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Planning Your Senior Thesis

Senior majors must complete an empirical thesis, community-based research thesis, or theoretical review and integration thesis. For an empirical thesis, a student conducts original research on an issue of theoretical or practical concern. For a community-based research thesis, a student works in the community, using his or her training in psychology to address social or psychological issues in an applied setting.  For a theoretical review and integration thesis, a student completes a comprehensive and critical review of extant literature under the individual guidance of a faculty adviser.

Choosing an advisor or a topic

We encourage students interested in empirical theses to consider working with faculty in their specialty areas. There are a number of advantages to working with members of the Psychology Department in their areas of interest, including getting expert advising, access to recent studies and assessment instruments, and the potential for later publication.  To learn more about each faculty member’s area of interest, please check out the links to their profiles on the Faculty & Staff page.

Another potential source of inspiration is the archive of senior thesis abstracts.

Technical information

Instructions on how to format the title page of your thesis

Guidelines for writing your senior thesis proposal, empirical, community-based research, or theoretical review and integration.

While a standard 1″ margin is acceptable for your thesis, you may choose to use a 1.5″ inch left margin to accommodate the binder.  Using a slightly larger left margin will provide more even spacing for the bound version of your thesis.  The choice is up to you!

Find out what is expected of you

The department has a detailed document outlining the expectations for students doing a thesis project. Be sure to check it out!

Share your completed thesis!

When you have completed your senior thesis, please share your title and abstract with us!  You may go to this website when you are ready to provide that information.


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