That’s great! In electing to write a thesis in Art History you will be joining a select group of advanced majors who have capped their Dartmouth experience with the exciting, challenging, and ultimately very rewarding undertaking of conducting advanced research on the topic of their choice.
The thesis is part of an Honors Program in the Department of Art History. Students who succeed will graduate with either Honors or, in some cases, High Honors on their diplomas.
Writing a thesis will allow you to apply what you have learned in your coursework to a specific project of your choosing and will bring you into the community of scholars of art history. You will develop expertise in an area of the discipline that most interests you. You will conduct original research, some of which may take you to collections far from Hanover. And you will produce a substantial scholarly document that may form the basis for graduate study.
The experience of writing a thesis will allow you to develop advanced skills in primary and secondary research, visual analysis, and crafting an argument. It will provide you with the opportunity to improve and refine your writing and to cultivate a genuine voice as a scholar. It will also challenge many of the conceptions you have about the discipline, your topic, and even your understanding of research and writing. It is ultimately an opportunity for intellectual growth, creative expression, and professional development.
While the thesis will prepare you for advanced study and employment within the arts, the skills you cultivate along the way—autonomy, perseverance, communication, organization, and above all, the ability to take and benefit from constructive criticism—will be transferable to any kind of future employment.