Honors Thesis

Guidelines for Women’s Studies 4455E: Honors Thesis Course 


Women’s Studies 4455E involves individual instruction in the writing of a thesis. Students who wish to take this course must apply to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research. This course is restricted to students in fourth year of a Women’s Studies Program with a minimum 80% cumulative average. Additional registration in 4000-level Women’s Studies courses require permission of the Department. 

It is the responsibility of students who wish to take Women’s Studies 4455E to write a proposal for the topic of research on which they wish to work and to find a professor who is willing to undertake the supervision of the thesis. Having done this, the student must then obtain Special Permission from the Chair of Undergraduate Studies to register for the course. The thesis supervisor should inform the Chair of Undergraduate Studies, using the form provided, of their agreement to supervise the thesis and of the subject agreed upon. 

Women’s Studies 4455E is equivalent in weight and value to other honors courses. It will require approximately 25 hours of consultation during the year. The thesis should be not less than 10,000 words and not more than 12,500 words; a substantial bibliography should be appended. 

Students should submit a timeline with the preliminary reading list by the beginning of October. The timeline should include compilation of a substantial reading list (ideally within the first month of the course) which should form a significant part of the final bibliography. 

The student will produce a first draft of the thesis on a mutually satisfactory date but no later than the first week of March. It may be revised or re-drafted on the advice of the supervisor. The final draft must be submitted no later than the last day of classes. 

The supervising professor will be responsible for finding a second reader. One of the readers must be a full-time member of the department. Together they will assign a grade which will be given to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies within one week after the end of classes. 

An undergraduate thesis need not make an original contribution to knowledge on the subject (though it may do so) but it is expected to be a coherent, literate, intensive analysis of a challenging topic or problem. There is no regular timetable for Women’s Studies 4455E. Students in Women’s Studies 4455E will be called upon for a brief progress report, delivered to the Undergaduate Chair, by the first week of classes in January and copied to their supervisor. 

As for any other course, a grade of INC (Incomplete) must be approved by the Dean’s Office, for a specific reason supported by documentation.