FGSS Honors Thesis Guidelines:
The honors thesis allows students to synthesize readings and perspectives acquired during the course of an undergraduate education. For this reason, your chosen topic should extend the work already begun in a course or a sequence of courses taken before your senior year. Students wishing to write an honors thesis should have a GPA of at least 3.3 in all subjects and 3.5 in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major.
You should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) late in the spring of your junior year or very early in the fall of your senior year. In your senior year you should enroll in the yearlong honors thesis course, FGSS 4990 and FGSS 4991. These two courses must be taken in addition to the courses that meet the minimum requirements for the major. Students receive a grade of "R" for the first semester's work; once the honors thesis is completed that “R” will be changed to a grade.
The FGSS office can provide you with a list of potential faculty supervisors. Only a member of the core faculty in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, defined as a faculty member who regularly teaches courses cross-listed with FGSS, may approve the topic and supervise the thesis. Experience suggests that supervision works best when students have already taken a course with the faculty member. The nature and extent of contact between you and your supervisor should be determined by mutual agreement. If there is more than one student in honors in a given year, the DUS may call occasional meetings of students to allow you to exchange ideas about your work.
You and your supervisor will mutually agree upon the form of an honors thesis. One scenario is to write an essay of approximately fifty pages, drafted and revised in a series of carefully planned stages.
Timetables may vary, but the following deadlines have proved useful to other students in the past:
- September 15: outline
- October 15: bibliography
- November 15: first chapter or subdivision
- February 15: second chapter or subdivision
- March 15: third chapter or subdivision
- April 1: completed first draft
- May 1: schedule defense
- May 10: defense should take place no later than
- May 15: final version of the thesis submitted to supervisor, second reader, and DUS
All projects must be defended orally before an honors committee made up of your supervisor plus at least one other reader, selected by you in consultation with the supervisor and the DUS. The supervisor and the second reader will determine the final grade and the level of honors.