Senior Research Seminar

Senior Research Seminar

It is never too soon to start thinking about I/ST 490, the Senior Research Seminar. In this class, you will be required to write a 25-page original research paper on the topic of your choosing. Some of the best topics come from students’ study abroad and internship experiences — put simply, the things that make you go “hmmmm….” can be great starting places for a 490 paper. Ask questions, take pictures, clip articles along the way, and you will be more than ready to begin your 490 paper when the semester begins.

You will decide on your topic together with the instructor. Be creative – any topic or question that relates to your area concentration, Professional Development Area, and/or study abroad and internship experiences is a possible 490 paper. Past topics have included preventing a nuclear Iran, cultural relations between Guatemala and Israel, evaluating the role of the IMF in Asia, an analysis of graffiti art in Latin America, understanding the Maldives’ anti-global warming public relations strategy, refugee politics in Africa, Cuban immigration to Germany, and the politics of genetically modified food in Europe.

With the diversity of thought, study abroad and internship component, economics requirement, and language requirement, bringing together one’s experience can be a daunting task. The goal of I/ST 490 is to assist each student in bringing together his or her experiences in an intellectually cohesive and presentable manner.  This serves to provide an intellectual summary of the years of study, a comparison to the experiences of others, and a tangible product reflecting this achievement.  Furthermore, the course furthers the goals of a liberal arts education by helping students improve their research and writing skills.

How to enroll in 490

Admission to I/ST 490 is via permit only. Anyone registered on-time to graduate in a given semester, and who has not yet taken 490, will be automatically permitted into both sections of the class and does not need to contact anyone about it. However, we ask that you complete your enrollment in a timely fashion so that we know how many spots remain available for others.

To gain admission to I/ST 490 for a semester in which you did not register to graduate (or did not do so on time), fill out the online 490 enrollment request form by the deadline. For fall enrollment, the deadline will likely be on, or around March 15, and for Spring enrollment around December 1, so be sure to watch your email and this web site for instructions around that time.

The priority order for 490 enrollment (in addition to those filed to graduate on time, who are automatically permitted) is:

1a) Students who have already filed to graduate in the term of desired 490 enrollment, but did so late.

1b) Students who are set to graduate in the term of desired 490 enrollment, but have not yet filled out the paperwork to officially file. If you claim to have this situation it will be verified with an academic advisor.
1c) Students for whom the term of desired 490 enrollment is the last semester on CSULB campus, since after that they will be studying abroad.
2) When a night section is offered, students who work during the day and must take the class at night will have priority for that section.
3) Other students who will have senior status during the term of desired 490 enrollment.

For more questions about I/ST 490, please contact the I/ST academic advisor, Dr. Yousef Baker