Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Senior Thesis

Keating Hall at GraduationEach Honors student writes a Senior Thesis in his or her major. All majors in Fordham College accept the Honors thesis as a course to be counted toward the major requirements. Double-majors choose which major the thesis will fulfill. The thesis cannot be done in a minor.

The Senior Thesis is an independent research project initially proposed in Spring of Junior Year by the student, and designed and written under the guidance of a Faculty Mentor in the major. Students choose their own mentors and work closely with them on the thesis. Humanities theses are around 35-40 pages (sometimes more). The final document is defended before a three-person Faculty Committee. The thesis defense is a capstone experience for an Honors student.

Humanities students enroll for the thesis in either the Fall or Spring semester of Senior year. It is strongly suggested that students register and complete the thesis in the Fall, as the Spring deadline required for graduation clearance is actually earlier than the end of the semester. In the sciences, the thesis is a two-semester project; the student registers for the thesis in one of the two senior semesters, and for a science research course in the other, as advised by the major department. All students participate in a non-credit Senior Thesis Seminar, with the Director of the Honors Program. In this seminar, which meets about every two weeks, students present their research projects to their peers for questions and suggestions. The setting is informal, and presenters are also responsible for refreshments.

Students should start thinking about the thesis project as early as possible, particularly regarding the selection of a mentor.

Some Recent Thesis Titles

  • A Book to Die For: Martyrdom as Criterion for the Canonicity of Early Christian Texts
    Michael Finucane ‘12, Theology, Mentor: Dr. Larry Welborn
  • Adam Smith and St. Thomas Aquinas:  Concords in Natural Law and Market Pricing
    Parker Knight ‘12, Economics, Mentor: Dr. Mary Beth Combs
  • Ampelmann: An Animated Short Film
    Timothy Luecke ‘13, Visual Arts, Mentor: Dr. Carleen Sheehan
  • Bats in the Bronx: An Acoustic Survey
    Michelle Mathios ‘13, Biological Sciences, Mentor: Dr. J. Alan Clark
  • Biocitizenship and the Environment of Urban Poverty in the United States
    Laura Buckley ‘13, Anthropology, Mentor: Dr. Allan Gilbert
  • Greed over Grievance?: The Role of Private Military Corporations (PMCs) in post-1980 African Conflict
    Alexis Kedo ‘13, International Political Economy, Mentor: Dr. Marcus Holmes
  • Kings, Queens, and Toys: (Anti-)Feminist Attitudes in Graffiti and Street Art
    Kelly O’Brien ‘13, American Studies, Mentor: Dr. Oneka LaBennett
  • Making Up the Community of Girls: YouTube and the Collaborative Construction of Popular Feminine Selves
    Marisa Carroll ‘13, Women’s Studies, Mentor: Dr. Judith Green
  • Mass Ordinary in F Major
    Brendan Horell ‘12, Music, Mentor: Dr. Daniel Ott
  • Power and Prayer: The Imperial Cult and the Cult of Isis in Roman Spain
    Timothy Gallagher ‘12, Classical Civilization, Mentor: Dr. Matthew McGowan
  • Seasonal Variation of Oxygen in Mars’ Atmosphere
    Erin Leidy ‘12, Physics, Mentor: Brother Robert Novak, C.F.C.
  • Tebowmaniacs: Dissecting Tim Tebow's Meteoric Rise to Stardom
    Robert Mushinski ‘12, Communications and Media Studies, Mentor: Dr. Beth Knobel
  • Upstate, New York: A Short Story
    Devin Kelly ‘13, English, Mentor: Dr. Susan Greenfield
  • Visual and Nonvisual Methods of Learning Math
    Thomas Alcala ‘13, Mathematics, Mentor: Dr. Rolf Ryham

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