Honors Thesis

students researching

The Senior Honors Thesis program in History is intended for those students who have a record of high performance in upper-level History courses and who have developed an interest and some background in a well-focused research topic. Students interested in writing a Senior Honors Thesis should read the relevant section of the Tufts Bulletin dealing with the Liberal Arts Thesis Honors Program. You may wish to discuss this possibility with your History advisor when you declare the major, and begin to plan your history course work accordingly. It is especially recommended that those intending to apply to write a Senior Honors Thesis complete their Research Seminar requirement before their senior year.

In consultation with your advisor and/or a relevant member of the History faculty, you should make a formal application, if possible, by the end of your junior year (if you are abroad, you can do this via e-mail). To be accepted, your proposal must be endorsed by a member of the History faculty, who must consent to serve as chair of your thesis committee. For an Honors Thesis in History the committee must have three members: two from History and one from an outside department. While students may apply as late as the beginning of their senior year, they risk not finding a faculty member willing to serve as chair of their committee. In addition, applications often involve getting faculty advice about refining and focusing a proposal. This is a process that should be begun well before fall registration. Not all proposals, even those by highly qualified students, can be accepted due to the limited number of theses a faculty member can be expected to direct and to the possibility that a faculty member with the appropriate expertise may unavailable. Therefore it is important to initiate your planning as early as possible. All thesis writers must enroll in HIST 198: Senior Thesis Colloquium, for the fall semester of their thesis year.

Honors Thesis Assistance
The Student Accessibility and Academic Resources (StAAR) Center provides supports for thesis writers.


The History Department is instituting a program of small grants to help fund research for the senior thesis. These grants will normally be for $200 or less, to help defray cost of archival and library research for the senior thesis, such as photocopying or scanning of documents. The money may be used in the U.S. or abroad. Grant applications will be reviewed by a department committee. Students should apply for such grants through their thesis advisors; applications require a brief thesis prospectus, an explanation of how the grant will be used, a supporting letter from the thesis advisor, and an up-to-date academic transcript.

International Research Colloquium & Thesis Exchange
The History Department, in partnership with International Relations and other departments in Arts and Sciences, established and supports the International Research Colloquium and the Thesis Exchange. The International Research Colloquium is a one semester full credit course offered to Sophomores. It is designed to prepare students to undertake quality research while studying abroad in their junior year. The Thesis Exchange is an intellectual and social community of senior honors thesis writers and their faculty. It is designed to encourage quality scholarship, and culminates in a public presentation of thesis research. It meets monthly during the academic year and is not offered for credit.