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Certificate Thesis Guide

Certificate Program

Certificate Thesis
SFS-Q has four Certificate Programs:
  • Certificate in American Studies (CAST)
  • Certificate of Arab and Regional Studies (CARS)
  • Certificate in Media and Politics (CMAP)
Each certificate program offers the top students an opportunity to author a senior thesis. This is a substantial piece of research work that reflects nearly a year’s worth of work and is presented to the SFS-Q community as a contribution to the scholarly conversation. 

A senior thesis is an opportunity for you to engage in significant scholarly work in which you are deeply interested.  By definition, a thesis is an original work of thought and research. “Original research” means that the student has defined an important question, has closely examined the existing scholarly literature and relevant primary sources on that topic, and has offered some argument, evidence or ideas on the topic that go beyond what is contained in existing primary and secondary source material. 

The benefits of writing a thesis include:

  • Exploring a topic of your choosing in greater depth
  • Learning to develop a concise and testable research hypothesis
  • Creating your own research design
  • Working closely with a faculty mentor
  • Developing methodological skills using statistical techniques
  • Collecting and collating primary data and sources
  • Navigating libraries, archives, databases and other research venues
  • Contributing to your field by becoming an ‘expert’ on one issue
  • Showing readiness for graduate school and professional life by developing transferable skills
  • Demonstrating ability to stay committed to a lengthy project
  • Presenting and defending research findings to a group of peers, faculty and deans
  • Building self-confidence in working on a major independent project from start to finish

Adapted from the Georgetown University, Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, Senior Honors Thesis webpage.