The second way one uses the word "thesis" is in reference to a major paper that one writes as a capstone for his or her bachelor's or master's degree. Whereas term papers are projects that last one term, theses are projects that last several terms. Theses are usually much, much longer than term papers, often stretching past two hundred pages. Perhaps counterintuitively, however, theses often cover much more specialized topics than term papers. For example, one may write a term paper on Herman Melville for a literature survey course, but one would be much more likely to write a thesis on homosexual symbolism in Herman Melville's Moby Dick or on some other extremely specific aspect of one of Melville's novels. In fact, one could write an entire thesis on a single paragraph of Moby Dick . The goal of a thesis is to expound fully one's opinion on a given subject and to confront and exhaust all the opposition to that opinion. Therefore, one usually specializes his or her thesis topic almost to the point of absurdity.
Gund Hall’s studio trays form both the physical and pedagogical core of the GSD experience, drawing together students and faculty from across the departments of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design. The creative, collaborative atmosphere of the trays is supplemented by Gund Hall’s advanced information infrastructure, media-enriched presentation spaces, vast library resources, and open access to fabrication technologies, enabling architecture students to develop, discuss, exchange, and materialize ideas through a comprehensive range of platforms and media. The student experience is further enriched by the School’s renowned lecture and public program series, exhibitions, and publications, as well as the resources available across Harvard University and the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Students in the Department of Architecture are integrated into an active network of internationally recognized designers, dedicated to addressing the changing needs of the modern world.