The Senior Thesis
A Defining Journey
Work one-on-one with a faculty adviser on an original research or creative endeavor that showcases your intellectual growth and serves as the culmination of your undergraduate career.
This is your opportunity to explore fundamental questions, create a work of art, and contribute to a scholarly conversation in your chosen field of study.
And in the process, you'll build skills that will serve you for a lifetime, whether you move into the business world, graduate or professional school, or an elite service program.
The year-long research project can take on a variety of forms—a scholarly paper, narrative nonfiction essay, journalistic article or series of articles, documentary film, or museum exhibition. It is designed to reflect your personal interests and career goals.
What kind of research topics do students pursue? Browse these quick summaries of student projects from recent Arts and Letters graduates.
Check in with your department or faculty mentor for specific advice. You can also find funding and support for your research from a variety of centers and institutes on campus, including the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement.
"Thesis writing was the most rewarding and empowering experience in my four years at Notre Dame. I learned how to engage properly with the research process: Critically evaluating my own position's weaknesses, assessing the strengths of the theories with which I disagree, and continually refining my work."
— Kyle Witzigman '16
Political Science Major
Glynn Family Honors Scholar, Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, Fulbright Award to Teach in Vietnam