Note: Proposals for taking ANTH in spring semester will be approved only if the student has already begun working on their project with supervision of an advisor in or before the previous fall semester. The Anthropology Department encourages all majors to do anthropological research. You may participate in research through coursework and opportunities such as PURM, field and laboratory experiences, internships, and work-study. You may work on research projects directed by Anthropology Department faculty; Penn Museum curators, researchers, and staff; or advanced graduate students. We encourage you to explore research possibilities early on.
A distinctive requirement of the Program of Liberal Studies is the senior thesis, a formal paper of between 40 and 60 pages written in the senior year under the close direction of one of the members of the PLS faculty. The senior thesis provides the opportunity for students to integrate three years' worth of knowledge and skills with research on a specific topic. Planning for the essay takes place beginning in the spring of junior year. The PLS Chairperson meets with junior students in the fall of junior year.. Senior theses are eligible for the annual Otto A. Bird award given each spring in the Program for the finest senior essay. All senior theses are bound and remain in the department office.
A thesis or dissertation [note 1] abbreviated diss. The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis or dissertation can vary by country, university, or program, and the required minimum study period may thus vary significantly in duration. The word "dissertation" can at times be used to describe a treatise without relation to obtaining an academic degree. The term "thesis" is also used to refer to the general claim of an essay or similar work. Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the term thesis.
You may also know that this will be the most challenging project that you might have to undertake during your academic career. But, what is a senior thesis? And, how do you write it successfully within the provided timeframe?