Senior Honors Thesis is a six unit, year long academic project available to seniors who are eligible for Latin Honors. Students are eligible for a Senior Honors Thesis if they have achieved the appropriate cumulative GPA as set by the College and a 3.5 GPA in the major by the end of their sixth semester. If, however, the student falls below the designated cumulative GPA in the major or in their overall coursework during their seventh semester, they are no longer eligible to receive Latin Honors.
As a six unit project, the Senior Honors Thesis is intended to be a conceptually challenging, intellectually rewarding, and labor intensive learning experience that deepens a student’s understanding and appreciation of study in the field. Within the Film and Media Studies Program two types of projects may be undertaken as a Senior Honors Thesis: a historical or critical studies research project or a screenplay.
Ordinarily, to undertake a historical or critical studies research project, students should have completed the Film and Media Studies core courses. Students who have not completed the core will be considered, but they must show a significant breadth of study in FMS. For this project, students will write a lengthy thesis (no less than 40, no more than 70 pages) that involves doing careful study and thorough research on a single text or group of texts. Although several approaches might be adopted, the project should use methodologies that are based in film/media studies as a discipline. Final projects must have an argument-based structure, and ordinarily they should incorporate an analysis of formal or stylistic elements of text(s), an assessment of critical and historical reception and/or consideration of the theoretical implications of the text(s); a complete review of the secondary literature on the topic is expected to underscore the research. As preparatory assignments leading up to the final project, students would prepare project descriptions, bibliographies, outlines, and literature review as graded components of a Senior Honors Thesis.
Students who choose to write a screenplay should have taken Film 352, “Introduction to Screenwriting” and Film 452, “Advanced Screenwriting” as well as core studies classes. Student proposals in this area should clearly articulate the ways in which their project will deepen their critical understanding of film. Included with the final screenplay submission the student must also write a short paper (5-7 pages) proving analytical reflection on the screenplay’s relationship to filmic precursors of its type.
Students interested in doing a Senior Honors Thesis should find an appropriate faculty member to serve as advisor and prepare a two-page proposal describing their project and (for historical/critical studies theses) a preliminary bibliography. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain necessary feedback from their advisor prior to completion of submitted application material, which should be sent directly to the director of FMS by March 15. Candidates will receive notice of whether they have received permission to attempt Latin Honors by the end of April.