English Department

The Senior Year

As you start your senior year it is imperative that you consult with your academic advisor to make sure that you have completed or will complete your College, Divisional, and Departmental requirements. The thesis is only one of the requirements you must fulfill to graduate. Students who do not meet all requirements, including the PE requirement, will not be allowed to graduate. The ultimate responsibility to meet these requirements rests with the individual student, but you can get help from Registrar Office personnel and faculty advisors.

You should note that college requirements state that students must earn credit for at least six academic units of work in their degree year. No fewer than two academic units, at least one of which shall be in a non-thesis course, shall be earned in any semester.

The English thesis is usually a piece of individually designed research and interpretation--a chance to apply in an intense fashion those methods learned in the program. Aspiring writers may propose to write a creative thesis, such as original fiction, poetry, or drama. Thesis is a program of research (a full course for a year in almost all cases) to be done as independently as is appropriate in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Guidelines for choosing a thesis topic and advisor and a series of due dates to guide the process of thesis writing are printed in "Guidelines for Thesis Students" available from the office of the Division of Literature and Languages (Psych 116). The English Department subscribes to the due dates therein, with the addition of one preliminary requirement that its majors submit a proposed thesis topic and potential advisor prior to the first week of classes in the senior year; then the Department meets to match advisors, advisees, and topics.

Thesis Topic Proposals

As mentioned above, the department follows the Division of Literature and Language thesis deadlines with one exception: Students will submit thesis topic proposals to the department faculty administative assistant in August prior to the start of senior year. 

All students will submit three distinct thesis topic proposals along with a possible thesis advisor for each topic. Students who have fulfilled the requirements for the creative writing concentation will submit three creative thesis topics along with a possible thesis advisor for each topic. Students who enrolled in Reed prior to 2020 and want to write a creative thesis will need to apply to write a creative thesis following these guidelines, unless they have fulfilled the requirements of the creative writing concentration.