The department of history requires all of our history majors to complete a senior thesis. This project, which will be on a historical era, region and topic of your choice, is formed in two of the required courses: Historical Research and Writing (History 300) and Senior Seminar (History 499). The senior thesis is a culmination of all of the effort that students have put forth as a history major; this is not the only opportunity to write a truly professional paper, but an opportunity for a unique experience of individual expression.
The department of history allows students to work one on one with a faculty member who is a professional in their particular chosen field. This is unique at a state university, and it gives students and professors the opportunity to create an enriching, and encompassing experience. The University of Nevada, Reno has a diverse faculty, which allows students an opportunity to study a multitude of time periods and regions with a professor who is able to guide them in the best direction. Close personal contact with these professionals helps a student to grow, both intellectually and professionally.
The process of the senior thesis ideally happens over a period of two semesters. Historical Research and Writing (History 300) should be taken no later than the first semester of the junior year. This class will lead students in becoming a strong writer and position them for success in Senior Seminar (History 499). When students enroll in Senior Seminar, it's their time to shine. Students in this class will meet five times during the semester in order to work with an individual supervisor and prepare the thesis/project. If the students pass a formal defense they advance to a presentation, which is a formal oral presentation of their research.
Each semester a special committee chooses one senior thesis to receive a thesis prize (and accompanying monetary award) and public acknowledgment.
The department of history has been fortunate enough to receive donations from several private sources over the years, and money generated from these funds every year is specifically earmarked for the support of students. Applications for scholarships are made through My Nevada before February 1, and distributions of available funds generally occur in May. The academic advisor can assist you with this and can alert you to other scholarship opportunities as well.