Students majoring in broad field social studies produce a senior thesis during the final semester of their college career. This capstone project involves research, writing, and an oral defense, similar to a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. In HIST 495: Senior Seminar, each student works closely with a research advisor. Two other professors also read and comment on the student’s thesis. If the student produces a research paper of exceptional quality, it will be filed in the senior seminar papers collection of the college library.
True to the interdisciplinary nature of the broad field social studies major, students must incorporate not only historical methodology but also other techniques drawn from one or more of the social sciences: economics, geography, political science, psychology, or sociology. In recent years, broad field social studies majors have successfully defended senior thesis papers on the following themes:
- The NAACP's Impact on Three Civil Rights Organizations: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Black Panther Party
- The Evolution and Impact of the British Invasion
- The Battle of the Bulge: Bastogne and the German Objective
- May It Please Mr. Madison, the Supreme Court Has Incorporated Your Fifth Proposal: An Examination of the Adoption of the Bill of Rights and Incorporation Doctrine
- The Early Christian Church: A Reflection of Society
- The Berlin Crisis of 1961: The Threat of Nuclear War and the Almost Annihilation of Mankind
- Joseph Stalin: A Man's Portrayal and Its Effects on a Nation
- Creating a Robber Baron: Intellectual Movements, Personal Beliefs, and John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
- A Historical Perspective on King Arthur from the First and Last Days of His Life
- Longships upon the Liffey: The Viking Settlement in Dublin during the Ninth Century
- A History of Professional Wrestling and How World Wrestling Entertainment Became One of the Top Businesses in Sports Entertainment
- From Roosevelt to Roosevelt, American Progressivism Takes Root: The Progressive Era’s Unraveling of the American Constitution
- Latvia: Behind the Dark Shadow of the Iron Curtain into the Light of Freedom
- Grunge: Kurt Cobain and Grunge’s Lasting Legacy