Senior Thesis and Departmental Honors
A senior thesis is an extended original research project written under the supervision of a faculty adviser during the student’s senior year. Thesis projects are best suited for students who have an interest in exploring a specific question and/or a field of knowledge beyond their previous course work. Students may complete a senior thesis regardless of GPA; however, those students with a 3.7 GPA (or above) in their International Studies major coursework, and who complete a senior thesis, will be eligible for honors in International Studies. Theses completed for any of the major’s affiliated departments may be used to earn honors both in that departmental major and in International Studies.
Steps to complete a senior thesis:
- Determine a topic of interest.
- Find a faculty sponsor who is willing to supervise the thesis. Students may choose a faculty sponsor from any department affiliated with the International Studies Program.
- Register for an Independent Study with the faculty sponsor in the fall semester.
- In the spring semester, if the faculty sponsor feels that sufficient progress has been made, register for a second Independent Study with the faculty sponsor and/or any other thesis courses required by the faculty sponsor’s home department.
- For students planning to graduate in December, the first Independent Study should be taken in the spring semester and the second Independent Study (and/or other required thesis courses as mandated by the faculty sponsor’s department) should be taken during your final semester of enrollment in the fall.
Students enrolled in one of the double major tracks are encouraged to follow the thesis guidelines for that track, which may differ from International Studies. Global Social Change and Development students can find more information on the Arrighi Center website. Political Science students should register for AS.190.498 Thesis Colloquium during the fall semester.
The Robert Tucker Award
The Tucker Award is presented to the best international studies thesis in a given year.