Comps Schedule

The following is a schedule of deadlines for the RELS comprehensive project:

Spring of Junior Year

Around Spring Break, the Senior Seminar instructor will contact rising seniors, prompting them to complete a set of exercises on the Selecting your Comps Topic page of the RELS website. After you have done so, you will meet with the Senior Seminar instructor to discuss the viability of the possible comps topics you have identified and to discuss which RELS faculty member would be the most appropriate Comps Research Advisor for your project.  At this point, the Senior Seminar instructor will also work with you to identify some preliminary research to conduct over the summer and to discuss the Comps Proposal DUE THE FIRST DAY of the Senior Seminar in the Fall.   

Summer before Senior Year

You should conduct the preliminary research discussed with the Senior Seminar instructor and you should write your Comps Proposal, which will be due DUE THE FIRST DAY of the Senior Seminar in the Fall. Comps proposal guidelines LINKED HERE.

Fall Semester of 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. Although the course will be taught by one member the Religious Studies faculty, you should be in regular contact with your comps research advisor.

A full draft of your senior comprehensive project will be due at the end of the course (in December). At this point you will receive feedback from your Senior Seminar instructor and your comps research advisor.

Winter Break

Using the feedback received from your Senior Seminar instructor and your comps research advisor, you are expected to revise, edit, and polish your comps over Winter Break.

Spring Semester of Senior Year

The FINAL, FULLY REVISED comprehensive project is due the first day of the Spring semester. You should submit an electronic version to your Senior Seminar instruction and two printed, bound copies, one to your comps research advisor and one to the Senior Seminar instructor. At this point your comps should:

  • be at least 35 pages in length, double-spaced, using standard fonts and margins
  • include a title page with Title, name, and comps research advisor
  • include an abstract that summarizes the goals, approach, and findings of the project
  • include a Table of Contents that specifies the page numbers on which each new section begins
  • have complete, properly-formatted citation of sources and a Bibliography or Works Cited page
  • include page numbers
  • reflect that flawless form that comes from copious revision and proofreading

Early in the Spring semester, the Senior Seminar instructor will be in touch to convene a workshop on preparing for the public, oral presentation of their project that will occur early in the semester. 

After your comps have been read by at least two departmental faculty (your comps advisor will serve as the primary reader) and after the oral presentations, the RELS faculty will deliberate, discussing your overall performance. The department faculty will 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. Department faculty will also discuss the awarding of departmental Honors (more information on Honors can be found here). The Chair of the Religious Studies Department will send official notice to the student and to the Registrar.