The following is a schedule of deadlines for the RELS comprehensive project:
Spring of Junior Year-Summer before Senior Year
In close consultation with the faculty member you wish to be your Comps Research Advisor (note: this may or may not be your academic Advisor), you should select a focused comps topic in the spring of your senior year and you should conduct preliminary research during the summer prior to your senior year.
In the Fall semester, all senior RELS majors enroll in RELS 490, the Senior Seminar. This seminar is intended to guide students through the process of conducting research, developing and refining their research focus and their argument, organizing and drafting their paper, and revising their draft to respond to feedback from peers and faculty mentors. An initial draft of your senior comprehensive project will be due at the end of this course (in December). Although the course will be taught by one member the Religious Studies faculty, you should be in regular contact with your comps advisor.
On the first day of the senior seminar in the Fall, you will need to have a clear, focused comprehensive topic, a preliminary bibliography, and a project proposal ready to present to the class.
Although there is no class associated with the comprehensive project in the Spring semester, students are expected to continue to revise and polish their papers until the due date in early February. At that time, students should submit one printed copy to your comps advisor that meets the following requirements: minimally 35 pages in length, double-spaced, using standard fonts and margins, with complete citation of sources and bibliography, and cover page including title, your name, and date.
Within two weeks, the comps advisor will return your papers with feedback. Students will be given a few weeks to make revisions and edits before turning in their final, FULLY REVISED comprehensive project (two bound copies and one electronic version) in mid-March. The finished paper should reflect the flawless form that comes from copious revision and proofreading. Soon thereafter students will give a public, oral presentation of their project.
In April, after papers have been read by at least two departmental faculty (your comps advisor will serve as the primary reader), the RELS faculty will deliberate and award each comps project one of the following marks: "Pass with Distinction" (PD) for exceptionally sophisticated work that surpasses the departmental standards; "Pass" (P) for work that meets departmental standards; or "Fail" (F) for work that fails to satisfy minimum departmental standards. The Chair of the Religious Studies Department will send official notice to the student and to the Registrar.
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