Senior Honors Thesis

Seniors in Art History and Architectural Studies may spend their final year writing an honors thesis as part of the Thesis Honors program. Students whose names have appeared on the Dean's List at least two times before their senior year qualify for the Thesis Honors program.

Senior theses are demanding but rewarding for both student and faculty. They require a good deal of discipline and focus on the student's part, but in return they can take you well beyond the classroom and can develop useful research, writing and organizational skills.

Thesis Proposal Process

In spring semester of junior year, prospective thesis writers, including those studying abroad, should begin consulting with their major advisor about possible thesis topics and research plans. By the first Friday in April of their junior year, all prospective thesis writers, including those studying abroad, must submit to the director of undergraduate studies a single-page prospectus listing the proposed thesis title, department advisor and relevant coursework, plus a short description of the thesis' content and research plan.

If approved by the department at this preliminary, prospectus stage, the student may then proceed to the proposal stage in close consultation with their advisor. By the first Friday of classes of the senior year, a three-to-five page proposal must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies listing: the thesis title, the department advisor, and at least one additional committee member, and also include a lengthier description of the proposed project accompanied by a full research bibliography. In early-September the department grants or denies approval for the proposed thesis to move forward.

For a thesis to be considered for the department's Madeline Harrison Caviness Thesis Prize, the completed senior theses are submitted electronically to the director of undergraduate studies on the last Friday of April. Theses are publicly presented in ten-minute talks at a luncheon held the day after the conclusion of spring classes. The Prize winner will be announced at the Commencement Ceremony.

Defenses are conducted in late April or early May. After the defense, a final copy of the thesis, in electronic form, must be submitted to the Tisch Library archive and to the director of undergraduate studies. Students may copy their senior thesis in the department at no charge. Seniors theses are taken into consideration when awarding academic honors or department prizes.