Options for one-semester theses

Students are asked to submit information regarding their expected thesis topic and research question by approximately mid to late February of their junior year. They will receive an email from the department chair prompting them to send requested information.

Beginning in academic year 2018-19, politics majors writing one-semester theses will have the option of pursuing one-on-one instruction with an advisor or conducting their research and writing in a seminar-style class – the senior thesis seminar – of about 12 students.

Three senior thesis seminars are planned for 2018-19: two will be offered in the Fall 2018 semester. One will be offered in the Winter 2019 semester.

The current policy that requires a student to be on campus for one semester after engaging in off-campus study before thesis can begin will be negated should a student wish to participate in a thesis seminar. In other words, if a student studies away from Bates in Winter 2018, they can still participate in the Fall 2018 thesis seminar.

These options are provided so that students can consider which style of learning better fits their aims for the thesis research and writing experience. The seminar will include some one-on-one interaction with the faculty member teaching it, and it will also provide opportunities to present material at different stages of development for peer critique and editing as well as opportunities to form writing groups.

Expectations and grading for written work as well as for engagement in the research process are the same regardless of whether a student pursues one-on-one advisement or advisement in the seminar setting.

The department faculty cannot guarantee that students will receive their preferred choice of working one-on-one with an advisor or in a seminar setting.