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.



The 2017 Senior Thesis writers at the College of Arts and Letters Thesis Reception.




Senior Theses 2017

Robert Browne: “President Bush on the Mound and Uncle Sam at the Plate: How Professional Baseball Marketed Theapeutic Nationalism in Wartime”

Anna Busse: “Queering the Classroom: How LGBTQ Students Fit Into American High Schools”

Jennifer Cha: “Not Your Model Minority: Asian American Memoir in the 21st Century”

Caitlin Hodges: “American Carnage: Rhetoric and Responses to ‘Death’ in ’America’s Dying Cities’”

James Kane: "Framing the ‘Other’: The Politics of Figurative Representation in American Photography"

Elizabeth Kowalik: “Millennium Australia: History, Identity, and Representation at the Sydney 2000 Olympics”

Katherine Laskey: “Integrating Race in the Classroom: A Curriculum for Change in Diverse Catholic High Schools”

Grace Nickels: “Movements for Change: Dance as a Poltiical Platform for Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Australia”

Jacqueline Winsch: “A Stage for Social Change: Empowering Youth Through Integrated Theater Education”