Senior Thesis Deadlines


Most of the following deadlines are advisory. Students should consult their individual thesis advisors for expectations regarding the amount of writing to be completed and when it should be turned in on the way to the final draft. The only firm deadlines that hold for the entire department are the midterm deficiency and drop deadlines and the dates for the complete draft in the fall and the final draft in the spring. Students who are registered for a PLS thesis tutorial that is being taught by a non-PLS faculty person are responsible for sharing these deadlines with that faculty person. Students who are writing their thesis in another department and are, therefore, not registered for a PLS thesis tutorial should follow the guidelines for the thesis process in that department. All students should make sure that PLS receives a copy of their thesis by graduation, regardless of the department in which it was written, so that it can be included in the PLS senior thesis archive.

Tuesday, Aug. 22    First day of classes.

Friday, Sept. 15    Detailed outline of project, with a bibliography.

Friday, Oct. 13    5 pp. of the essay due.

Monday, Oct. 16    Advisors will submit deficient midterm grades for any advisee who is at risk of failing the fall thesis tutorial.

October 14-22    Fall break

Friday, Oct. 27    Last Day to Drop a Class. In the week prior to this date, all advisors will notify their advisees of their standing in the thesis tutorial and discuss expectations for completion of the fall tutorial.

Friday, Nov. 3    15 pp. of the essay due, either completing one part of the eventual essay or covering the entire argument and topic in a form to be later expanded in consultation with the director.

Friday, Nov. 17    25 pp. due, fleshing out the main argument and structure.

Thursday, Dec. 7    Draft due—per the "writing intensive" requirements, a complete draft will consist of a minimum of 20 pages, a portion of which has been revised in response to feedback from the advisor.  By agreement of the department, there will be penalties for missing this deadline.  If you miss the deadline, you can receive no higher than a “B” for the non-essay portion of your grade.  

Dec. 11-15    Final Exams

Tuesday, Dec. 12    If the full draft is not in, you can receive no higher than a “D” for the final course grade.

Monday, March 4, 4 pm    Three copies of the final essay due in PLS office.  The final version for binding and two copies will not be accepted without the director’s signature. One copy, with markings of the second reader, will be returned along with a letter from the second reader.  Senior theses are generally between 9,000 and 15,000 words (the equivalent of 35-60 double-spaced pages of 12-point font), with 40-45 pp. of double spaced text being the norm. Thesis that are longer than 15,000 words will not be eligible for the Otto Bird Award.

Essays submitted after the deadline but by Friday, March 8 can receive no higher grade than a “B.”  Essays submitted by Friday, March 22, can receive no higher grade than a “C.”  Essays submitted after Friday, March 29, can receive no higher grade than a “D.” 

Monday, March 11    Deficient midterm grades will be reported for any students who have not submitted their theses by this date.

March 11-19 Spring break

Friday, March 22    Last Day to Drop a Course. Any student who has not turned in their thesis by this date will be advised to drop the thesis tutorial.

Senior Thesis Proposal Information for Juniors