You will conduct independent scholarship in a subject area of your special interest and present original research on your scholarship. 

Any deviation from the following timeline requires prior approval from the Longwood Senior Thesis (LST) committee chair.

Faculty Sponsor

Select a faculty sponsor no later than the spring of the junior year.

Research Topic and Proposal

In consultation with the faculty sponsor

  • Develop a research topic
  • Prepare a research proposal

Proposal Guidelines

Not to exceed 7-8 double-spaced pages, not including

  • Figures
  • Tables
  • Bibliography

Identification of the student, faculty sponsor, and academic discipline(s) involved.

A statement of the guiding hypothesis, argument, guiding principles.

A summary of the reasons for and significance of the work, including a short literature review indicating how the project contributes to scholarship in the field.

A brief description of the research method or approach to be followed.

A summary of the more prominent resources (or at least the types of resources) to be used and where they are located. If the use of any type of equipment is expected, specify the type of equipment and how it will be used to test the hypothesis or main concept. Include published or unpublished texts, as an attached tentative working bibliography.

A timeline for completion of significant milestones. This may include deadlines for collection of data or research, completion of drafts, completion of creative work, etc.

The names of at least three credentialed scholars in the field who are reasonably expected to be voting members of the examination committee. At least two of the members shall be from the Longwood faculty. It is recommended that the third member not be a member of the Longwood faculty.

Proposal Submission

Two weeks prior to the end of spring (or the semester leading into the initial course of study) classes, submit the proposal electronically using Longwood's Digital Commons Senior Thesis Proposal submission site.

Submission Instructions for your LST proposal are on the Submission Guidelines page.

Proposal Presentation

Present the proposal to the LST Committee during exam week.

Be prepared to:

  • Summarize the research project orally 
  • Answer questions about the research project

The faculty sponsor is expected to be present at your presentation. The chair of the sponsoring department may also attend.

Approved Proposals

Students should register for LST credit (“498” in the relevant discipline) for the Fall (initial program semester) semester.

Proposal Revisions Required

If the LST committee requests revisions or resubmission of the proposal, deliver any changes, revisions, or resubmitted proposals to the LST chair no later than one full week prior to the beginning of Fall/subsequent semester. During the first week of classes, any student asked to resubmit presents the revised proposal to the LST committee.


Conduct research according to the approved proposal. Make progress reports to the sponsor on a regular basis with a formal report to the examination committee at the end of the term (1-2 pages). A grade of at least “A-” in 498 is required in order to continue work on the LST project into a second semester and register in 499.

Public Presentations

Enroll in the Longwood Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry for a 15-minute oral presentation of their Senior Thesis project.

Oral Defense

In consultation with the faculty sponsor, the examination committee, and the LST committee liaison, schedule an oral defense of the project to take place no later than the last week of classes.

This typically occurs after the Showcase and before final examination week.

Written Project

The written component of the project (Senior Thesis) must be completed and submitted two weeks prior to the oral defense for review by the examination committee.

Longwood Senior Thesis Recognition

If the examination committee and the full LST Committee approve the work for LST recognition, make any required corrections or additions to the LST Paper and provide a digital copy to the Senior Thesis Committee Chair which will be sent to the Archives and Records Manager of the Library for inclusion in the Library’s permanent collection no later than the last day of classes in the semester of the student's corresponding 499 course.