Seniors

You registered last spring for the fall semester.  When you return to campus, please review your selections, discuss your schedule with your advisor, and make whatever changes are needed.  Please keep in mind the requirements and other considerations given below. 

Your CSS advisor for this year will normally be the same as last year, but due to sabbaticals and  leaves, she or he may have been replaced over the summer. Please check your portfolio to see if your advisor has changed and, if so, to whom you have been reassigned.  Seek advice and authorization from him or her during November preregistration.

Choosing Courses for the Senior Year

All CSS seniors take CSS 391, Senior Colloquium, in the fall semester, and should have preregistered for the Colloquium in the spring. In addition, during their senior year they take either two thesis tutorials (worth one credit each) resulting in the completion of an honors thesis or they make take an individual tutorial (worth one credit) in order to complete a senior project. With the approval of your advisor and the CSS co-chairs, senior projects may also be completed within an advanced seminar in one of the social sciences.

All seniors must send an e-mail to Mickie Dame by 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 3 Drop/Add indicating whether they are doing a senior thesis or a project. If a student is planning on completing a senior project in the fall or a senior thesis in the spring, the thesis or project proposal as described in the “Senior Year Program,” which is part of the summer mailing, should be attached to the email.

Honors thesis.  If you did not line up a thesis advisor last spring, move quickly now or you may lose the advisor you have in mind.  Even if you obtained an advisor last spring, take the initiative by contacting him or her before or during the first week of classes; too many theses are weakened or even fail because of time lost in September and October. The CSS expects thesis students to meet with their thesis advisors regularly—normally, once weekly when classes are in session—until completion. The "CSS Senior Year Program" details the events and deadlines that accompany an honors thesis.  You are personally responsible for meeting these deadlines.  Please remember that you have to add a thesis tutorial during Drop/Add at the start of each semester.

Senior project.  A senior project consisting of a set of courses and a research paper may be completed through an individual research tutorial or, with prior approval of the relevant instructor and the CSS co-chairs, as part of the requirement of an advanced seminar (usually in a social science or related discipline) that culminates in a long research paper. Senior projects can be completed either in the fall or the spring. If you intend to enroll in an individual tutorial, during drop/add you should find a faculty member who is willing to supervise your project. If you intend to undertake your senior project in an advanced seminar, make arrangements with the instructor to submit a version of the final seminar paper that is long enough to constitute a CSS senior project. The nature of such a project and the requirements that go with it are specified in the "CSS Senior Year Program."

General Education Expectations.  You must finish both your Stage I and Stage II general education expectations by the end of your senior year in order to graduate with a CSS major.  If you are not yet Stage II compliant, you should devise with your advisor a plan (or a revised/updated plan if you already submitted a previous plan) to complete Stage II by the end of spring semester.  Please submit this plan via e-mail to Mickie Dame by Wednesday, September 3.

General Notes

Grades.  As in junior year, CSS courses (including thesis and individual tutorials) are graded on the usual scale of A to F.  You may take your other courses graded or not, if the instructor gives you a choice, and the results will be recorded accordingly on your transcript by the Registrar's Office.  For the senior thesis tutorials, your thesis advisor will give you a grade of X for the fall semester, which serves as a placeholder until the thesis is completed.  Then he or she will revise the X grade to a letter grade in the spring.  Note that the honors designation on your thesis has no automatic relationship with the grades you receive for your thesis tutorials; honors is determined by the CSS reading committee, while your tutorial grades are determined solely by your thesis advisor.

Transcripts.  The Registrar's Office prepares your official transcript using a special format for CSS students.  CSS maintains a copy of your unofficial transcript which can be reviewed before requesting an official transcript to include in applications for jobs or graduate school; information sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, especially transfer credits (for example, from overseas programs), completion of incompletes, clearing of X grades, and audits.  The unofficial transcript on file with CSS is for review purposes only and cannot be duplicated for the purpose of providing a copy to a student.  Only the Registrar’s Office has the authority to release transcript information when properly requested.

Summer Letter