International and Global Studies Thesis Guidelines and Deadlines
The International and Global Studies program offers majors the opportunity to write a thesis in their regional and disciplinary specialization. The thesis must be written over at least two terms. To receive departmental honors, students must write a thesis.
Students have the option of writing a fall-winter, winter-spring, fall-spring or spring-fall thesis. However, students wishing to write a fall-spring or spring-fall thesis must get specific approval for such a schedule from the appropriate track director. Students should be aware that some departments have certain restrictions and prerequisites that may result in a three term project/thesis.
Students are eligible to write a senior honors thesis if they have a 3.5 GPA* or better in all courses that count for the major (including all languages courses plus major courses taken abroad).
(*See below for the definition of the International and Global Studies GPA.)
Honors will be awarded to students with a GPA of 3.5 and a thesis grade of B+, high honors to students with a GPA of 3.7 and a thesis grade of A- or A, and highest honors to students with a GPA of 3.8 and a thesis grade of A.
* The International and Global Studies GPA is calculated on the basis of those courses that satisfy or could potentially satisfy the requirements for the major. All courses that could count for the major will be used in the calculation of GPA for purposes of determining honors, and include all language courses, all disciplinary courses, all regional courses, and all courses with an IGSTdesignation.
Note: Thesis grades do not count in the calculation of the GPA for honors.
The thesis should be between 70-90 double-spaced pages with normal margins. If the thesis is written in one of the IS languages, the thesis should be between 40-50 pages.
Advising and Registration
The advising and registration procedures are as follows:
1. Towards the middle of the semester preceding the start of the thesis the student should contact the track director, and submit an unofficial transcript and an advising check-sheet listing all courses counting towards the major and those in which the student will be enrolled as a Senior.
2. At least two weeks prior to Banner registration, the student should find a thesis adviser and a second reader. The principal thesis adviser should normally be from the department in which the student is concentrating. The second reader should be from a different department than that of the principal adviser. Exceptions can only be permitted by the IGST track director.
3. If the student plans to write the thesis in a foreign language, permission must be obtained from the Chair of the appropriate language department. The Chair may ask to see a two-page précis (in the language) of the main thesis ideas.
4. The student should submit the Declaration Form by email to the director, the adviser, thesis adviser, second reader, and coordinator seven days before the start of Registration. The declaration form indicates that the student intends to write a thesis and has found an adviser. This form is available online.
5. Once the track director, the adviser, the thesis adviser, the second reader, and the coordinator have received the declaration form and, for a foreign-language thesis, permission from the relevant language Chair, the track director will allow the student to register to write a thesis.
Students should write their thesis in their chosen IGST discipline. Only the Director of International and Global Studies, in consultation with the appropriate track director, can permit a student to write a thesis in a different discipline and using a different methodology. In other words, a student whose discipline is economics may not write a thesis on geography without the Director’s permission.
Some departments require or encourage prerequisites. For example:
Art History: Students must register for the senior Art History thesis course, which covers three terms (i.e. the whole Senior year).
History: Students should be aware that the department offers a Senior History Thesis Workshop which is designed to help students in the Fall and Winter terms. IGST students are strongly encouraged to participate.
Religion: Students must begin by writing a one-semester Senior Project which, if judged successful by the thesis adviser, may be continued as a two-semester thesis.
Prospectus and Bibliography
The prospectus and bibliography are due no later than 3 p.m. on the Friday of the 6th week of class during the first semester of the thesis. Students writing Winter-Spring theses should submit their prospectuses and bibliography by 3 p.m. on the Friday of the 2nd week of Winter term. Copies of the prospectus and bibliography must be delivered to the principal thesis adviser, the second reader, the track director, and the program coordinator.
A prospectus should be 1500-2000 words long and should a) define the research question(s) to be answered in the thesis; b) explain the intellectual importance of the thesis; and c) outline how the project will be completed, i.e., sources and methodology.
Use of Foreign Languages Sources
Students are expected to use some foreign language sources in their senior thesis or project.
Students whose disciplinary track is Religion, are required to write a one-term Senior Project as both a disciplinary requirement and a prerequisite to writing a two-term thesis. IGST/Religion students may choose to not turn their Senior Project into a thesis. However, in this case, students will be required to enroll in an IS senior seminar.
See above for the Declaration Form and the Prospectus and Bibliography deadlines. Be sure to confirm all dates with your primary adviser.
Fall-Winter Term Theses
Final thesis due to advisers by 3 p.m. on the Thursday of the 4th week of Winter term classes. For students graduating in February, a different deadline may be agreed between the advisers and the thesis student to organize the oral defense before the student leaves campus.
Fall-Spring, Winter-Spring, and Spring-Fall Term Theses
Final thesis due to advisers by 3 p.m. on the Friday of the 11th week of classes in the second semester of the thesis.
International and Global Studies has no grace period. Failure to submit the thesis on time will automatically result in no honors being awarded. The thesis advisers have the discretion to award a grade penalty of their choosing for late theses.
Shortly after the submission of the thesis, an oral defense will be scheduled with the two readers. The purpose of the defense is twofold: to demonstrate verbal command of the thesis material and arguments and to clarify information or points in the thesis. Excellent performance on the defense cannot increase the thesis grade by more than one-third of a grade. Similarly, poor performance on the defense cannot reduce the thesis grade by more than one-third of a grade. Failure to appear for the defense may result in a failing grade for the thesis.
Students who write their theses in a foreign language must also defend in that language.
Thesis students must submit two bound copies of their thesis, one to each adviser. The following information must be included on the first page of the thesis: the thesis title, the student’s name, the month and year of submission, the student’s major (as in European Studies or Latin American Studies).
Any appeal of a thesis grade, or the award of honors, shall be made to the director of the international studies program, who will either make the final decision or request an evaluation by another colleague.