Graduating with Honors
TRACK 1: SENIOR THESIS
1. Complete all of the requirements for the major
2. Register for two semesters of senior research (PHIL 99A in the fall and PHIL 99 B in the spring). NOTE: Only one semester of PHIL 99 may be counted toward the major in philosophy.
3. Satisfactorily complete a Senior Honors Thesis
ELIGIBILITY. Students must have already completed 5 courses in Philosophy and normally have at least a 3.3 GPA overall and a 3.5 GPA in the philosophy department in order to enroll in Track 1. It is the student’s responsibility to find a faculty member to offer PHIL 99A and PHIL 99B and supervise the thesis.
SENIOR THESIS GUIDELINES
Each student who is writing a thesis is encouraged to submit a prospectus by the end of the seventh week of the fall semester. The prospectus should provide an outline of the main topic and questions that will be raised in the thesis. A bibliography of proposed readings should be included as part of the prospectus, which should be about five to 10 pages in length.
A student enrolled in the fall semester of PHIL 99 should complete 25 pages of the thesis by the end of the semester. The 25 pages might be an "overview" of the thesis itself or one of its chapters. Each advisor also has a responsibility to determine by the end of the semester whether the student’s work in the fall shows sufficient promise and progress to justify its expansion into a full thesis in the spring.
By the end of January, the advisee along with his or her thesis advisor, should select a second reader who will read the thesis once it is finished.
The department has no recommended style for a thesis, but the style of the thesis should be consistent. Theses include a cover page, title page, table of contents, chapter headings, bibliography and footnotes. Footnotes may be in the form of end notes or appear at the bottom of the page. Pages should be numbered. Theses are generally printed on bond paper, although this is also optional. If the thesis is on bond paper, it is recommended that it be on bond paper that is acid-free. Theses should be bound. The binding is at the student’s discretion, but GBC spiral binding or wire binding are the most popular.
Cover pages must contain certain information and be in a certain format. The following text should be centered:
And near the bottom of the cover page be sure to add:
A Senior Thesis Submitted to
the Department of Philosophy of Brandeis University
in Partial Fulfillment of the Bachelor of Arts Degree
Title pages must contain the following information:
Author, title of thesis, date, and department name
An oral, or hour-long discussion with your advisor and second reader is optional but strongly recommended. You may invite other faculty members and students to attend this discussion.
DUE DATEThe thesis is due on or before the last day of classes of the spring semester. At that time, two typed and bound copies should be submitted to the departmental office.
If and when the thesis is accepted by the department for honors, it may be placed in the permanent collection of the university libraries. However, students must sign a standard release form. (PDF) This form acknowledges that the student has given the library permission to retain the thesis. Students are encouraged to sign the bottom section of the form granting the library permission to make copies, but this is not a requirement. In either case, a form should accompany each thesis turned in. Please note that the Archives copy must be turned in in paper (no digital copies accepted) and unbound. It will be professionally bound by the library. No spiral bindings, binders, or soft cover bindings will be accepted.