Senior Thesis

A senior thesis is a year-long research project developed with a faculty advisor that attempts to make a contribution to the field of American Studies. 

The final project may take on a variety of forms, including a scholarly paper, narrative nonfiction essay, journalistic article or series of articles, documentary film, or museum exhibition; it can reflect personal interests and career goals.  Many of our thesis writers have won UROP grants to support their thesis research. 

The opportunity to write a Senior Thesis in American Studies is open to any major with a GPA of 3.5 or higher within the major as of January of their junior year.  In exceptional circumstances students with a GPA below 3.5 may apply.

Writing a thesis is a chance to do original research and explore a topic of your choice, to develop a deeper relationship with a faculty member, and to put what you’ve learned as an American Studies major into practice.  It is also a significant commitment.  It requires an additional six credit hours of coursework on top of the 30 required for the major.  You need a thesis if you want to earn departmental honors in American Studies, but you do not need one to satisfy the requirements for the major. 

Feel free to talk over any ideas or questions you have with the Director of Undergraduate Studies or a potential advisor; American Studies thesis information sessions are held once each semester and open to all.  Students wanting to pursue a senior thesis must submit applications to the DUS in April of their junior year. 

ND Senior Thesis Research

ND Senior Thesis Research Trip

Seniors Sarah Morris and Hannah Ashley on their UROP-funded research trips to San Francisco and Colorado over Fall Break 2015.

Senior Theses 2016

Lena Madison: "The Academic Guide to the African-American Natural Hair Movement"
Sarah Morris: "The Haight & The Hierarchy: Church, City, and Culture in San Francisco, 1967-2008"
Jack Rooney: "Where Have All the Manly Journalists Gone? :Gender and Masculinity in Representation of Journalists on American Television" 
Hannah Ashley: "Magnificent Megafauna: American Wildlife in National Park Iconography"
Gretel Kauffman: "Attica!: Representations of the 1971 Prison Riot in National and Local Journalism"
Victor Benavides: "Rap & Responsibility: Black Music & The Burden of Representation"
Maria Do: "The Cultural Costs of High Achievement: An Oral History of First Generation Asian-American High School & College Students"