(THES 301, 401-403)
The culmination of a student’s work at Gutenberg College is the senior thesis. Each student is required to write a senior thesis comparing the ideas of two or more authors on a particular issue of the student’s choosing. Students are encouraged to begin thinking about their thesis topic at the beginning of the third year, and they must declare their topic by the spring quarter. Students can begin researching and writing their thesis as soon as their topic is approved. With the help of an advisor, students develop bibliographies, and they are strongly encouraged to read works from their bibliographies during the summer between their junior and senior years. Criteria for the senior thesis are listed in the Student Handbook.
A schedule of intermediary deadlines (also listed in the Student Handbook) helps each student complete his thesis in a timely manner. These deadlines include two papers in the fall and winter quarters: the first on the perspective of one of the student’s thesis authors and the second on the perspective of the student’s other author. The third quarter of the fourth year is then devoted to writing the thesis itself. The finished thesis is due the fifth week of spring quarter in the senior year, after which each student must defend his thesis before a panel of tutors. Senior theses are graded “pass,” “pass with distinction,” or “no pass.” Every student must write a passing senior thesis in order to graduate.