Track 1: Senior Thesis


In order to pursue the Track 1 honors designation in philosophy, students must have:

  1. Completed at least five courses in philosophy.
  2. Earned at least a 3.3 GPA overall and a 3.5 GPA in philosophy courses.


In order to earn the Track 1 honors designation in philosophy, a student must have:

  1. Satisfactorily completed all required courses for the major.
  2. Satisfactorily completed two semesters of senior research (PHIL 99a in the fall and PHIL 99b in the spring). Only one semester of PHIL 99 may be counted toward the major in philosophy. It is the student’s responsibility to find a faculty member to offer PHIL 99a and PHIL 99b, and supervise the thesis.
  3. Satisfactorily completed a senior honors thesis.


Thesis Prospectus

  1. Submit a five- to 10-page prospectus by the end of the seventh week of fall semester.  The prospectus should provide an outline of the main topic and questions that will be raised in the thesis, and include a bibliography of proposed readings.
  2. Those enrolled in the fall semester of PHIL 99 should complete 25 pages of the thesis — either an overview or one of the chapters — by the end of the semester. Your thesis adviser will determine by the end of the semester whether your work in the fall shows sufficient promise and progress to justify expansion into a full thesis in the spring.
  3. By the end of January, you and your thesis adviser should have identified a second reader for the completed thesis.

Style and Presentation

There is no recommended style for the thesis, but the document 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. It is recommended, but not required, to print the document on acid-free bond paper. Binding is at the student’s discretion, but GBC spiral binding or wire binding are the most popular.

Cover Page

Cover pages must contain the following information (each line of text should be centered):



Date Submitted

First Reader: ____________

Second Reader: ____________

Near bottom of the cover page, center the following text:

A Senior Thesis Submitted to
the Department of Philosophy of Brandeis University
in Partial Fulfillment of the Bachelor of Arts Degree


An hourlong discussion with your adviser and second reader is optional, but strongly recommended. You may invite other faculty members and students to attend this discussion as well.

Due Date

The 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.

Archives Copy

If and when the thesis is accepted by the department for honors, it may be placed in the permanent collection of the university libraries. Please follow these requirements:

  • 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 submitted thesis.
  • Your submission must be printed and unbound (no digital copies are accepted).
  • No spiral bindings, binders or soft-cover bindings will be accepted. Your thesis will be professionally bound by the library.