Diversity at Reed

Senior Thesis Spotlight

The culminating academic achievement of a student's Reed career is the senior thesis. Reed's capstone project is the sustained investigation of a carefully defined problem—experimental, critical, or creative—chosen from the major field. Students are supported in their work by a faculty thesis adviser, and ultimately submit their work to community scrutiny.

The thesis is much more than the writing of a long paper. A thesis typically:

  • allows students to pursue a line of inquiry on a scale not routinely encountered in courses;
  • provides, through collaboration with the faculty adviser, a model for collegial inquiry and exercise of a scholarly apparatus and vocabulary;
  • provides a experiential context for exploring the relationship of critical, experimental, and analytical methods;
  • builds organizational and expository style through the task of writing the thesis itself;
  • provides experience in self-direction through independent work.

Click on a student below to learn more about their senior thesis experience at Reed.