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The Senior Thesis

That cause you’re passionate about? That topic you can’t learn enough about? Start digging. Carthage is one of the few schools in the country to require a senior thesis. This is your chance to apply everything you’ve learned over the previous three years. Your senior thesis can take the form of a research project, art exhibit, music recital, portfolio, or better yet, something no one has ever seen before — including you.

All students must complete a senior thesis in order to graduate, but don’t worry: Your faculty thesis advisor will guide you in your research, assist you with research techniques, and help you hone your presentation skills. It’s not going to be easy. But it is going to help you graduate challenged, curious, competent, and confident. According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities, “capstone projects” like the senior thesis are among the 10 educational practices with the highest impact.

In case senior year feels too far off, here’s a list of past examples to get your thoughts bubbling:

Art History


  • Polyvalency of Subcluster A2 Mycobacteriophages — The Role of Tail Fibers and their Amino Acid Sequences in Host Range Determination — Beth Klein
  • Molecular Regulators of Right Ventricular Angiogenesis in a Murine Model of Chronic Hypoxic Pulmonary Hypertension — Jacelyn Peabody


  • Lame Hephaistos, Veiled Perikles, and Tragic Thersites: The Acceptance Spectrum of Ancient Greek Deformity — Sarah Kellogg
  • Metal Finds from Ancient Omrit — Teryn Solan
  • The Illicit Antiquities Market: Confronting Issues in Areas of Military Conflict — Erin Oakland
  • Escaping the Dark Cave: A Study of the Urban and Rural Cave Sanctuaries of the Athenian Acropolis and Attica — Richard Ward
  • See more Classics Senior Theses

Communication and Digital Media

  • The Magazine Market: Targeted Advertising and the Rise of the Internet — Nicole Pfiffner 
  • Social Media for Good: How Nonprofits Engage their Audience — Kirsten Peterson
  • Gender Stereotypes in Sports Media — Jeremiah Mertz
  • See more Communication and Digital Media Senior Theses

Criminal Justice

  • The Prison Environment and Prison Guards’ Home Life — Clifton Nelson
  • A Meta-Analysis of the Three Strikes Law in the U.S. — Corey Boone


  • Chinese Banking Structure and Monetary Policy: Soft Wallets Bring Hard Times — Eddie Schwab
  • From Swords to Plowshares: A Case Study of the Economic Impact of the Savannah River Site and the Viability of Nuclear Energy in the United States — Evan Barkhau


  • I Have Made His Glory Mine’: Tennyson’s Female Archetypes Fight Sexual Repression — Melanie Lambrecht
  • Longing for Gold in the Emerald Isle: a Psychoanalytic Exploration of Routine in James Joyce’s Dubliners — Ben McGuiggan

Environmental Science

  • The Effect of Watershed Urbanization on River Hydrology and Ecology: Assessing the Use of Population Density as an Estimate for Percent Impervious Cover — Kris Kordek
  • Managing Grassland Biofuel Cropping Systems for Plant Diversity and Productivity — Sara Fouts

Geography and Earth Science

  • The Growth in Access to Local Produce in Urban Populations in Southeast Wisconsin — Jennifer Dorman
  • Mowing Reduction and Prairie Conversion in Crystal Lake Parks —Kevin Steltzriede
  • Classification of Shoreline Erosion and Protection of Kenosha County 1960-2011 — Robert Grandchamp
  • Tracing the Geographic Distribution of the Gaelic Language in Ireland, 1821-1926 — Caitlin Zant
  • See more examples of Geography and Earth Science theses

Great Ideas


  • “Le Rôle des écoles d’immersion au Canada: Une approche modernisée d’acquérir une langue seconde.” A study of how immersion schools in Canada effectively preserve the French Language and prepare students for the future — Jesse Daniel
  • See more examples of French theses


  • The Back Door to War Theory in the context of conspiracy scholarship in regards to the bombing of Pearl Harbor — David Carlson
  • The ways in which the Beatles impacted class in Great Britain — Sam Langford


  • The Personalities of the People of Osaka and Kyoto: Are They Friends or Enemies? (大阪の方々と京都の方々の個性:仲間か敵か?) — Kathleen Lawler
  • The Success and Failure of Fast Food in Japan: With a Focus on iitoko-dori (日本におけるファストフードの成功と失敗 —「いいとこ取り」を中心としてー) — Barty Lenhart
  • See more examples of Japanese theses

Political Science

  • The Land Ethic and Wolves: The Ethics of Wolf Hunting — Taylor Ridderbusch
  • Competency to Stand Trial: Does the Process Protect Individuals with an Intellectual Disability?” — Kendall Vega
  • Deinstitutionalization and Homelessness: A Policy Review — Brien Drake
  • Video Games Affecting Violent Behavior — Nenad Komljenovic
  • See more Political Science senior theses


  • Writing A Fluid Solver From First Principles — Aaron Scheets
  • The Effects of Limb Darkening on the Measurements of the Physical Properties of Exoplanets — Tammy Kylloe
  • Principal Component Analysis of Diffuse Interstellar Band Carriers — Michael Moen
  • See more Physics senior theses


  • The Effects of Music on Cortisol Levels in Adolescents: Implications for Treatment of Depression — Olivia Nino
  • A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Psychomotor Development in HIV-Infected Infants — Tristin Nyman


  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Torturous Journey Toward LGBTQIA Inclusivity — Katie Bolinger
  • Why Muslim Women Veil: Dispelling Misconceptions —Amanda Pisula
  • Tactical Use of the Belief in Hell — Mariah Giffey
  • See more Religion senior theses


  • The Impact of Foster Care on Children and Delinquency — Diamond T. Seivright
  • Perception of Law Enforcement by Young Adults: A Review of Literature — Ryan McGaha
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    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

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