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Senior Guidelines

1. Senior Seminar

In general, senior anthropology majors are expected to take the senior seminar (Anthropology 301) in the first semester of their senior year.

2. Senior Thesis

A senior thesis is not a graduation requirement in the Anthropology Department. Ordinarily, students should have a GPA of 3.7 or above to propose a thesis.

  1. Thesis Proposal
    1. Thesis proposals and bibliographies should be handed in by May 15th for an A semester thesis, or the week after October break for a B semester thesis.
    2. The proposal should contain a succinct statement of the project, a discussion of the student's preparation to undertake the thesis and a comprehensive bibliography.
    3. Petitions will be considered by the department as a whole.
  2. Thesis Approval
    The department will inform the student whether permission to write a senior thesis will be granted. Students receiving approval should confirm their two thesis readers with the department chair.
  3. Thesis Deadlines
    1. Thesis proposals and bibliographies should be handed in May 15th for an A semester thesis, or the week after October break for a B semester thesis.
    2. The first draft of the thesis is due Friday after mid-semester break.
    3. Final drafts are due a week before classes end in the term the thesis is being written.

3. Departmental Honors

Students with a departmental GPA of 3.75 or above and a senior thesis with distinction automatically receive honors.

Students seeking departmental honors in Anthropology that do not meet these requirements may submit one outstanding work in anthropology for consideration.

Students must meet with their advisor to discuss appropriate submission choices.

In awarding honors, the Anthropology Department considers the following criteria:

  1. GPA in Anthropology (ordinarily 3.75 or above)
  2. Grade distribution in Anthropology over time, with greater consideration of junior and senior grades
  3. Evaluation of one outstanding piece of work in anthropology
  4. Evaluation of overall contribution to the Anthropology Department

Submission requirements:

  1. A cover letter that details the work submitted, contextualizing it within the student’s education in anthropology
  2. One outstanding work in anthropology
  • All work must be unrevised, precisely as originally submitted.
  • Written work should ordinarily total no more than 50 double-spaced, typewritten pages. Quality, not quantity, is central.
  • Ordinarily, the submission will come from a 300-level course.
  • No work from a 100-level course may be submitted

Submission deadline:

  • All materials are due last day of classes -- May 9th.  This is a firm deadline.
  • Email all materials to anthropology@vassar.edu, where appropriate.
  • Any non-electronically submitted work must be delivered to the Anthropology Department office by May 9th.