Every year, approximately 45%-55% of senior History concentrators choose to cap their Harvard careers by writing a senior honors thesis.
The senior thesis tutorial is a two-semester sequence comprising Hist 99a and Hist 99b. While the overwhelming majority of students who start a thesis choose to complete it, our process allows students to drop the thesis at the end of the fall semester after History 99a (in which case they are not eligible for departmental honors).
The senior thesis in History is a year-long project involving considerable primary- and secondary-source research and a good deal of writing; finished theses are expected to be between 60 and 130 pages in length, and to make an original contribution to historical knowledge.
The department’s senior thesis program is one of the strongest in Harvard College. In recent years, one quarter or more of our thesis writers have received Hoopes Prizes, which is well over the College average.