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Student Research Guide

Honors in the Majors & Certificate Programs

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.

SFS-Q has four curricular majors
Every year faculty members select a small group of each major’s top students and offer them training in the best principles of research in that field’s tradition. These 'Honors in the Major' students must author a substantial research paper that reflects nearly a year’s worth of work and present it to the SFS-Q community. Faculty members from each of the curricular majors read and critique the papers and decide which papers merit honors recognition.  
Requirements vary slightly by major but generally involve students earning a 3.33 cumulative GPA, a 3.67 GPA in the major, having a thesis proposal approved, taking one or two semesters of honors research coursework and completing an honors thesis judged to be of honors quality by a faculty and decanal committee. 

Search for past honors thesis

Want to check the honors theses from previous years? Go to the Student Scholarship collection of the Digital Georgetown repository and search for the keyword “GU-Q”.

You will get a list of theses written by the GU-Q students in the past. Click on each individual work to read it online or download.

Certificate Thesis
SFS-Q has four Certificate Programs:
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.