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All College Thesis/Senior Thesis

Thesis Rules, Expectations and Timelines:

If you plan to complete an All College Thesis: Sometimes psychology students are confused by the different requirements discussed by the psychology department vs. the All College Thesis Office.  Whenever you notice a difference, you should assume that the psychology department's requirements should be followed rather than the All College Thesis Office.  For example, because the psychology department outlines a very specific format for the proposal, it should be followed rather than the format provided by the All College Thesis Office.  Likewise, any deadlines set by the psychology department should be followed rather than general All College Thesis Office deadlines. 

If you are unsure which requirements to follow, have a discussion with your psychology faculty moderator, who will be able to help you.  Additionally, the psychology department thesis guidelines are up to date and reflect the expectations of the psychology department.


Should I Do an All College Thesis or a Senior Thesis?

Be sure to discuss this issue with your faculty moderator as soon as you start developing your thesis proposal.  Knowing whether you will be completing an All College Thesis or Senior Thesis will help you work toward the correct deadlines.

Similarities between an All College Thesis and a Senior Thesis:

  • Both require a thorough proposal (requirements listed below under 'Required Elements of a Thesis Proposal').
  • Both require that the final proposal be submitted to the Psychology Department.
  • Both projects count as a psychology capstone.
  • Both projects involve a year-long independent research project supervised by a faculty moderator.
  • Both projects are excellent preparation for students interested in attending graduate school in psychology.

Differences between an All College Thesis and a Senior Thesis:

  • Students completing an All College Thesis must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher; there are no GPA requirements for a Senior Thesis.
  • Final proposals are due for the All College Thesis by September 15 and for the Senior Thesis by October 1.
  • All College Thesis projects require a faculty moderator and two additional thesis readers (faculty members); Senior Thesis projects require a faculty moderator only.
  • All College Thesis projects include a thesis defense in front of the thesis committee (faculty moderator and two readers) as well as an oral presentation at Celebrating Scholarship and Creativity Day; Senior Thesis projects include a poster presentation at Celebrating Scholarship and Creativity Day.
  • There are more deadlines for students completing an All College Thesis than for students completing a Senior Thesis.
  • Students can earn distinction in the major by completing a high quality All College Thesis.

Students completing an All College Thesis must sign up for HONR 396 ("Thesis Proposal") in the spring of their junior year (or fall if studying abroad in the spring) and sign up for HONR 398 for three credits in the fall and 1 credit in the spring.  Students completing a Senior Thesis sign up for PSYC 396 for three credits in the fall and 1 credit in the spring.


Thesis Proposal:

  • Thesis Proposal Do's and Don't's
  • Required Elements of a Thesis Proposal
  • Timeline for a(n):
    • All College Thesis
      • Proposal Meeting
      • The honors thesis approval page should be included on the second page of your thesis proposal.  For the final proposal, type the names of your moderator and readers on the appropriate signature line to show that your committee has approved your final proposal.
      • Approval Page Sample
    • Senior Thesis
      • Students completing a senior thesis will work with their faculty moderator to develop a research proposal that contains all of the sections listed above.  Students completing a senior thesis do not have a committee so they will not have anything due during the spring semester of their junior year.  The final proposal will be due in the chair's office by October 1.

Sample Proposals: