LALS Senior Exit Requirement

Professor Fox and LALS Major Graduating with Honors Marcelino Plascencia, Spring 11 (photo courtesy of Lilly Pinedo)


Every major must complete a senior exit requirement in order to graduate. The preparation and completion of this requirement is structured into the senior year, and the requirement is fulfilled via one of the following four options:

Senior Exit Requirements for LALS Combined majors are different. For more information see the UCSC general catalog (scroll down to combined majors for specifics on each combined major SER options). You can also download the desired combined major worksheet (that has SER information) here.

Options for LALS Majors:

One upper-division course chosen from the following four options.

  1. Passing a Latin American and Latino studies senior seminar (194 series). In these courses, students must write at least 30 pages cumulatively during the quarter. The final paper must be based on independent scholarly research, demonstrate advanced skills in critical analysis, and have undergone revisions. Senior standing and completion of courses 100A and 100B are required before taking a 194 course for fulfillment of the senior exit requirement.

  2. An expanded research paper, a minimum of 20 pages in length. This paper often builds on related course work and requires approval from the relevant faculty adviser before the end of the winter quarter of the senior year. Students must be enrolled in an independent study tutorial to complete this paper.

  3. A senior thesis, generally between 40–60 pages, based on two or more quarters of sustained independent research under the supervision of the faculty adviser while enrolled in an independent study (done by petition to LALS, and with the approval of the faculty adviser). If the thesis option is selected by a combined major, it should be planned in consultation with an adviser from each department, completed under the supervision of a faculty member from either department, and read and approved by both advisers; one adviser is sufficient if this faculty member is affiliated with both departments. This option is recommended for those students seeking to enter graduate school.
  4. A senior project, which can be either a creative project or a community-action project. Creative projects include website design, video, performance, slide show, photo exhibit, or other media work. A short written analysis of the student’s experience in conducting the project is required. Community-action projects often involve sustained research and/or activity conducted in a community organization or public interest group, usually stemming from an internship. The required, short, written analysis has to be 10 pages minimum.

Senior Exit Requirements handout with all four options in detail

When you have completed your senior exit requirement (if thesis, senior project or senior paper), please turn in the Senior Exit Requirement Completion Form, completed by you and signed by the advisor/sponsor of your senior exit requirement (you do NOT need to do this part if you completed the senior seminar option).