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. Note: Students who wish to complete their studies at Washington College in the fall semester must begin working on their senior thesis in the preceding spring semester under the direction of an assigned thesis advisor.
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.