Anya Bassett posing with six smiling students on Thesis Day

We provide extensive support for our students over the entire thesis writing process, beginning with planning for the project during junior year and continuing with research, analysis, and writing throughout senior year.  Juniors and seniors benefit from the guidance of their senior thesis supervisor in addition to their academic adviser. Our students also have access to many other thesis-related resources unique to our program.

Junior year support begins with a mandatory thesis workshop, in which students are equipped with an overview of the thesis process, including information about how to develop a thesis topic, how to find a thesis supervisor, and how to plan and obtain funding for thesis research. During the spring semester, we also organize a series of methods workshops, which provide useful tips and concrete instruction on methods of data collection most commonly used by our students, including qualitative interviews, archival work, media content analysis, participant observation, and surveys.

Other support junior year is built into our curriculum, as students all take focus field classes on subject areas related to potential thesis topics. Students also take two Social Studies junior tutorials to gain practice and in-depth instruction on writing research papers.  Students can also consult the methods resources section of our website or our Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in Social Studies.

Senior year, all students have the option of taking a year-long thesis writing seminar, facilitated by Social Studies faculty with extensive experience working with thesis writers. Additionally, students can choose to participate in a thesis presentation workshop, consult with one of our departmental Thesis Writing Fellows, or make use of our dedicated thesis writing spaces with free pizza lunches on Fridays from January-March. And when you turn in your thesis, we celebrate with a huge party, complete with balloons, mardi gras beads, champagne, and cake!