Senior Thesis Rules
To ensure uniformity of policies regarding senior thesis as well as fairness in grading, it is necessary to have a single policy regarding senior theses across the university.
Part 1—Preparation for Senior Thesis Writing
a) Each program should provide some form of a junior seminar in the second semester of the junior year. This seminar might take the form of a methods class, but it should also encourage students to think about topics and possible supervisors for senior theses.
b) Each student should sign up for a course devoted to his/her senior thesis in both the fall and spring semester of the senior year
c) If programs do not have Senior Seminar in the second semester, they should offer non-credit group seminars in which students can present their work to each other and get critiqued by other students and perhaps faculty as well. Such informal seminars can take a variety of forms.
d) Chair is responsible for assigning a thesis supervisor. September 30 is the deadline by which time students must have lined up a supervisor and at least a preliminary thesis topic. Students who have not managed to identify a supervisor and/or a topic by this time should be given some kind of special advising.
e) Deadline to submit Senior Thesis is April 30.
Part 2—Senior Thesis Grading
a) Senior Seminar faculty gives grade for the course. It is up to the programs to decide whether supervisor’s grade is part of the Senior Seminar grade.
b) The faculty member who directs the thesis should not grade the completed thesis. Instead, each written thesis should receive a written grade from two faculty members who were not advisors of the thesis. One of these graders should be from outside the university.
c) The faculty advisor can be present at the oral defense and is permitted to ask questions. His/her opinion can be solicited by the examiners, but he/she does not give a grade to the oral performance. The oral performance grade is determined by the examiners present.
d) 67% of the final grade for the thesis is comprised of grade on the written thesis and 33% on the basis of the oral defense.