Honors Program - Senior Thesis
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 six-credit program involves a seminar, one-on-one consultations with the advisor, 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.
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?
|Think about a topic and consult with faculty who share your research interests about writing a thesis with him or her.
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
|Research Plan due to thesis advisor
|June – August
|Conduct Research according to plan
Honors Thesis Seminar
|End of November
|Fall – Spring
|You should have regular consultations with your advisor
|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 asimply placing your thesis in a repository, but it is more prestigious and has the potential to reach more readers.