COLLEGE OF SOCIAL STUDIES
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 EPortfolio 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.
All CSS seniors take CSS 391, Senior Colloquium, in the fall semester, and were 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. Occasionally, and 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 the CSS Administrative Assistant on Wednesday, September 7th, of Drop/Add indicating whether they are doing a Senior Thesis or a Senior Project. Students should also indicate the semester in which they plan to complete the project or thesis. In addition, those seniors completing a project in the Fall, or a thesis in the Spring, should submit a project or thesis proposal as an attachment to the e-mail. Guidelines for that proposal are described in the “Senior Year Program,” a document that is part of the summer mailing.
Senior 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 Senior 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 and a 15-minute presentation at a CSS Monday Lunch reserved for these presentations. 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.
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 let the CSS Co-Chairs know your plan to complete your Gen Ed requirements. Do this by e-mail to Martha by Wednesday, September 7.
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: You should know that the Registrar's Office prepares your transcript using a special format for CSS students. In addition, you should check your transcript before including it 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.Summer Letter