Senior Thesis

Class of 2022 Senior Theses CandidatesClass of 2022 Senior Theses Writers Alongside Professor Gurel

How to Apply

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.

Feel free to talk over any ideas or questions you have with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) Peter Cajka, Sophie White 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.

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. 

A senior thesis is 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. 

Recent Theses

Copy Of Claire 3Claire Kramer used a UROP Grant to conduct senior thesis research at ESPN Headquarters.

Tessa Bangs - "A 'Portrait' in Grief: Collective Identity and Memory in Post-9/11 New York"

Kelsey Dool - "Coming of Age on the Page: Exploring the Place of Young Adult Authors in the American Literary Canon"

Grace Garry - "Sisters in Science: Challenging Narratives of Faith and Feminism in America"

Emily Greentree - "Disney’s America: The Misrepresentation of American History in the Walt Disney World Parks"

Melissa Gutierrez-Lopez - "Representations of American Citizens: Portrayals of Mexican Americans and Japanese Americans, 1929-1945"

Claire Kramer - "Man Down: ESPN's Coverage of the NFL's Concussion Crisis"

Jacob McKenna - "Culture Kraft: Christopher Emmet, the American Council on Germany, and Cold War Cultural Activism"

Carlysa Oyama - "The HIV/AIDS Epidemic: A Medical and Cultural Crisis"

View and download full thesis examples