Frequently Asked Questions

As you think about whether to apply for the thesis program and write a senior thesis, keep in mind that most students do not write theses. The senior thesis program is for students who are motivated to work in depth, intensely and in a very self-directed way, for a year or more on a specific topic.

The student must therefore be highly disciplined, organized, motivated, and self-directed. The project is the student’s own, and this means that all work to find a suitable topic prior to completing a thesis proposal—and then to develop the thesis' focus(es), content, and main proposals over the course of a year or more—is done by the student, and not the supervisor.

Guidelines and Regulations

Some students decide that an independent study is a preferable option to doing a thesis. And so a major factor to consider as you contemplate doing a thesis is whether you are in fact wanting to take on all that it will involve, or instead whether you would prefer to (a) take a course such as e.g. LING 105–Phonetics, LING 121–Syntax II, or LING 140–Discourse and Pragmatics, that involves doing original research for credit, and/or (b) do an independent study course.