Senior Project

The senior project requirement in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies can be met either by completing SPAN 3972W: Graduation Seminar or by completing a 5000-level course with a SPAN, PORT, or SPPT designator. A primary focus of the senior project is sustained research. Both paths to fulfill the requirement involve sustained research, though in different ways.

Span 3972W involves a semester-long research project in which the student, in consultation with the course's faculty member, selects a topic related to Spanish and/or Portuguese literature, culture, or linguistics; carries out research on that topic; and presents the results of this research in the form of a research paper (typically 20–25 pages) written in Spanish or Portuguese. Courses at the 5000-level will vary somewhat from course to course. 5000-level courses generally include sustained research through extensive reading throughout the semester and writing and/or presentations based on the content of the course. While the format differs between Span 3972W and 5000-level courses, both require a level and quantity of work based on a semester of sustained research, and both serve as a significant capstone experience for the Spanish studies and the Spanish and Portuguese studies majors. Honors students are required to take SPAN 3972W and to make special arrangements before registering for the senior seminar.

The deadline for Spring 2017 registration in SPAN 3972W: Graduation Seminar is October 31st, 2016.

SPAN 5xxx Course

Students wishing to take a SPAN 5xxx course for the senior project requirement are encouraged to take the 5xxx class prior to the final semester. Students who wish to take a SPAN 5xxx course for their senior project must meet all course prerequisites and receive instructor consent to enroll in the SPAN 5xxx course.

SPAN 3972W

The seminar needs to be taken during the semester in which a student completes major coursework. Students wishing to take SPAN 3972W should formulate a research topic before enrolling for the course; early planning is advised so students may take a relevant core of upper level electives to prepare for the seminar. Students need to follow the application procedures and deadlines provided by the advising team.

SPAN 3972W Prerequisites:

Spanish Studies Majors Spanish & Portuguese Studies Majors
SPAN 3015 SPAN 3015
SPAN 3104 PORT 3003
SPAN 3105 SPAN 3104W & SPAN 3107W
SPAN 3107 1 PORT 35xx course
3 SPAN electives with a critical analysis prerequisite 2 upper-level Spanish or Portuguese electives

Application Instructions

  1. Prepare a typed summary (in Spanish or Portuguese) of 1–2 paragraphs describing the topic you intend to pursue. Make sure that you include your name, student ID, e-mail address, and phone number. Also include the list of courses that you have taken that have prepared you to address the topic.
    For a list of past thesis titles, see past thesis titles.
  2. Submit the written summary in person during our drop-in hours. Students currently studying abroad need to submit the proposal and requested information to SPAdvise@umn.edu by appropriate deadline.
  3. Students taking SPAN 3972W must attend the corresponding faculty information session. Dates will be announced soon. Students currently studying abroad will need to schedule a meeting with the professors upon return.
  4. All students taking SPAN 3972W in the spring must attend a mandatory Senior Paper Works in Progress Series (SPWiPS) session during spring semester. The dates for SPWiPS will be announced soon. Students currently studying abroad will be exempt from this requirement.
  5. Honors students seeking summa status must form a thesis committee during the term prior to taking SPAN 3972W. This committee is automatically chaired by the faculty member teaching the course and must also include a second faculty member from the department as well as a third faculty member outside of the department. This third member must be able to read and review a work in Spanish or Portuguese.

Students will be admitted to a section of 3972W based on the following list of priorities:

  • Students who have finished all major classes and plan to graduate in the semester in which they take SPAN 3972W.
  • Students who are taking the remaining major requirements and plan to graduate in the semester in which they take SPAN 3972W. Higher priority will be given to students who have fewer SPAN/PORT courses to take with the graduation seminar.
  • Students who are done with major classes (excluding 3972W) but plan to graduate in a future semester.
  • Students who submitted the graduation proposal past the deadline.