Honors Thesis and Independent Study

The French Department is pleased to support senior independent study projects during the fall semester undertaken by students with exceptional course work in French. However, continuation of these projects toward completion of a thesis to be considered for possible honors is not guaranteed and is contingent upon approval of the department. Students and faculty involved in the independent/honors process should be familiar with the College’s Guidelines for honors program and honors thesis, which the Dean of Faculty has prepared.

Writing a Senior Thesis

For the fall semester of your senior year, you should be registered for the 4 credit course FREN-395 (Independent Study);

Beginning of the fall semester: the student submits a one-page description of the project (including the questions they will be addressing, a preliminary bibliography, and the name of the person they will be working with) to all the members of the department.

December (before the end of classes): the student submits to the department 1) a preliminary introduction laying out in some detail the central issues in the thesis, as well as an explanation of and a rationale for the chapters that follow; 2) a chapter outline; 3) a more extensive bibliography.

Soon after, the department votes on whether or not to approve the student for continuation toward possible honors. If they are approved, they need to once again register for the 4 credit FREN- 395.  Further, approval carries no guarantee that the final project will secure honors - it is just authorization for the student to continue toward that goal.  If, at that point, the department does not judge the project to be potentially deserving of honors, the student can nonetheless continue doing Independent Study spring semester, if they and the faculty member agree.