One of the most distinctive features of the Bates curriculum is the senior thesis, which is offered in all departments and programs and required by most.

The faculty believes that a Bates senior is well-educated and well-prepared to undertake a significant research, service, performance, or studio project in the final year of study in the major. Nearly all students (97–98%) in each graduating class complete a senior thesis. The traditional senior thesis involves one or two semesters of original research and writing, culminating in a substantial paper on a research topic of the student’s design.

Students must register for thesis for each semester for which they seek credit. One semester of thesis earns one credit. Students register for 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester.

Specific information on the work required of seniors in the major fields is detailed in the introductions to the courses and units of instruction for each department and program in the Catalog.

Students pursuing a double major should review the policy for thesis and double majors.