All English majors at Dickinson write a senior thesis. Students compose and revise the thesis — an independent piece of critical writing of about 50 pages — in the challenging and supportive company of the senior workshop. What makes Dickinson's thesis process different is that both students and the professor critique and edit sequential drafts of the project.

What is the Senior Experience all about?

During this year-long sequence of classes, students usually remain with the same professor and group of peers. Because there is no other way to describe this transformative process of becoming an author, we call it the Senior Experience. Just ask anyone who's gone through it:



Megan N. Liberty '11

Megan N. Liberty '11

"The 404 Thesis Process was one of the best experiences of my time at Dickinson. It gave me the opportunity to bring together my personal interests in both the visual and literary arts, and is consistently a huge asset to my resume and in interviews." Read an excerpt from her thesis.


Christopher Gross '09

Christopher Gross '09

"My 404 group prepared me to think critically with distinct focus and determination. By the end, my peers and I had learned the idiosyncrasies of each other's writing, and we had a communal sense of pride in viewing the seeds of each of our ideas come to fruition." Read an excerpt from his thesis.


More on the 404


The Multifarious Worlds of English 404

Seniors take to the roundtable to work on wide-ranging theses

Page of an English thesis.