Majors in Women, Gender & Sexuality (WGS) with a strong academic record are encouraged to become Distinguished Majors. Distinguished Majors complete a two-semester written thesis (approximately 35-40 pages in length) in their fourth year under the supervision of a WGS faculty member. 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.
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.