Scholar of the College project
Students interested in being considered for the Scholar of the College designation should get in touch with Prof. Ismay. Before you do, though, read the following very carefully so that you can ask her any questions with some ingoing understanding of what the project entails.
Applying for the SOC is a three part process.
In the spring of your junior year, you will indicate your interest in pursuing SOC status to Prof. Ismay and to your advisor. Your proposal will need to establish the specific ways in which your project is eligible, which normally means you are proposing a more ambitious project than an ordinary honors thesis would entail. That might mean that you are planing a bigger project (with more research than is possible in a single academic year) or that you are proposing a new methodology or doing interdisciplinary research. In any case, you will begin your research in earnest over the summer.
1. In the late summer/early fall of your senior year, your advisor needs to forward your SOC proposal along with their letter of support (detailing why this project qualifies for SOC consideration) to Prof. Ismay, who will then send it along to the Chair of the History Department for review. The chair will read your proposals/letters and determine if they should be forwarded with departmental approval to the dean. If yes, the Chair will write a letter of support and send it up to the dean’s office along with your package. This letter is due mid September, so do please ensure that your advisor has your proposal so that they can complete their letter of support.
2. Next, Dean Martin will be reviewing the proposals, advisor’s letter, and chair’s letter along with an audit of your transcript to be sure you are still eligible for the honor (must have a 3.7 GPA and no incomplete, etc.). His approval means that you can pursue SOC status, not that you have it. The SOC designation is only given to the actual project, not the proposal.
3. If approval for your project is granted by the dean, you will be enrolled by Stacy Moulis into the 6-credit Advanced Independent Research course, which will replace the Honors Seminar on your schedule, but you will remain in the Honors Seminar class. You will be dropping one of your current courses in order to accommodate the extra 3-credits.
1. In early March, you will submit your nearly completed project to your advisor as well as to a second reader (someone who is “reasonably independent of the project and who have the appropriate expertise to judge the student's work"), whom your advisor will help you to identify. Both your advisor and the second reader will read your nearly completed thesis and write letters. The advisor’s letter should assess the project and also say if the project is likely to be completed in time. The second reader will write a confidential report after reading the nearly completed thesis. These are nomination letters, indicating potential merit and successful completion. A full evaluation will follow a review of the completed thesis. Both nomination letters should be sent directly to Dean Martin in Stokes S 112 by mid March.
2. Once your nomination for SOC status has been approved by the Dean’s office, there are two final steps. First, to receive the Scholar of the College award at Commencement, two bound copies of the completed thesis should be submitted to the Associate Dean’s Office, Stokes 132 South, by mid April, 2021. Second, your advisor’s evaluation and the second reader’s review must be submitted one week later. (Thesis submissions after Monday the third week of April cannot be considered for the Scholar of the College Award.)
For specific dates for this year and details on the McCarthy prize, see the Dean’s description here.
The McCarthy Prizes
Nomination for McCarthy Prizes
The McCarthy Prizes are awarded at the Scholars Banquet for what are judged by the Dean of Morrissey College and the Dean’s McCarthy Prize Selection Committee as the best scholars’ project in the areas of the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences and the Humanities. Scholar of the College projects submitted by the April 15th deadline may be nominated by the advisor and the department chair for consideration as McCarthy Prize winners. Projects submitted after April 15th cannot be considered for the McCarthy Prize, but may still be submitted for consideration in Scholar of the College recognition until Monday April 26th.
Final determination of the McCarthy Prizes is the responsibility of the Dean. The Dean’s Office will notify the registrar of those students who have been granted Scholar of the College recognition. This prestigious award will be noted on the student’s transcript and recognized at the Senior Awards Ceremony and in the Commencement brochure in May.
Guidelines for Submission & Evaluation
To be considered for Scholar of the College recognition and for the McCarthy Prize, two bound copies of the final and completed version of projects.
- The text must be must be bound, double-spaced, have a title/cover page, acknowledgements are optional.
- It must contain an abstract or introduction, a table of contents is optional.
- It must be submitted to the Dean in Stokes 132 South no later than April 15th, 2021.
- It must receive a final grade recommendation of A- or better from both the advisor and second reader as indicated in their evaluation letters.
Projects accepted for Scholar of the College designation are expected to be well written, well referenced, and “publication ready” as one copy will be submitted to the Boston College library and may be accessible to others. In addition, the student will be expected to have maintained their cumulative average of 3.700 throughout the senior year.
For more information contact The Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences Associate Deans’ Office, Stokes 132 South, and (617) 552-2800.