Senior Project

The Senior Project in physics provides the opportunity for students to complete their undergraduate education by engaging in research, individually or as part of a major research project.

Requirements for Senior Projects in Physics
  1. Course Requirements for Senior Project: There are no special requirements beyond the departmental major requirements stated in the catalog.   Physics concentrators must fulfill the department computer proficiency requirements, as certified by the Research Coordinator. Successful completion of Physics 451/452 satisfies the Concentration Writing Requirement.
  2. Mid-year Reports: All candidates for Senior Projects are required to present a mid-year report, consisting of a paper and a short talk.  The paper is to consist of approximately 5-10 double-spaced printed pages including appropriate figures, formulae, and references.  It should describe both the work to date and the final goals of the project. The first draft of the paper will be submitted to the research advisor by the Monday before the Thanksgiving holiday.  The corrected paper will be returned on the next Monday so that a corrected mid-year paper can be submitted when the oral report is given.  Mid-year oral reports will be given during the last week of classes.  They will be of 15-20 minutes duration with 10 minutes allowed for questions and comments. A candidate who successfully completes Physics 451 will receive a grade of "G" at the end of the first term of the project.
The Senior Project Thesis
  1. Complete Draft: A complete draft of each student's thesis (not necessarily including all final results and discussion) must be submitted to the student's advisor no later than four weeks before the last day of classes of the student's graduating semester.
  2. Thesis Submission: Two weeks before the last day of classes of the student's graduating semester a copy of the completed thesis must be submitted to the advisor and the Research Coordinator. This copy need not be on acid-free paper unless it will be the copy retained by the Department.
The Oral Examination
  1. Scheduling of Examination: All oral examinations will be completed by noon of the first Thursday in the final examination period.
  2. The Examining Committee: The oral examination will be conducted by a committee of at least two members, including the candidate's advisor, and the Research Coordinator.
  3. Attendance at Examination: All members of the college community are invited to the Senior Project oral examination.  All students concentrating in physics are strongly urged to attend.
  4. Subject Matter of Examination: The oral examination is designed to test both the candidate's ability to defend the conclusions and procedures of his/her thesis and his/her knowledge of the current state of research on relevant topics of a similar nature.
  5. Format of Examination: At the beginning of the examination, the candidate will give an oral presentation of his/her thesis (typically 30 minutes). Questioning will proceed in whatever fashion is agreed upon by the examining committee.
The Deposition of the Senior Thesis

The final responsibility of the successful senior project researcher is to see that the Physics Department has one acid-free copy of his/her thesis Since these copies belong to the permanent collections of the the Physics Department, the candidate should endeavor to make them as attractive and as free of typographical errors as possible.

Electronic Submission

The Physics Department also requires that the candidate submit an electronic version of the final thesis. This must be a single file in Postscript or PDF format, submitted by the Monday of the second week of examinations.