Spanish Majors are encouraged to write a Senior Thesis in the Department. Students writing a thesis will register for one thesis course in the fall and another in the spring (498/499). Theses can be written in Spanish although, if the topic merits, the Department may suggest writing a thesis in English. The length of the work may vary from 80 to 150 pages. The subject matter must be culture, literature, language, and the arts in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, and/or Latinos in the United States. Interdisciplinary theses are encouraged but the Department will only accept those connected with the subject matter described above. (The College has established routes for writing an interdisciplinary thesis that fall under jurisdiction of no specific department.)

Spanish Majors interested in writing a thesis must submit to the Department a three-page proposal on the first Monday in April of their Junior year. The Department will review the proposal, and within two weeks the Chair will notify the student if the proposal has been approved and who the designated advisor will be. Advisors will be tenured and tenure-track members of the Department. Students are encouraged to identify the advisor they are interested in working with but the Department will make the final decision. No faculty member in the Department will advise more than two theses per year. Advising schedules will be established between advisor and student. Advisors are responsible for guiding the student's interest and making content and stylistic suggestions throughout the process. The degree of those suggestions varies from one advisor to another.

If after the first semester the advisor believes the project is not advancing properly, the thesis will be canceled and the student will be asked to turn the research into a Special Topics, for which a grade will be given at the end the semester. Final thesis manuscripts must be submitted no later than the first week of April. The thesis defense will take place during the third week of April when the student will be asked about the thesis’ content and style. The student’s advisor will serve as defense moderator. Unless otherwise stipulated, the defense committee will be made up of tenured and tenure-track members of the Department.

The results of the defense may be: a thesis might be judged fully satisfactory with no revisions requested; minor departmental revisions may be recommended; the student may be asked to make substantial revisions; or the thesis might be deemed unacceptable by departmental standards. Based on the committee's judgment and following the College honor system, the Department will award honors of Summa, Magna, or Cum. The committee might also deem the quality of a thesis to be insufficient for honors. Final versions of theses are to be submitted, following College guidelines, during the last week of classes in May.