Students writing a senior thesis are strongly encouraged to be in residence for the entirety of their senior year. Students writing theses are enrolled in PHIL 89 for the fall term and PHIL 90 for winter term of their senior year (exceptions to this may be made be for those students on the Philosophy FSP—see below*). Only one of the two terms may count towards satisfying the major requirements.
*Students on the Philosophy FSP in Edinburgh will write a Winter-Spring thesis, enrolling in Phil 89 for the Winter term and Phil 90 for the Spring term of their senior year. Owing to the more compressed time-frame, FSP students writing an honors thesis should begin their thesis work during the FSP, where support for workshopping ideas will be provided. During this time, students should also begin working (remotely) with their Dartmouth Thesis advisors, so that their work is significantly underway by the start of Winter term. In extraordinary cases, a student not on the FSP may be permitted to write a winter-spring or fall-spring thesis. In such cases, students are expected to consult with the Chair of the department during the junior year and to request special accommodations when submitting their senior thesis proposals.
Thesis students and their supervisors work together to prepare a research and writing plan, and meet regularly throughout the fall and winter terms. Thesis writers also attend a Senior Honors Seminar four times in the fall term and two in the winter, at which they read and discuss one another's thesis work.
Students must submit a full draft of the thesis by the sixth Monday of the winter term. This draft is read by two faculty members, appointed by the Chair, who are not the student's thesis supervisor. The student and these external readers meet by the ninth week of winter term to discuss the thesis. The external readers can insist on significant revisions before submission of the final product. Final versions of theses are submitted to the supervisor and external readers on the second Monday of spring term. Public defenses are scheduled for the last few weeks of the spring term. Thesis grades are determined by supervisors and external readers.
The final version of the thesis should be between 20,000 and 30,000 words long. Students must submit four bound copies of the thesis, one of which is printed on acid-free bond paper, to the department administrator by the last Monday of the spring term.
Go To: Listing of Philosophy Department Honors Theses