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(Fall/Spring or Spring/Fall.) Under most circumstances, a completed length of 35-70 pages.
For a project “in progress” (IP) no grade is recorded for the first semester’s work. That decision is made, finally, at the advisor’s discretion. Next, they should discuss the potential three members of the thesis examining committee: the advisor, another member of the English department, and an outside evaluator from another Mount Holyoke department or program or from another of the Five Colleges.
The student or their advisor then asks two committee members whether they will serve.
Planning ahead increases the possibility of success.
Preference is given to students who can demonstrate thorough preparation, normally through appropriate coursework at the 300 level.
Customarily they are not involved until the thesis is submitted, but at times may be asked to consider the work before it is completed. A complete first draft of the thesis should be submitted to the advisor at least a month before the college-wide deadline near the end of classes. Within ten days the advisor will return the draft with comments and determine whether it may be submitted for honors consideration or remain independent work. Together the student and advisor need to schedule the thesis examination, consulting with the other committee members to set a date at least twelve days before Commencement.
Once the date and time are agreed upon, the advisor and student ask the Department administrator to reserve a room for the examination.
Whereas the standard major in English asks for a total of ten courses, students pursuing honors in English will take nine courses plus either two independent studies or a home seminar to be followed by an independent study.
You must apply for approval to register for independent study.
A project becomes a thesis only after this first semester if the advisor and student agree that it can be submitted for possible honors. Meeting weekly or bi-weekly is usual, but details are left to the student and the advisor.
Observing these expectations, however, is crucial for the project to continue for a second semester. During mid-semester registration the student discusses with the advisor whether the project should continue.