General Information

The senior thesis is the capstone experience in the Politics major. It involves the writing of a major research paper under the close supervision of a faculty member. This paper is subject to multiple stages of criticism and rewriting, intended to deepen students' insights into different forms of inquiry, methods and literature. This process will hone their skills of critical thinking; sharpen their abilities to analyze theory and test ideas through research; and ensure that their research designs and methodologies are effective and appropriate. This designated Writing-Center course if offered every semester.

Prerequisite: a minimum of three credits at the 300 level, two of which must be completed in residence at Willamette University. POLI 390, POLI 396 and POLI 398 do not count toward the three credit minimum.

Select Titles of Past Political Theory Theses

  • The Internet and Political Communication
  • Plastic Dreams of the Self-hood Junkies
  • Natural Aristocracy: Politics in Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature
  • Democracy and the Problem of Knowledge: Threats to Political Culture in an Information Age
  • Diverse Transportation: Our Vehicle to a More Just Society
  • The Origins of Responsibility: A Theory of Judgment
  • Power and Partiality: Tools or Weapons of a Mediator?
  • Rebuilding Frams of Reference: The Changing Images of AIDS
  • Playing with Identity Boundaries: An Evaluation of Contemporary Critiques of Identity Politics in Feminist Theories and Activism
  • The Political Thought of Albert Camus
Sample Thesis