The senior seminar (4-point course: SPAN UN3991 or SPAN UN3992) is a requirement for all majors and is also open to concentrators. It is taken in the fall semester of senior year. The senior seminar (SPAN BC3990) offered through Barnard’s Department of Spanish and Latin American Cultures also fulfills this LAIC requirement.
In this seminar, students develop an individual research project based on primary sources. They write an essay under the guidance of the course’s instructor and in dialogue with the other participants’ projects. Following an introductory theoretical and methodological section as well as a research session at the library, the syllabus is entirely constructed on the students’ projects. Every participant is in charge of a weekly session. Essay outlines and drafts are discussed with the group throughout the semester. The projects take shape over the course of the entirety of the semester. The final class session is a public symposium with external respondents, and the written product is a research essay of approximately 6000 words, composed in Spanish.
All students registered for the senior seminar in any given fall semester should dedicate some time over the previous summer to thinking about the sort of research and writing project they hope to pursue. Students should be prepared to come to the first day of class with a brief written proposal of approximately 400 words that outlines this project.
From the Senior Seminar to the Honors Thesis
Students who wish to write an honors thesis develop the senior seminar’s research essay during the spring semester. To that end, they enroll in a “Supervised Independent Study” (SPAN UN 3998) with the approved advisor. The independent study will be considered completed only once the student has submitted the honors thesis (approximately 9000 words, including bibliography), written in Spanish. SPAN UN3998 will then count as a 3 point-course and will be among elective courses for the purposes of the major. The honors thesis is submitted in PDF form to the Director of Undergraduate Studies by April, 15th. A faculty committee adjudicates the awarding of departmental honors and related prizes. More information is available here.