Each senior at Washington College is required to complete a “Senior Capstone Experience.” For International Studies majors, this takes the form of a research paper on a specific topic selected by the student by the first week of the senior year in consultation with a member of the Program.
This topic is developed and a draft of the senior thesis completed in conjunction with the International Studies Seminar, a required course in the fall of the senior year. Further work on the thesis is completed in close consultation with a senior thesis advisor during the spring semester of the senior year.
Recent senior theses have dealt with such topics as “Cyber Warfare and State Power: Implications for the United States,” “The Beijing Consensus: Some Development Required,” “Militarization of U.S. drug policy and human rights: Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative,” “Economic sanctions and rogue nations: the case of South Africa,” “Dark side of the gene revolution: Monsanto, GMOs and the developing world,” “Mexico’s democratic development: social turbulence and its following electoral reforms,” and “Health Care Reform — A Comparative Study of Germany and the United States.”
Through the successful completion this project, students gain a sense of mastery of an important issue in international studies and a sense of confidence in their ability to manage the tasks they will face in further education and/or professional employment.