HRS Research

Graduation with Research Distinction

Many students and parents have heard that completing research is a key component to a strong application for graduate level study.  However, getting involved in research can be challenging.  Many students are interested in completing research that is meaningful to them but are unsure of what options are available to them.  The graduation with Research Distinction has several benefits to students.


1) It allows students to gain experience with a thesis/disertation process prior to graduate study.

Students may complete a thesis within his/her major or in other disciplines, provided he/she has a faculty research advisor (who may be tenure-track, clinical, research, or auxiliary faculty).  Lecturers and others who do not have faculty status may not serve as the designated research advisor.

  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 at the time of graduation is required, or permission of the academic unit.

2) It is a University-level recognition that is attached to the student’s degree, similar to the “cum laude” recognitions.

  • To qualify for graduation with “Research Distinction,” the student must turn in a short thesis proposal, to the SHRS Honors Committee. The proposal must be signed by the faculty research advisor; this ensures that all parties have a common understanding of the proposed plan to complete a thesis for a given graduation deadline.
  • Acceptable standards for the written paper of the research thesis or project will be determined by the SHRS Honors Committee.
  • A satisfactory oral defense of the thesis or project is required. The oral defense will last one hour and will be evaluated by a committee of at least two faculty members, one of whom must have tenure-track status. The chair of the oral defense committee is typically the faculty research advisor.  The third faculty committee member is a representative of the Honors Committee.

3) It allows students to be the lead researchers on a published research study.

The approved thesis or project written component will be submitted to the OSU Knowledge Bank.



More information about the Distinction Thesis option: 


Don’t be afraid to reach out to HRS Faculty to ask about partnering in research!

Discover what research is currently being conducted by our faculty here:

Explore some of the HRS Research Labs here:

Many faculty members’ HRS page lists their research interests as well: