Majors in Women, Gender & Sexuality (WGS) may, with the supervision of a WGS core faculty member, propose a Distinguished Major Project. Working with that faculty member, Distinguished Majors complete a two-semester written thesis (approximately 35-40 pages in length) in their fourth year. The thesis allows students to pursue their own interests in depth and have the intellectual satisfaction of defining and completing a sustained project. The Distinguished Major Program is an especially good option for students considering graduate level work in any field. Students with a strong academic record are encouraged to apply.
To be eligible, students must have a 3.40 overall GPA at the start of their fourth year. Students are required to sign up for a 6-credit course, WGS 4998 and 4999, under the supervision of a WGS faculty member. The thesis must also be approved by a second faculty member whom the student will choose in consultation with the thesis advisor.
The 6-credit senior thesis course will count toward the 30 credits required for the Major. Successful completion of the thesis qualifies the student for graduation with Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction, depending upon the recommendation of the two faculty advisors, and subject to approval of the College’s Committee on Special Programs.
An early start is important to the successful completion of a Senior Thesis. While not required, it is recommended that students make the decision to pursue the Distinguished Majors Program during their third year. This will give students the opportunity to discuss the project with various faculty members, identify suitable advisors, and have the summer between the third and fourth years to define their project further and begin some preliminary reading and planning. For these reasons, students choosing to pursue the thesis should complete a WGS DMP application form in the spring semester of their third year. The first step is to find a WGS core faculty member who will supervise the project, generally a faculty member with expertise in the proposed area of study.
A completed application form will be required along with a cover sheet, a statement explaining the focus of your thesis, a current VISTAA (academic requirements) form or current transcript and a completed course action form. These materials must be submitted to the WGS department administrator before the fall add date of the participants fourth year.
If you are looking to discuss this opportunity in more detail contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for an appointment.