In the case of the Junior Project—a course of independent reading leading to an oral presentation and examination—and the Senior Thesis, individual student interest and creativity are given a still sharper focus. The goal of these exercises is less to prove expertise than it is to bring to a level of polish and maturity those skills of analysis, judgment, and exposition that are the very backbone of any liberal education worthy of the name. These exercises are meant to be the fruits of the whole educational experience and to prove that each student has personally appropriated the wisdom and eloquence that the whole community seeks in common.
(required, no credits during third year of studies)
Arising out of the junior tutorials, this project and examination are the testing grounds for early mastery of the material in the curriculum; both focus upon an author and works of special interest to the particular student. Working independently, the student prepares over the course of his junior year for an oral examination before a faculty panel. The student must demonstrate not only depth of insight into the particular readings completed, but breadth and eloquence; in short, he demonstrates that he has been attentive not only for a semester, but has worked to integrate the knowledge of his various courses with the emergent interests that he has in a particular area.
(2 semesters of 2 credits each during fourth year of studies)
During the last year of study, the student prepares, writes, and presents a thesis accompanied by a formal address on a topic chosen with the guidance of a faculty mentor. The defense is given publicly and involves a précis and speech that afford the opportunity for further review and reflection upon the totality of his studies.
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