The CSP honours requirement can be fulfilled in either of the two honours subjects (usually the subject in which the student has taken more classes). The honours requirement in CSP is satisfied by writing an honours thesis, which is defended at an oral examination.
If you intend to complete an honours thesis in CSP, you must have your honours application approved by the CSP Director and the Chair of the Dalhousie Department. Once your honours application is approved by both the CSP and the Dalhousie department, please contact the CSP Director, Dr. Dorota Glowacka, or, between July 1 – December 31, the CSP Acting Director Dr. Daniel Brandes (by e-mail or in person) for permission to register in the non-credit Honours Thesis Seminar (CTMP0455X/Y.00). Your approved honors application must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by September 18.
Honours Thesis Seminar
Students who are fulfilling their honours requirement in CSP must attend the honours seminar; registered students who later decide not to write the thesis must withdraw by October 31.
The Seminar will consist of three meetings, conducted by the Director. They will take place on the following days: September 17, November 5, and February 4.
September 17, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Senior Common Room
- requirements for fulfilling the honours credit in Contemporary Studies
- general procedures (selecting and working with your supervisor; revisions; oral examination; procedures for appeal)
- other: applications to graduate schools (soliciting letters of reference) and scholarships
November 5, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Senior Common Room
- an oral presentation of a tentative topic; one-page description of the project and preliminary bibliography are required
- seminar will be divided into several small groups, with two faculty members per group
February 4, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Senior Common Room
- a peer-editing session, please bring a preliminary draft.
The honours thesis is a substantial piece of intellectual work on a subject chosen by the student and agreed to by the supervisor. It can be a serious revision of an essay already submitted in one of your CSP courses. The quality of work is expected to approximate the requirements at the graduate level, and the emphasis will be on original, critical thinking. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.
The minimum length is twenty pages, while thirty pages will be considered long. Students must use both primary and secondary sources, and provide a bibliography, an abstract, and a list of key words.
The final draft of your thesis must be submitted to your supervisor on or before March 2.
The completed thesis must be submitted in hard copy to the CSP office and an electronic copy on Brightspace on or before March 16, 2020.
Working with the honours thesis supervisor
It is your responsibility to approach potential supervisors, by e-mail or in person, and obtain their agreement to supervise the topic chosen. Should you wish to work with a King’s or Dalhousie professor member who is not a member of the CSP teaching staff, arrangements must still be made with a primary supervisor who is a member of the CSP teaching staff.
You are required to meet with your supervisor at least twice each term. In the fall term, you should meet with your supervisor at least once between the 1st and 2nd seminar.
Topics must be developed and approved by the supervisor before the meeting on November 19. Thereafter, individual schedules for producing the work will be established in consultation with the supervisor, although the general deadlines must be observed.
Thesis defence and evaluation
Theses will be defended at a thirty-minute oral exam the week of March 23-27. During the exam, you will be expected to provide a five-minute summary and then answer questions about the substance and method of your work posed by the examining committee that will consist of the supervisor and an external reader. The supervisor will act as the chair of the committee.
The theses will be evaluated according to a pass/fail standard by a committee. During the week of April 6, you will be provided with a brief, written evaluation of the thesis, which will include an unofficial letter mark, agreed upon by the committee.
Every year, a prize is awarded to the top ranked thesis.