Brown University
Development Studies

Senior Thesis

Senior Thesis Options

The senior thesis must utilize the student’s regional expertise and/or foreign language skills.

Option 1: Senior Thesis (academic paper)

The typical thesis is an individual research project that results in a sixty to one hundred-page document consisting of a theoretical chapter and several empirical chapters.

Students wishing to write a thesis that requires advanced knowledge and advising from a particular field should take extra coursework in that field before the senior year. (For example, students planning to do a project that requires advising from a professor in the economics department should take three of the following courses by the end of their junior year: ECON 1110 or 1130, 1210, 1560, 1620 or 1630).

Option 2: Media Project

For a multimedia project to be considered it must be based on an analytical framework and supported/supplemented by 2-3 written chapters: introduction, background, empirical, conclusion.

DEVL 1980 is designed to support media projects as well – with a focus on the supplementary chapters required.

Multimedia projects include but are not limited to:
Documentary film
Audio/Visual project
Audio Podcast work
Multimedia Installation

If the senior thesis contains a multimedia/documentary project, by the end of the junior year students are required to take at least two of the following classes:

Highly Recommended:
MCM/VISA 0730: Introduction to Video Production
MCM 0780: Soundtracks
RISD FAV 5103: Introduction Video
RISD FAV 5110: Documentary Production

Approved Courses for requirement fulfillment:
MCM 0110: Introduction to Modern Culture and Media
MCM 0710: Introduction to Filmmaking
MCM 1700D: Reframing Documentary Production
FAV 5125: Film & Video Installation
MUSC1250: Sound Design

Understand that most of these classes will require an application process because they are small production classes. Prepare for this, to ensure your enrollment.

Note that fulfillment of course requirement does not automatically equip you with skills necessary to successfully execute the project. In addition to coursework, it is highly suggested that you incorporate production work into your extracurricular activity.

Apply to work on documentary/film production teams (you can find these through MCM)
BTV/MainGreen.TV – Practice with equipment/cameras
WBRU – Production Department (Learn how to mix and master audio)

Get involved with as many audio/video projects as possible. They’re everywhere.

Option 3: Other

Other forms of projects are subject to the approval of the DEVL 1500 instructor and DS Concentration Advisor.