Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.20 as well as a 3.20 in philosophy courses. Students must satisfactorily complete PHIL 500: Philosophy Workshop before they may submit a thesis prospectus or pursue a portfolio project.
Thesis Option Explained
Requirements: 798/798H (4 credits), 799/799H (4 credits) Senior Thesis, and (2) 700-level Philosophy Seminars (4 credits each) (these may be the same two seminars counted toward the major requirements) (totaling 16 credits). Seminars require an average grade of A-, and a minimum GPA of 3.20.
Two course sequence open only to senior philosophy majors in the University Honors Program, the Philosophy Department Honors-in-Major program, or by special permission from the Department. All senior thesis candidates must have a proposal approved in the spring of their junior year and a thesis advisor assigned by the Undergraduate Program Director before registering for 798/798H. Students must orally defend their theses before the Department. (See Department guidelines for further details.) Prerequisite for 798/798H: PHIL 500. Prerequisite for 799/799H: B- or above in 798/798H. Writing intensive. 4 cr. each.
Throughout the Junior Year
Candidates should discuss their projects with faculty members in order to refine their topic and arguments and determine which faculty members would be suitable advisors. Candidates should also, at the discretion of individual faculty members, work with faculty members in drafting proposals.
May 1 of the Junior Year
Candidates must submit a proposal of approximately 2,500 words to the Undergraduate Program Director. A proposal must include an outline of the project, a summary of the project, and a bibliography. The proposal must also include, in order of preference, three faculty members the candidate would like to direct her thesis. The Undergraduate Program Director will distribute copies of the proposals to relevant faculty members.
May of the Junior Year
The faculty will accept or deny thesis proposals. The Undergraduate Program Director will, in consultation with the faculty and in consideration of candidates’ requests, assign thesis advisors for accepted proposals. Assignments will be made in a manner that best matches candidates’ topics with the interests of advisors while distributing advising responsibilities judiciously among the faculty.
May of the Junior Year through February of the Senior Year
Candidates will meet regularly with faculty advisors and develop a timetable for completing a first draft of the thesis. Candidates will enroll in Philosophy Honors Thesis 798/798H for the fall semester. Upon completion of 798/798H with a grade of B- or better, candidates will enroll in Philosophy Honors Thesis 799/799H in the spring semester.
September of the Senior Year
Each candidate will, in consultation with her primary thesis advisor, request one or two other faculty members to serve as secondary readers of her thesis.
March 1 of the Senior Year
Candidates will submit complete first drafts of theses to their committee. Typically, a thesis will range between forty and sixty pages.
April 15 of the Senior Year
Candidates will submit final drafts of their theses to their committee members.
May of the Senior Year
Candidates will orally defend their theses before the Philosophy Department. After consulting with other members of their committees, primary advisors will assign grades.