Here in Croatia, when students are finishing their 3rd year of undergraduate courses, they usually write a paper called "Završni rad" (eng. Final Work/Project). I'm trying to communicate some things with foreign colleagues and I'm wondering what that would be called in English

  • In Australia, they have Honours thesis. Might be similar!
    – Emilie
    Jan 6, 2016 at 13:34
  • 2
    This is very country- and even university-dependent, as the answers make clear. Jan 6, 2016 at 23:25
  • 3
    Bachelor thesis?
    – gerrit
    Jan 7, 2016 at 10:30

7 Answers 7


Thanks to the Bologna Declaration, the degree system is standardized between European countries, among which Croatia. In this system, the 'undergraduate' degree is called a Bachelor degree. Anyone familiar with European education will not confuse this term with any other degrees, and is likely reminded that you are talking about European education, which may have different requirements for various degrees depending on each country.

As such, the following terms will describe what you mean, without confusing your peers (other than those simply unaware of differences between educational systems). Pick the one that closest resembles what your project actually encompasses - for example, mine was called the Bachelor Final Project because it did not require an extensive report.

  • Bachelor thesis
  • Bachelor end/final project/paper
  • Bachelor dissertation

Note that native BrE or AmE speakers may not agree, but I would like to stress that this may be a cultural difference, not a lingual difference: above phraseology might be quite uncommon because the concept of a bachelor thesis is unfamiliar to academics in the UK or US; I have however seen numerous terms like the above at various continental European universities.


In my experience, in Mathematics, in the U.S., (where "senior year" is typically the last year of an undergraduate degree), things done beyond literal coursework can be called "senior project", "senior thesis", "honors thesis", "senior writing project", or nearly anything similar, with no precise sense from university to university or even from student to student. That is, sometimes "honors thesis" has some actual requirement beyond "senior thesis", but not reliably so...

  • 2
    +1 Came here to say just this. At least at my department (philosophy, US institution) "senior thesis" would be the correct term. Pace the other answer, I think "dissertation" sounds more like the PhD work and "thesis" sounds more appropriate for a long undergraduate paper.
    – user10636
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:12
  • 10
    In engineering departments it can also be called a 'capstone project', with the final report of the project not given a separate name. At Princeton, there were 'junior papers' (2, one each semester), and a 'senior thesis' (1 done through the whole year). Seems very institution-dependent..
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 6, 2016 at 15:10
  • 2
    @shane conversely, in the UK it's normal to hear about an undergrad (or masters) dissertation, and a PhD thesis :-)
    – Flyto
    Jan 7, 2016 at 8:02
  • @SimonW +1 I learned something today.
    – user10636
    Jan 7, 2016 at 17:07

The term undergraduate dissertation, or Final Year Project Dissertation is also used. The word Thesis is usually reserved for a PHd or research degree.

As already mentioned this is very dependent on local terminology and will vary from country to country, discipline to disciple and institution to institution.

  • 12
    This usage must be UK-specific. In the US, I've never heard the word "dissertation" used for undergraduate work, but "senior/honors thesis" is quite common.
    – JeffE
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:53
  • 4
    @JeffE I think it is. Here in the UK (science), "Thesis" is ~never used at less than Masters level. For a Masters, "Thesis" and "Dissertation" are both common, for Bachelors degrees, "Dissertation" or "(final) Project (report)". "Paper" (as in the US "Term Paper") isn't used for internal work,only for reaserch papers.
    – Chris H
    Jan 6, 2016 at 15:45
  • Oddly enough that's switched from how it is in the US, where "dissertation" is typically reserved for a PhD-level work, and even then mostly in formal contexts. (Informally, people usually say "thesis")
    – David Z
    Jan 7, 2016 at 8:32
  • In Switzerland (very international research groups in CS though), the project in question would have been called bachelor thesis. The final project of the master studies: master thesis. The term dissertation, however, is actually reserved for the PHd level/doctorate degree.
    – fgysin
    Jan 7, 2016 at 10:34

There is no one phrase, since different schools call such projects different things, so I would recommend just trying to a clear translation. The phrase "final project" is frequently used to refer to the final project for a class, so "undergraduate final project" is likely to be more simply understood as what you mean.

  • 1
    Not just translation, add a short explanation. And make sure to use consistent naming.
    – vonbrand
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:27

From the previous answers, you could see a lot of different names for essentially the same thing. IMO, any suggested name fits, the key here is that you are going to communicate the impact and the results of your work whatever the title you give it.

It is safe to use <original_name>(<English_translation>), <brief_explanation_of_the_project>.

I second the comment by @vonbrand, its advisable to give an explanation, but keep it brief unless stated otherwise.


Degree project or Final project is how some other Slavic-speaking places translate their local notion for the thing you write and defend to get a degree. Since it well describes what it is and it's quite a straight translation of the original notion, I would go with it.

Unless, of course, there's an official translation in your transcript. If this is the case, using the official translation is another option.


My final undergraduate project/paper was called the capstone project.

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