Guidelines for Juniors

Students who are intending to complete a minor or certificate in the Program on Justice and Peace are required to complete a thesis. Part of this process is enrolling in JUPS 303 Senior Thesis Seminar offered in the fall of their senior year. These guidelines are designed to help you begin work on this project during the spring semester of your junior year. During the preregistration period of the junior year spring semester, you should register for JUPS 303. You should make sure that you are formally registered for the minor/certificate in your School.

You should have three goals for the second semester of your junior year. These goals will help to provide more structure to your efforts to prepare for the seminar class and write a thesis.

  1. You should begin the process of developing a strong thesis proposal. At this stage, your proposal, which should run at least 500 words, should include a statement of the question, inquiry, or problem that the thesis will investigate; the reasons why that investigation is important; a sense of how you will address the question or problem from a justice and peace perspective; your methodology; and a working bibliography of the primary documents and key scholarship you will need to review to undertake the project. Your thesis proposal is due the last Monday of April of your junior year via email to the Program Director. Feedback will be returned to you over the summer. A revised proposal is due via email to the Program Director the Wednesday before Fall classes begin.
  2. You should consider possible thesis mentors, approach one or several, and discuss your project with one of them or with a trusted academic advisor. If you need help in identifying a mentor and this process, schedule a meeting with the Program Director. In approaching a possible mentor, you should provide a list of relevant courses taken in preparation for the project, a draft of a proposal for your thesis, a tentative working bibliography, and an explanation of why you think he or she can be most helpful to your work.
  3. The last goal of the spring semester is for you to do preliminary research on the topic of the paper. This could include: investigating/reading key items on your working bibliography; gathering data which may be used in the argument of the paper; working with your mentor to discuss the process of thesis writing; reading previous theses completed by previous JUPS students; and talking with anyone who will listen to you!