Senior “comps,” or comprehensives, reflect Oxy’s educational philosophy of learning deeply and independently.

Recent comps projects

Comps are the senior-year theses, field research projects, art exhibits, presentations or creative works required by academic majors at Oxy to demonstrate mastery of the subject. Each discipline defines its expectations differently, but they all challenge students to expand and excel intellectually, and place the capstone on their educational experience.

A U.S. News & World Report survey of senior academic officers nationwide included Occidental among the top 12 institutions “with stellar examples of senior capstones” (in the good company of Brown, Duke, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale). The comps experience is rigorous but rewarding, resulting in a substantive intellectual contribution and a launching pad for future professional or graduate work.

You might draw your comps inspiration from your diverse surroundings in Los Angeles or your research and exploration abroad. Whether the subject is the emotional geographies of the Great Migration, the international politics of the Butterfly Effect, or generating music using artificial intelligence, senior comps inspire many Oxy students to unimagined heights.

Recent Senior Comps Projects

Arts & Humanities

Oliver Otake headshot
Oliver Otake

Media Arts & Culture
Bamboo Roots is a multimedia documentary project that explores untold histories of post-WWII Japanese America through the storytelling of Oliver’s grandparents, Toshiro and Keiko Otake. The project takes form as a website with video interviews as well as an interactive gallery exhibition featuring short films, family artifacts, and more.

Lainey Bohnert headshot
Lainey Bohnert

Chinese Studies
Lainey mixed her love of medicine, science, and Chinese history through translations from the Chinese classic Journey to the West. Detailing diagnostic processes, prescription creation, and administration of medication, she brought a difficult-to-read adventure to new light. “This gave me a deep read into various medical cultures, something that will help me on my path to being a physician.”

Hunter Isenstein headshot
Hunter Isenstein

Critical Theory & Social Justice
Hunter’s project examined the intersection of critical disability studies and deaf studies, aiming to unravel the exclusivity and ableism prevalent in the deaf community. Through this lens, Hunter found materiality, affect, and loss to be crucial elements in expanding and empowering both deaf culture and disability studies.

Social Sciences

Grace Luu headshot
Grace Luu

When a hospital closes, neighboring hospitals are tasked with treating additional patients, and patients face increased travel time. Utilizing economic theory and complex data sources, Grace’s senior comps project aimed to estimate the spillover effects of hospital closure on inpatient mortality.

Matalin Crossgrove headshot
Matalin Crossgrove

Black Studies
Matalin conducted a close reading of The Help as both a novel and film. A tale of interracial solidarity between a wealthy white woman and Black domestic workers in 1960s Mississippi, Matalin drew on Black feminist scholarship to critique the story’s use of white saviorism. She explored what it reveals about the larger trend of Black erasure in American narrative-making as a historical practice.


Leela Cullity
Leela Cullity

Diplomacy & World Affairs
Exploring the construction of Canada’s national identity as "humanitarian," Leela used a specific asylum law called the Internal Flight Alternative to understand how violence on the Canadian border is invisibilized. She analyzed 715 recent asylum cases to determine if this law was applied consistently. “In reading these cases, I learned how many legal loopholes exist to deport individuals who have a right to asylum.”


Danielle Jonas-Delson headshot
Danielle Jonas-Delson

Cognitive Science
Danielle argued that the relationship between land and language in Indigenous communities can explain the correlation between geographic areas of high linguistic diversity and high biodiversity. “By connecting language, culture, and ecology, I emphasized that protecting linguistic diversity is integral to ensuring the survival of species, which is key to keeping Indigenous languages and worldviews alive.”

Shayne Klisura headshot
Shayne Klisura

Shayne obtained Apatite (U-Th)/He analyses, an isotopic method for determining the thermal history of geologic materials, along a NW-SE transect of the Garlock fault in the Tejon Ranch Conservancy to better understand the late-stage uplift and exhumation of California’s Tehachapi Mountains. “The work was very challenging, but just as rewarding and it gave me valuable research experience to use in graduate school.”

Miriam Aguilar headshot
Miriam Aguilar

Computer Science
With the objective of creating an educational tool that bridges the knowledge gap and alleviates apprehension, Miriam developed a virtual reality PC Builder that introduces novice users to the basics of computer assembly. Through guided, step-by-step instructions, users can interact with virtual components such as the CPU, RAM, GPU, and motherboard, simulating installation movements using VR technology.