A thesis is a document that presents the author's research and findings and is submitted in support of candidature for a degree or professional qualification. The word "thesis" comes from the Greek θέσις, meaning "position", and refers to an intellectual proposition.
The first mention of the requirement of a thesis for the Baccalaureate Degree is in the 1902-1903 Milton College Catalogue. "All candidates for the Baccalaureate Degree are required to present a graduating oration or thesis, the subject of which with an outline should be handed to the President for his approval as early as the first January preceding the Commencement, at which it is to be presented."
In 1919-1911 the requirement was listed as "A thesis on some subject commented with Major Study is required of every student for graduation for which four (4) semester-hours’ credit is given in the Senior year. Theses must be typewritten and furnished for the college library before commencement. Diplomas will be withheld from students that fail to comply with this requirement."
Requirements for Graduation in 1928-29 included "In addition, two years of gymnasium work, an oration, a thesis or its equivalent, and an oral examination are required."
By 1948 a thesis was not required for graduation but became an option for credit. By 1952 the practice appears to have been dropped.
The listing of the thesis available for research in the MCPS archives gives the public an idea of the wide interest the students had from 1902 thru 1951. The thesis can not be checked out of the archives but are available to researcher during regular office hours or by special appointment. If the thesis is 25 pages or less it may be photocopied at the researcher expense. There will also be charges for staff time and postage.