Honors Program - Senior Thesis
What is it?
The Honors Program is open to all majors with a GPA of 3.5 in History, and centers around an original piece of research and writing undertaken with the guidance of a thesis advisor. The program has a 6-credit workload, involves a seminar, one-on-one consultations with a faculty member, and a 50-60 page thesis.
Eligible seniors have the opportunity to write a 12-credit thesis (counting as four upper-division electives) as a Scholar of the College. The Scholar of the College program follows the same timeline, but the thesis requirements are more extensive and the thesis involves a more ambitious project.
Who should consider doing an honors thesis?
If you are hoping to go to graduate school in the humanities, you should seriously consider writing a thesis because it will give you a sense of the kind of work that will be expected at that level.
But you need not have graduate school in mind to write a thesis. If you want to bring all of your undergraduate training to bear on a single, challenging project the honors program is for you. The thesis experience, picking a topic, researching it and producing an original piece of writing will challenge you in ways you have not yet been challenged. It is also incredibly rewarding. Working with other seniors and one-on-one with award winning faculty is a once in a lifetime experience. Such an accomplishment is the culmination of a liberal arts education and will set you up for a lifetime of achievement.
What is the timeline?
|Fall||Think about a topic and consult with faculty who share your research interests about writing a thesis with him or her.|
|Mid – March||
Submit application for Honors Program to your thesis advisor
Enroll in Honors Thesis Seminar 3-credit course (HIST 4961) Scholar of the College students enroll in 6-credit Advanced Independent Research (HIST-4961 and HIST-4921)
E-mail Notification of results
|18 April||Research Plan due to thesis advisor|
|June – August||Conduct Research according to plan|
Honors Thesis Seminar
|End of November||Chapter due|
|Fall – Spring||You should have regular consultations with your advisor|
|Spring||Enroll in 3-credit Honors Thesis (HIST 4962) and continue to work on thesis with advisor. Scholar of the College students enroll in 6-credit Advanced Independent Research (HIST-4922)|
Final Draft of entire thesis due to advisor.
What does the thesis look like at the end of the process?
The thesis itself should be about 50-60 pages long and generally includes multiple chapters. It should be bound in a clear plastic binder that will both hold the pages securely and permit the title page to be read without opening it. Plastic binders are available at most stationary stores. You can also get it bound more formally at the campus printer. See here for more details.
The thesis alone is an impressive accomplishment but you can also take advantage of further
publishing opportunities. There are two different kinds of publishing opportunity. The first and
easiest is to deposit it with the Boston College eScholarship repository. The second involves an
application and editing process to an undergraduate journal. This process is more involved than
simply placing your thesis in a repository, but it is more prestigious and has the potential to reach
Boston College eScholarship@BC is the institutional repository of Boston College, managed by the Boston College University Libraries. The aim of eScholarship@BC is to showcase and preserve Boston College's scholarly output in digital form and to make it freely accessible globally. The repository supports the social justice mission of the University and promotes the goals of the University Libraries by providing access to scholarly resources wherever they are needed.
Please note: Undergraduates have the right to restrict access to their theses in the following ways:
- Anyone may access full items free of charge, with the following exceptions:
- Access to undergraduate honors theses will be determined by the student depositor(s) and may be limited to the Boston College campus.
- Embargo periods may be applied based on publisher policies or at the request of copyright holder, restricting access to item(s) for a given time.
- Items may include individual statements regarding rights permissions and conditions, which will be included with the public record display.
Oracle: The History Journal of Boston College
Oracle: The History Journal of Boston College is Boston College's primary venue for undergraduate historical scholarship. Founded in 2019, Oracle serves as a resource for current and prospective students of history, whether at Boston College or otherwise. Sponsored by the Boston College Department of History, Oracle is guided by the belief that the study of history is important to more fully understanding the complexities of our modern, globalized world. Whether you are an author, researcher, librarian, or otherwise interested reader, we hope that the scholarship featured by Oracle is an informative and engaging source for further study.
Columbia Undergraduate Journal of History
The Columbia Undergraduate Journal of History the United States' leading undergraduate social science research journal. We publish papers from all social science disciplines, including political science, economics, sociology, history, psychology, linguistics, law, anthropology, criminology, cultural and area studies, development studies, and demography.
Elements was founded in September 2004 by a group of twenty undergraduate students. The journal published its first issue in May of 2005, featuring research articles written by Boston College undergraduates along with shorter special features. The goal of the publication is to become a forum for the exchange of original ideas within and across disciplines at the university. Staff members read and evaluate all submitted manuscripts and select the best articles on the basis of quality of scholarship as well as readability. Faculty members are occasionally consulted to assist staff members in the evaluation process.
Ezra's Archives is a publication put forth annually by the Cornell Historical Society. This journal, launched in the Spring of 2011, showcases stellar examples of undergraduate research in the field of history. In the Fall of 2011, Ezra's Archives expanded to accept submissions from undergraduates at other universities. If you are interested in applying for a position on the editorial board, submitting a paper, or learning more about the journal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
History Matters, Appalachian State University
This undergraduate History Matters history journal is published annually on a website by the History Department at Appalachian State University. The journal is edited by undergraduates with the help of a faculty board. All submissions and editing must be completed while authors are still undergraduates.
Journal of Undergraduate International Studies, University of Wisconsin
The Journal of Undergraduate International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison invites unpublished reflections on a wide range of academic and creative disciplines from contributors worldwide. Submitting authors should be within one semester of graduation. Topics include, but are not limited to, international conflict and resolution environmental issues, economics, development and trade, global security and international health.
The Yale Historical Review
The Yale Historical Review provides undergraduates an opportunity to have their exceptional work highlighted and encourages the diffusion of original historical ideas on campus by providing a forum for outstanding undergraduate history papers covering any historical topic. Students may submit history papers they've written over the course of their college careers.
Report, United States Military Academy
Report is a historical review that publishes the work of undergraduate students. They are expanding to include submissions from students at other colleges and universities. They encourage submissions from all undergraduates interested in historical research. Report is published both electronically and in booklet form during the spring and fall semesters. Please do not submit works already submitted to of published by other academic journals, and refer to the Chicago Manual of Style for citation guidelines and footnote form. Please include an email address and phone number with submissions. Contact the editors at Report.USMA@gmail.com with any questions.
If you have any questions about the Senior Thesis,
please contact Prof. Ismay, Director of the Honors Program.