The following timetable provides only a general guide and will vary from project to project.

Spring of Junior Year

  • Choose topic

Summer before Senior Year

  • Read background material

Fall of Senior Year

  • Finalize thesis topic**
  • Conduct literature search* and place printout of search strategy in your notebook
  • Collect or build equipment, write code, or perform initial calculations
  • Have thesis outline approved
  • Take preliminary data
  • Present oral progress report to faculty and majors*
  • Write a rough draft for part of the thesis (at least two chapters)*

Spring of Senior Year

  • Collect final data or finish calculations
  • Complete thesis*
  • First complete draft of thesis due by the beginning of spring ^
  • Final draft of thesis due the Monday after spring break^^
  • Defend thesis orally at a mutually convenient date*
  • Present results and conclusions to faculty and majors in a poster session+
  • Celebrate!

* Complete in the semester indicated or risk an NC for that semester.

** Failure to have a thesis topic finalized by the 4th week of the 1st semester will automatically result in an NC for that semester.

^Your adviser is not expected to read or comment on a draft submitted after this date.

^^Failure to meet the deadline set by the Registrar could result in an N.C. Refer to the Handbook for Independent Study, Section 3 of the Faculty Handbook, for College policy.

+A poster session will be held the last week of class. You will prepare a poster describing your research according to our poster guidelines. The poster will remain in the department.