Honors Advising FAQ

Kinesiology Schreyer Scholars looking for information about honors requirements and the honors thesis should begin looking in the Schreyer Student Handbook. The handbook contains helpful information, and there are many questions specific to Kinesiology that are answered below. If you do not see your question listed here, please contact the Kinesiology Honors Advisers, Dr. Steriani Elavsky, at elavsky@psu.edu or Dr. Jinger Gottschall, at jinger@psu.edu.


Questions and Answers

How do I get honors credits for my thesis work?

The Schreyer Honors College allows you to receive up to 6 credits of honors credit for completing your thesis. For students seeking honors in Kinesiology, these credits are obtained by taking KINES 494H. You can register for KINES 494H only after you have submitted your Thesis Proposal Report to Schreyer. To register for KINES 494H, download the Kines 494H Honors Thesis Research Formor pick one up in the Kinesiology Department office in 275 Rec Hall. You will need signatures from your thesis mentor and your honors adviser and the form should be returned to 275 Rec Hall. KINES 494H does not meet, will not fill up, and there is no proposal or other paperwork required other than what you agree on with your thesis mentor.

How many credits of KINES 494H should I sign up for?

You can sign up for as many as 6 and as few as 1 494 credits in a semester, and the amount you choose will depend upon the time you are spending on your research. This decision should be made in close consultation with your thesis mentor to avoid any misunderstandings later on. Students typically complete the Thesis Proposal Report in the spring semester of the junior year, and then take KINES 494H credits during the senior year, with 3 credits in the fall and 3 in the spring, but other arrangements are possible. Some students complete the TPR earlier in order to complete the thesis research before spring of the senior year. Each credit of KINES 494H should equate to forty total hours of work (about three hours per week) toward the thesis (but you should expect to put in more than 240 total hours of work on your thesis). Let's say you anticipate spending nine hours per week working on your thesis in a given semester. You could sign up for up to 3 credits of KINES 494H, since each credit should represent three hours per week of work.

How are grades for KINES 494H assigned?

Your thesis mentor gives you a grade at the conclusion of each semester you are registered for KINES 494H.

When do I need to sign up for KINES 494H?

You can sign up for these credits as soon as you have submitted your Thesis Proposal Report to Schreyer. This can be before or after the start of the semester in question, but please sign up as early as possible to clarify research expectations and avoid misunderstandings. You can earn KINES 494H credits in the spring, fall, or summer.

Can I get additional honors credit for my thesis work by completing an honors independent study (KINES 496H)?

Only 6 credits of research may be devoted to your thesis project, but you can have additional research experiences that count for honors credit, as long as it's not your thesis work. This means that if you do a KINES 496H independent study that is not your actual thesis work, it will not reduce the number of credits of KINES 494H you may take later when you are doing your thesis.

Can I do my honors thesis research with a professor who is not in the Department of Kinesiology?

Yes. When you do this, you have two options: You can seek honors in the discipline of your thesis mentor or you can seek interdisciplinary honors. For example, if you work with a professor in the Department of Biology, you could graduate with a B.S. in Kinesiology but with honors in Biology. In this case, your thesis would be read and approved by your thesis mentor and the honors adviser in the Department of Biology. If, however, your thesis topic spans both disciplines, you can seek interdisciplinary honors, in which case you would you could graduate with a B.S. in Kinesiology with interdisciplinary honors in Biology and Kinesiology, and your thesis would be read and approved by your thesis mentor and the honors advisers in both the Department of Biology and the Department of Kinesiology.

How do I complete my Thesis Proposal Report?

Work with your thesis mentor to define your research topic, hypotheses, and methods. You should then fill out the online form available at http://www.shc.psu.edu/students/ then print it out and bring the paper copy to your thesis mentor and honors thesis adviser. Bring the signed paper copy to the Honors College in the basement of Atherton Hall.

Should the kinesiology department head sign my Thesis Proposal Report?

No, not unless the department head is your thesis mentor. The Honors College gives you the option of listing the department head on the Thesis Proposal Report form because some departments require this, but the Department of Kinesiology does not.

Can I get honors credit for research even if I am a first-year or sophomore?

Any 400-level course (even a 496 independent study) will count for honors credit if taken during the first-year/sophomore block. There is no need to do an honors independent study form for such a course if you are a freshman or sophomore, although you should complete this form if you are taking 296 for honors credit, or if you are taking 496 as a junior or senior.

Do KINES 494H and KINES 496H count toward the 400-level elective requirements in the Fitness Studies and Movement Science options?

In general, no. These 400-level requirement should be satisfied by classes, not independent studies.

I took KINES 497A (or B, C, etc.) and it does not show up in my degree audit. Will it count toward the 400-level elective requirements in the Fitness Studies and Movement Science options?

Yes. These experimental 497 courses will not show up in the degree audit and so a substitution must be made. Please contact the Kinesiology honors adviser to have this substitution made, and be sure to say which course you took and in which semester.

Can I substitute KINES 494H credits for the KINES 495B internship?

Yes. Substitution of KINES 494H for KINES 495B is routine for honors scholars in Fitness Studies and Movement Science. Those of you whose options require the internship for certification purposes (i.e., Athletic Training and PHETE) cannot make this substitution.

Can I complete the KINES 495B internship in addition to the KINES 494H credits I receive for my thesis research?

Yes, but there can be no double counting. That is, your internship experience cannot be identical to your thesis research.

What are the ways in which honors credits may be obtained?

A detailed answer to this question may be found in the Schreyer Student Handbook.

Can honors credit be awarded for study abroad?

Possibly, depending on the time spent abroad and what you did while abroad. See the Schreyer Student Handbook for further information. If you have completed study abroad that you believe qualifies for honors credit, send a copy of the documentation confirming your enrollment in the program abroad and the length of the program to the Honors College.

Where can I get answers to my specific questions about requirements for medical school, physical therapy school, physician’s assistant programs, etc.?

Please make an appointment to see an adviser from Penn State’s Academic & Health Pre-Professional Advising office. See www.science.psu.edu/premed/advising-faculty-and-staff for more information.

How do I register for KINES 496H?

Forms are available from your honors advisor or in 275 Rec Hall. You'll need to submit a description of the work that justifies the number of credits and explains why it is an honors independent study. You will sign the form along with the faculty member supervising the independent study and your honors advisor before you turn the form in to Dori Sunday in 275 Rec Hall.

What if I am seeking honors in another department? Can I substitute those credits for the KINES 495B internship?

Yes, but you will need to sign up for 494H credits in that department. For example, if you are seeking honors in nutrition, you would need to have 6.0 credits of NUTR 494H that could be substituted for KINES 495B. See the honors advisor in the other department for information on how to sign up for that major's 494H credits.