A Senior Honors thesis is an extended paper (approx. 60-80 pages) on a selected topic, which you examine in detail. You take this as a yearlong, 8 credit course (4 credits per semester). Topics can develop from field research you conducted during an Anthropology seminar, during Study Abroad, or during summer research. Alternatively, you can develop a topic from one that attracted you during a regular Anthropology course, and you can pursue it through library research alone.
In order to register for a senior honors thesis, you must be on the Dean's List twice before your senior year and must have approval from your major department (see below for Anthropology thesis proposal process). You should also have some previous experience of the topic you select, for example by having taken a course related to your topic. It is also preferable for at least one Anthropology faculty member to have some expertise relating to your topic.
Remember, Tufts' Student Accessibility and Academic Resources Center (StAAR) has general information and provides support for thesis writers.
Anthropology Thesis Proposal Process
Students who would like to write a thesis in Anthropology should submit a proposal via the Anthropology Senior Honors Thesis Proposal form by April 1 of their junior year, or November 15 if they are graduating in the winter. Students interested in conducting a biological anthropology thesis will follow the same process, but should contact Professor Zarin Machanda about the prospect of a senior honors thesis in the fall semester of their junior year.
Via the Anthropology Senior Honors Thesis Proposal form, students should submit
- A 750-word proposal stating:
- Their research question,
- The methods they plan to use to answer this question,
- A basic timeline for carrying out this research including the IRB/IACUC process if necessary,
- A backup plan for conducting research without human subjects if their IRB application is delayed or unsuccessful, and
- An explanation of their preparation for this research, including classes taken, IRB/IACUC certification approved, field contacts or sites established, and preliminary research accomplished (as relevant).
- A 10-source bibliography that reflects the project’s inspirations (this does not count towards the 750 words), and
- A sample essay drawn from a previous class paper of roughly 8-10 pages.
Students should identify a primary advisor in Anthropology, with whom they have spoken about this project. (Students will select additional committee members following departmental approval.) Following this, proposals will be considered by the full anthropology faculty by April 15 / December 1. Note that all students require department approval to register for the thesis (ANTH 199) on SIS.
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