection-based survey) once your Honors Project materials are wrapping up/while your experiences are still fresh. It is recommended to submit the Benchmark 4 survey once you decide on the semester in which you plan on presenting in the Honors Project Symposium or alternative approved forum. Submitting the Benchmark 4 sign-up survey does NOT fulfill the complete Benchmark 4 requirement alone. This must be accompanied by a presentation.
  • For specific deadlines for Benchmarks 3 and 4, please refer to our “Membership” tab.
  • You can participate in the Honors Project Symposium anytime after receiving Benchmark 2 approval and once ALL of your Honors Project experiences/materials are completed or close to completion. The Symposium will always take place towards the end of the semester, so you may present in the same semester in which your project is wrapping up if you wish. However, you may always push to a future semester if you would like more time to reflect on your experiences (or if you finish up over a summer semester and wish to participate in a larger Symposium).
  • You MUST present by the end of Year 4, during the semester of your thesis defense (if applicable), or your final semester of undergrad- whichever of these 3 events occur first. However, if your project wraps up before your final semester, you are able to present early! Please indicate this within your Benchmark 4 sign-up survey.
  • Honors Project Symposiums will happen every semester, including summer term if there is demand. Students who are abroad or otherwise unable to attend in-person on the Columbus campus are advised to participate in in a later Symposium if the graduation timeline allows. If you have questions or need virtual accommodations, please contact Rebecca Sallade (.3).
  • Tips & Tricks for your Honors Project Symposium presentation graphic: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U9QkyR-orW3R42MpMAjte1IqsDxfK_GD/view?usp=drive_link 
  • Yes! Even after receiving approval for Benchmarks 1 or 2, you are not locked into a Project idea if you change your mind. Contact Rebecca Sallade (.3) via email to update your Benchmark statement. If changing your mind after Benchmark 1, it is advised to indicate your idea change via Benchmark 2, but help is available in the meantime.
  • Please note: It is not required to get your new Benchmark 2 idea re-approved if you change your mind, but it is STRONGLY encouraged to keep Rebecca Sallade (.3) updated just to make sure your current Project idea is meeting all graduation requirements.
  • Please contact your Honors Advisor if unsure, but as a general rule of thumb-
  • If you join ASC Honors during the academic year, you should plan on submitting the upcoming Benchmark assignment that aligns with your year (Benchmark 1 for first-year students and Benchmark 2 for second-year students and beyond). It is recommended to work with Rebecca Sallade (.3) to prepare for the upcoming Benchmark if you have questions!
  • If you join ASC Honors over the summer, it is required that you still submit the Benchmark assignment that has just passed (B1 for students who just finished their first year, B2 for students who just finished year 2 and beyond). Only if joining after fall classes start are you able to “skip ahead” to the upcoming Benchmark.
  • Currently all Honors Projects that combine multiple experiences are required to go through the petition process with the ASC Honors Project Petitions Committee. This is not as scary as it sounds!
  • Within your Benchmark 2 survey (or via email), you will submit a Statement of Connectivity (see below) that can be considered as-is for your petition statement. However, you are able to include an additional petition statement if you wish within the same survey. Rebecca then reads your petition materials and advocates on your behalf to the Petitions Committee, and will keep you posted along the way.
  • Petition statements should include the following:
    • WHAT- What experience(s) do you want to do for your HP? When do you plan on doing each experience and how many hours will you earn from each?
    • WHY- Why is this your preferred HP? Why is this important to you and your goals?
    • HOW- What specific program(s) are you pursuing? How will you track your hours? Who will supervise/mentor you?
    • COMBO- How do these two+ experiences relate (topic/purpose/goal) to create one overarching Honors Project idea?
  • Please try to include as many details as possible (more than you think you need) and we will do all that we can to work with your idea. Rebecca Sallade (.3) is able to answer questions and give feedback on potential petition statements between Benchmark submissions.
  • Unless completing an honors thesis, academic credit is preferred but NOT required to complete an Honors Project. There are lots of reasons why academic credit is not possible beyond student control, so we are happy to work with alternative forms of time tracking. At the end of your Honors Project (as a part of your Benchmark 3 submission), we will need a Supervisor/Mentor/PI/etc. that can confirm your start/end dates and total hours worked for EACH experience that makes up your Honors Project.
  • How you track your hours is up to you and your Supervisor! We can accept timesheets/paystubs, spreadsheets, pen/paper hourly logs, email verification, etc. If unsure if your chosen method will suffice, please contact Rebecca Sallade (.3).
  • If you have questions about earning credit for your experience (research, internship, creative arts project), please contact Rebecca Sallade (.3) for options.

For many experiences, your "Mentor" figure will be chosen for you. This person needs to be able to confirm your hours worked before graduation (unless we are going off of credits earned) and should be able to advise you on your project if you get stuck/want input. If you are combining multiple experiences to make up your Honors Project, it may be necessary to have multiple Mentor figures chosen.

For research/thesis experiences, a PI, Lab Manager, Faculty Thesis Advisor, etc. can serve this purpose.

For internship experiences, your Supervisor, Boss, etc. can serve this purpose.

For study abroad, the OSU Contact found on your program's Global Ed page can serve this purpose.

For community-serving work experiences (aka volunteering), your Volunteer Coordinator, worksite, etc. can serve this purpose. (NOTE: For Service-Learning classes that have the S-designation, we will go off of the grade/credits earned).

For creative-based projects and other more abstract ideas, you may need to choose your own Mentor. Remember, this should be someone who can confirm hours worked and advise when you get stuck. Examples of this could be OSU faculty, community site managers, local artists/authors/etc., and other professionals relevant to your project. Unless approved, family members/close friends should NOT serve as your Mentor.

If you need help choosing a Mentor or want to double check your choice, please contact Rebecca (sallade.3)! Please note that your ASC Honors Advisor CANNOT be a Mentor for your Honors Project, as they cannot confirm your hours worked and are not directly supervising you.

  • Rebecca Sallade (Undergraduate Research, Honors Thesis, and Honors Project Coordinator) would be happy to help you! Email is the best way to reach Rebecca (sallade.3@osu.edu). Zoom appointments are available upon request, and Honors Project drop-in hours can be found in your ASC Honors newsletter. For more information on Rebecca, please visit our People page.
  • Please also utilize your on-demand resources: your ASC Honors Newsletter, the ASC Honors YouTube channel, and our “Membership” tab.

A variety of on-demand resources are available to guide you with the Honors Project:

Impacts of the ASC Honors Projects

"My Honors Project (Research & Internship) relates to my current professional/personal goals of gaining experience outside of academics and stepping out of my comfort zone to prepare myself for my future career."


"My Honors Project (Research & Internship) helps me bridge the gap between my major and pre-professional track."


"My Honors Project (Research) is helping me figure out what I like/dislike in my field, which will help me narrow down my interests and future aspirations. This opportunity also allows me to make connections with people in the field I want to work in."


"As a double major, combining my Study Abroad experience and Undergraduate Research will help me round out my college experience and put what I am learning in the classroom into action."


 "Getting involved both inside and outside of the university and taking my experience and applying it to the community in order to make a difference is what I am expecting to get out of my Honors Project."

"As a double major, combining my Study Abroad experience and Undergraduate Research will help me round out my college experience and put what I am learning in the classroom into action."