CSB/SJU Distinguished Thesis

The CSB/SJU Distinguished Thesis is a three semester long independent research or creative work project on a subject of your own choosing. Students work under the direction of a thesis committee, composed of a primary advisor who is the expert in the area of research and two readers who have peripheral expertise. For many students, the pursuit of the Distinguished Thesis is the highlight of their academic career. Preparation for such a project – the research, experimentation, or rehearsals – can focus interests, provide perspective in one’s major, develop basic scholarly skills, foster creativity and independent effort, and synthesize educational experiences in a way that other academic projects do not.

The Distinguished Thesis provides highly motivated students with a valuable assessment of their ability to investigate a question and to do extensive writing, research, experimentation, or creative work in their future. Through this work, thesis writers develop the self-knowledge and initiative essential for successful graduate study and impressive to future employers.

Through the structure of the Distinguished Thesis, students have access to a unique cohort experience with other top research and creative work students at CSB/SJU. Students will benefit from meaningful mentorship from their faculty advisor and committee members. Students will be challenged to produce high-quality work worthy of nomination for the Outstanding Thesis Award and publication. Ultimately, student theses may be permanently archived in Digital Commons.

Students enroll in COLG 396 in the second semester of their junior year to develop their proposal and identify their thesis committee. Students enroll in COLG 398 during their senior year, for up to 4 credits. The senior year is spent researching, writing, preparing for public defense, and finally defending within the last 6 weeks of their graduating semester.