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Languages & Literatures

Distinction in French

Any member of the University Honors Program may do a senior honors thesis. Additionally, any student with a GPA above 3.6 in the major and 3.2 overall may earn departmental distinction by completing a senior thesis.

Students should select an area of interest by the end of spring quarter of the junior year and ask a full-time faculty member to serve as their thesis advisor. The thesis should be researched and written during fall and winter quarters with the spring reserved for revision. Topics may have to do with literature, culture, civilization or language and, with the approval of the faculty advisor, may combine interests from another major as long as the topic is focused on the French-speaking world. The thesis should be approximately 25 pages long and must be written in French.

Students should refine their topic before the end of fall quarter of the senior year and begin their research during winter break, if not before. The thesis is different from a regular course or Independent Study paper primarily in that the topic should be an original formulation on the part of the student and engage the student with critical perspectives in the chosen field. A thesis is also expected to go through several drafts--it is not simply submitted to a professor once for a grade. The first draft is due before the end of winter quarter, the final draft by May 15. The student will present his/her findings to a committee of 3 French professors, including the advisor, and at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in late May.

Students may choose to sign up for senior thesis credits (FREN 3998) or not, depending on their course load. Two credits during fall quarter and two in winter is the standard procedure. It is recommended that the student sign up for at least one credit at some point during the senior year so that the work receives proper recognition on the permanent transcript.