Thesis Timeline


Students work throughout the process with their advisors and the Chair. After completing the Senior Seminar (COLT 85), students enroll in COLT 87. A written thesis is usually 60-80 pages double spaced pages in length, and students also give an oral presentation based on their project.

Thesis Timeline

Junior Year

  • Identify a topic of interest
  • Identify and contact two potential faculty advisors
  • Write a one-page proposal in consultation with faculty advisor by June 1 to include:
    • Topic
    • Faculty Advisor
    • Brief bibliography of summer research readings

Summer term

First week of July, as a rising Senior: submit a description of the topic you intend to pursue to your two advisors and the chair.

Senior Year

Fall Term

Second week of classes, senior year-(2022 deadline: September 20th 9 AM): submit a formal thesis proposal, signed by two advisors, submitted to Liz Cassell for the steering committee approval.

Content of the proposal:

Name, tentative title, explanation of the title;

2-4 pages double-spaced pages, including the following:

  • a very brief introduction of the texts/artifacts that you plan to analyze;
  • a clear description and explanation of what is comparative about your approach and why this comparison matters;
  • an explanation of what questions you intend to ask and what approach you intend to use to answer them. If you are already clear about your methodological orientation, say so.
  • an indication of the direction that background reading on the topic might take (including  theoretical writings, historical background on a given period, criticism of a given author's works);
  • a brief statement of what you hope to find out in the course of this work, as well as how it matters in the bigger scheme of discussions in present-day scholarship, criticism, and/or society;
  • a bibliography of primary and secondary works.

Please get feedback of the draft from your advisors and the chair before submitting. Also get feedback from peers.

**NOTE: Students who miss the deadline may not be able to write the thesis.

Winter term:

  • Enroll in COLT 85
  • Research, read, write in consultation with faculty advisor and meet for regular consultations

Spring Term

  • Enroll in COLT 87 to complete your thesis
  • Finish writing, format thesis using MLA guidelines and submit it to your advisors by the third Monday in May
  • Public oral presentation : May 25, 2023 15:30-5 PM, (typically the 4th week in May)
  • Upload your final thesis to digital commons: instructions will be sent via email: due date June 1st