Thesis Schedule

The following offers a typical schedule of the thesis program over the course of the junior and senior years. The precise calendar for completing the honors thesis in the senior year will be given out each year by the undergraduate chair.

Junior Year:

  • Fall Semester: Mind your grades! Students must have a GPA in the major of 3.5 or better in order to write a Senior Thesis.
  • Spring Semester: Begin thinking seriously about a topic. Talk with several faculty members and start to shape your project. Complete the necessary paperwork, which includes the Honors Thesis Proposal Form. This should be submitted to the Undergraduate Chair in time for the deadline as announced. Upon having your proposal approved, register for ARTH 398 and follow up with your assigned advisor.


  • There are a number of things a student can do to get ready for the Fall Semester. Prepare a bibliography in May or June in consultation with your advisor and dig into some reading. You may also wish to travel to undertake primary research – conduct interviews with artists in LA, explore Documenta in Kassel, photograph churches in Burgundy, or film the Palio in Siena, for example. The Department’s Thune travel grants can assist in defraying some expenses.

Senior Year:

  • September: Make an appointment with your faculty advisor to set up your program of research for fall semester.
  • October, November: Conduct your research, meeting regularly with your advisor. At Advanced Registration, register for ARTH 398 for Spring Semester.
  • December: Present your topic at the annual Honors Thesis Colloquium, the autumn event that convenes all seniors writing theses, their advisors, and other faculty and students. Details of this event will be announced in advance by the undergraduate chair.
  • January, February: Continue with research and begin writing. By the end of February, you should submit a rough draft to your advisor.
  • March:  Submit two final copies (one to your advisor and one to the Undergraduate Chair).
  • April:  Announcement of the David M. Robb Thesis Prize.