BE Juniors seeking to pursue exceptionally in-depth research and scientific communication will have the opportunity to pursue an Undergraduate Thesis.
Over the course of Senior year, accepted students will write a thesis based on their research, and receive opportunities for public presentation of their work. Support for project management and communication will be provided by both students’ faculty research advisors and the BE Communication Lab.
Consider pursuing a senior thesis if you would like a structured opportunity to...
- engage more deeply with your research,
- strengthen your written and oral communication skills,
- prepare for graduate school,
- and receive support in formalizing your research, potentially enabling publication.
For questions, please contact the BE Academic Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the eligibility requirements for applying to do a thesis?
- By the end of Junior year, you must have completed at least 1 semester of research in a laboratory of interest,
- and received verbal approval from your faculty advisor to pursue a thesis.
How do I apply to do a thesis?
- You must submit a thesis proposal form and 1 page proposal to your faculty research advisor for approval. Once approved, send your signed form and proposal to email@example.com the end of spring term junior year and no later than add date of fall term senior year.
What if I have less than 1 semester of research experience in my desired lab in junior year, or decide later than junior year that I want to do a thesis?
- If in doubt of eligibility, you may petition to be considered to still pursue a thesis.
What support would I receive as a thesis student?
- Faculty advisors will be expected to meet with thesis students at least once a month to discuss progress and provide feedback.
- The BE Communication Lab will provide support for all thesis students, potentially including group workshops, group writing and feedback sessions, and individual mentorship by BE Communication Fellows.
What rewards or recognition would I receive as a thesis student?
- Credit: Thesis students can receive up to 15 credits for thesis research per semester of senior year (where thesis credits ≤ 15 credits). Amount should be decided in consultation with thesis advisor and is typically related to the number of hours a student plans to spend in the lab. Most students sign up for 12 units of 20.THU in the Fall and Spring terms of their senior year.
- You cannot receive both thesis credit and UROP credit/pay in the same term. The only exception is if you are doing a thesis on project X in one lab and a UROP on project Y in another field. In order to do this, both projects need to be on diverse topics and in different fields, and the combined number of credits received for UROP and thesis projects cannot exceed 15 credits per semester.
- In the Fall term senior year, students have the option of doing senior thesis work as a UROP for pay or 20.THU for credit. For the spring term, students will have to register for 20.THU for credit and cannot be paid through UROP funds for this work.
- Grading: The thesis will be graded by the student’s faculty advisor at the end of senior year.
- Recognition: Thesis students will receive at least one opportunity to present their research publicly, and thesis titles and abstracts will be published on the departmental website. Theses receiving an A will receive the title of ”Senior Thesis with Distinction,” which can be listed in students’ resumes/CV’s.
- Printed theses: BE will pay for the printing and binding of thesis copies for both the student and their laboratory.
- Znaty and Merck Prizes: All senior theses will be considered for the Znaty and Merck Research Prizes for Undergraduate Research in BE.
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