Writing a senior thesis is an intensive yearlong experience. Students work independently, with guidance from a faculty mentor, to take a project of personal interest from proposal to presentation. Student researchers will: define the problem, develop an approach to the problem, formulate a research design, do field work or collect data, prepare and analyze data, and present a final report.
Completing a thesis provides students with the opportunity to:
- Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Gain in-depth technical/practical/institutional knowledge about a topic of personal interest.
- Get hands-on data analysis experience.
Senior Thesis Colloquium (WH399)
An intensive one-year, for-credit research program with an individual faculty mentor who supervises the student-proposed research project from proposal to completion. The program includes regularly scheduled meetings to discuss project progress, strategies, and challenges throughout the year, thus creating a sense of scholarly community.
The course size is 20-30 students. Course enrollment is by application, with the following timeline in place:
Sophomore or Junior Year
- April: Students generate a preliminary proposal and secure a faculty mentor.
Junior or Senior Year
- November 1: Proposal complete.
- Winter Break: Preliminary analysis data collection.
- January: Students defend their projects in a conference with students, faculty mentors, and the program director in attendance.
- April: Final presentations and written submissions.