Class of 2024 History Comps/Spring 2023 Timeline

Please visit the Senior Comps link on the History Department Website for more information on the proposal.

Every rising senior must have a defined and viable comprehensive thesis research project with potential for exciting, critical analysis in order to succeed in HIST 490. This proposal process is structured to help you meet that goal and allow you to begin comps research over the summer break. We encourage you to talk with your advisor about substantial archives of primary sources that can help generate a critical question. Starting with the archive, rather than the question, ensures that you will have sufficient primary sources for the question you generate.

Due Dates for Spring 2023:
  • Friday, March 10 2023. : Mandatory Junior Comps Proposal Meeting from 12:45-1:30pm.
**After the junior meeting, contact and meet with the history professor who will serve as your thesis advisor; talk with your potential advisor about topics and about accessible primary sources.
  • Friday, March 24: Complete and submit the Google form contract indicating broad topic, advisor, and relevant course material and submit by 5:00pm. Prof. Gasper ( will be sharing and confirming your information with your thesis advisor.

  • Friday, March 31: By this date, all juniors should have received confirmation of their contract submission as well as instructor permission to register for HIST 490. You cannot register for HIST 490 without a contract submission.

  • Monday, April 17, 5pmProposal (see below) plus bibliography due. Please email to Prof. Gasper ( and cc: your thesis advisor on the same email.

  • Monday April 24: Your thesis advisor will provide comments on your proposal draft by this date. If you do not have a strong research question with accessible primary sources, you will be asked to revise and resubmit your proposal by Friday, May 12, 2023. You cannot proceed in HIST 490 without an approved proposal.

Proposal Requirements – 3 paragraphs + bibliography

Title your proposal with a full working title of your project, ex: “San Francisco's Visiting Nurses Associations in the 1917 Flu Epidemic”

Include your last name in the name of your proposal document, ex: ObamaProposalSpring2023

  1. Tell us what topic you want to explore and why. Within this first brief paragraph be sure you include a “rough draft” thesis question. What specific critical question will you aim to answer?
  2. Indicate what primary sources are available to you to answer the question. Talk to us and your advisor about this.
  3. Outline a plan for your research and show how you will approach the research question through primary source research.
  4. Bibliography in Chicago Manual Style of secondary sources, including scholarly journal articles. List at least six books or articles (list at least one article from a scholarly journal). Use library databases to search journals.


Contact History
Swan Hall 112