Finding a Thesis Adviser

Establishing a good relationship with your thesis adviser is arguably the most critical factor for thesis success. If you read through comments from past Hoopes Prize winners, they invariably talk about how important their advisers were in the thesis writing process. In contrast, poor thesis writing experiences are often linked to poor advising relationships.

Finding an adviser is hopefully something you did before you left campus at the end of Junior Spring. Remember that you can be advised by a Government Department faculty member or graduate student. A list of graduate students who have expressed particular interests in advising is available here.

But sometimes, either because you decided late to write a thesis or because you simply weren’t able to find an adviser before you left, you will enter your summer before Senior year without obtaining an adviser. Don’t worry. You’re not the only one who’s in that situation, and we can help you with your search.

About mid-summer, you will receive an email from the Undergraduate Program Office asking all prospective thesis writers without advisers to submit a précis to the Office. This precis, roughly a one page description of what you hope to write on, will be circulated to faculty and graduate students in the Department. Through email and follow-up on your behalf, we are generally able to match all thesis writers with advisers.

Previous Thesis Topics/Advisers 

This list of previous thesis topics and advisers may help you in your search for an adviser.  Consult the lists of faculty and graduate student advisers to make sure that a potential adviser is still at Harvard.