Plan II Thesis Team
Contact the Plan II Directors (Dr Faria and Osbakken) regarding thesis topic approval ("part one" of pre-registration), research & writing guidance, and any thesis committee concerns.
Contact your Thesis Course Instructor (Dominica Whitesell) regarding course assignments and attendance.
Contact your Plan II Academic Advising Coordinators regarding course registration, graduation, incompletes, and other thesis concerns.
Dr. Stephanie Osbakken, Associate Director
Contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please reach out by email for any thesis advising questions.
Dr. Caroline Faria, Associate Director
Contact by email: email@example.com
Please reach out by email for any thesis advising questions.
Contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please reach out to Dominica with any thesis assignment or course-related questions.
Plan II Advising
See Plan II Advising Homepage
Contact by email: email@example.com
Thesis Preparation Process:
The registration process for T C 660HA begins THE SEMESTER BEFORE you intend to start working on your thesis.
- Preparing for T C 660HA
- Step One: Plan II Topic Approval
- Step Two: Thesis Committee
- Tab Option 4
- Tab Option 5
- Read through the Plan II Thesis Manual and begin to formulate a general idea for your thesis topic.
- Begin talking with professors who have expertise in your topic of interest for guidance.
- Meet with Drs Osbakken or Faria to talk over your ideas
- Reconnect with past professors you enjoyed and see if they might be interested in working with you
Thesis Registration: Step One
The first step in your thesis pre-registration process is topic approval from Plan II's Associate Directors, Dr. Faria or Dr Osbakken. Make sure you receive this early in the semester, so you have time to finalize your committee (see step 2).
Propose your thesis topic & secure Plan II approval:
- Sign up for an appointment with Dr Osbakken or Dr Faria via Calendly (see links above) to discuss your thesis topic.
- After your meeting, submit your first thesis preapproval form.
Thesis Registration: Step Two - Confirming your committee
The final step in your thesis pre-registration process is to secure a full thesis committee. This includes a first reader/supervisor + second reader.
You should contact appropriate faculty members based on your approved thesis topic. Meet with your intended supervisor and second reader virtually or in person.
Once you have confirmation from a supervisor and second reader, submit your second preapproval form.
After you submit the form, the Committee members will receive an email with a link to click, constituting their signature and agreement to serve on your thesis committee.
NOTE: Verbal confirmations from your committee members are not sufficient to finalize their roles on your thesis committee. You must receive approvals from them via the preapproval form above.
NOTE: You will not be able to register for T C 660HA until you have received topic approval, submitted your second preapproval form, and secured approvals from your committee members.
- Plan II Thesis Manual
- Plan II Thesis Library Guide
- Texas ScholarWorks Collections
- Past Thesis Symposia
- Ask a Librarian (UT Libraries)
- Liason Librarians at UT (find the Plan II specialist here)
- Stats support (from the SDS - primarily staff and faculty but may have useful resources)
- Geospatial/ GIS, quantitative and Spatial Coding support (from the PCL)
Advising in Plan II
Advisors for Plan II students are supported by a comprehensive two-course thesis sequence known as TC 660 HA and HB. This is a three-credit class that meets most weeks, and across two semesters. The classes integrate a series of mini-assignments, which are designed to support students ongoing and low stakes writing and research. They cover the full scope of the research design, implementation, and write-up process. Given the wide range of student disciplinary foci and research topics, this class sequence provides a strong overview of the undergrad research process. However, faculty advisors will provide the specialist advising expertise tied to specific disciplinary norms, research practice, and/or the relevant creative process (for creative thesis students). For potential first readers/ supervisors, please see the Plan II thesis manual (above) for a detailed overview of the thesis form, process, and expectations.
Briefly, you can expect the scope of labor for an advising role in Plan II to look like the following:
- The period of advising is two full semesters (Fall-Spring or Spring-Fall). The first reader will be the "instructor of record" for the TC 660 HA and HB sequence (i.e they will see these classes on their grade submission pages). However, the courses are designed, administered, and taught by Plan II thesis directors and the course instructor.
- The first and second readers receive about four substantive emails a semester from Plan II, sharing updates on the thesis process and important upcoming deadlines and requirements.
- Students typically meet with their first reader/ supervisor about once every 2 weeks. They may meet at a time and place of their convenience. Second readers usually meet about once/ month. This kind of meeting schedule may vary, depending on the advising teams preference. However, there should be some sustained measure of ongoing engagement, dialog and revising work between the advisors and students over both semesters. Meetings may be in person or over Zoom.
- While advisees usually meet separately with their advisors, we recommend that first and second readers meet together, along with their advisee, at least once each semester.
- Advisors (and to a lesser degree) second readers will read and provide feedback on draft writing about 2-3 times during the semester.
- Advisors may need to act as the P.I. on IRB applications (requiring CITI training).
- Advisors and second readers are invited (but not required) to attend a coffee/ breakfast informational and appreciation session over the two-semester period.
- Advisors and second readers will collaborate to determine a grade recommendation in each semester. Plan II thesis team makes any necessary amendments to the grade, based on course attendance and participation. Once the final grade has been determined by the Plan II team, Plan II submits the final grade to UT.
- In the second semester, advisors and second readers must conduct an advisee's "oral showcase" (formerly "oral defense") by the required deadline.
- Advisors and second readers are warmly encouraged, but not required, to attend their advisee's thesis symposium.
- Once the final thesis is complete, advisors and second readers will collaborate in determining recommendation for awards/ model thesis etc.
- In many cases advisors and second readers will sustain a relationship with advisees that continues long after the thesis project, and may include mentorship, letter of recomemndation writing, and sponsorship/ advocacy in future careers, graduate education/ training etc.
The Plan II Honors Thesis Database
Plan II began to digitize theses in 2007. The database is publically available via the Texas ScholarWorks repository from 2017.
A selection of earlier theses have been scanned and added. It's searchable by author, title, keyword,
etc. If you are a Plan II alum and you would like your thesis moved into the "Openly Available" Collection, please contact a Plan II Advisor.
Research Funding & Awards
- Walk-In Wednesday Virtual Advising: Zoom Link
- General Questions: IRB@Austin.utexas.edu
- Phone: 512.232.1543
- Website: IRB (Human Subjects Research)
Departmental Thesis (non Plan II) Planning Forms
You may be interested in pursuing a departmental senior thesis instead of a Plan II thesis. We warmly welcome and encourage students to do so. This can be particularly useful if students are considering graduate level research in a particular field, or are already working with faculty advisors in their labs.
If you would like to consider this option, please:
1. Meet with one of the Plan II Associate Directors (see above). Together we can determine whether your chosen thesis program is equivalent to the Plan II thesis and approved as an alterative.
2. Once Plan II approves, please complete the departmental form below and email to PlanIIThesis@austin.utexas.edu. Please do so, ideally, in the semester prior to the commencement of your thesis. At the latest, you must submit this by the 4th class day of your thesis course.
Once you are approved to take the departmental thesis you need not take the Plan II thesis course sequence (TC 660 HA and HB). You will substitute these for your departmental thesis sequence.
3. Note that you are required to present in the Plan II symposium held during the semester you finish your thesis. You must also submit your final thesis to the Plan II thesis repository. Once you have completed your departmental thesis forms, you will receive information about each of these processes.