Independent Research & Senior Theses
Advanced undergraduates can pursue the senior thesis option during their senior year. Interested students should secure a faculty advisor during spring of their junior year or early in the fall of their senior year. Students should have a topic in mind and approach an advisor with expertise in that area. A senior thesis is not an independent study, but rather involves articulating a research question, designing a project to answer that question, conducting the research, analyzing the data, and writing up the results in a thesis of publishable quality. Students pursuing a senior thesis need to be focused, motivated, and possess excellent analytical skills and writing skills. A senior thesis can be particularly helpful for students planning to pursue graduate studies. A senior thesis is not required for graduation.
Resource Conservation students also conduct non-thesis independent research projects under the supervision of a faculty member. Students who are interested in conducting an independent research project should develop a short description of their research topic and approach potential faculty advisors with expertise in that area.Funding for independent research and senior theses is available through the Melipal Fellowship and the Irene Evers Competitive Undergraduate Research Scholarships.