Senior Project in Psychology
The Senior Project consists of a one or two semester-long course focusing on an intensive piece of independent work, and it culminates in an empirical or theoretical thesis. The project will provide the opportunity for students to synthesize what they have learned in coursework in the concentration by requiring them to take an in-depth look at a particular question in psychology or psychobiology and to produce an original piece of scholarship. In order to have a sufficient background in a topic area to pursue a senior project during the senior year, students should elect appropriate advanced courses during their junior year.
During the Spring Semester of the junior year, students submit to the Department Chair brief proposals stating (1) their first, second, and third choices for problems that they would like to explore for their senior project, (2) the faculty member that they would prefer to have as the supervisor of each of the programs, and (3) the term in which they would like to complete the work. Every effort is made to accommodate one of those choices, but if an excess of research participants, limitations in laboratory facilities, or other circumstances prevent the choices from being feasible, the student will be assigned to another faculty member and another project will have to be designed. The student must discuss possible senior projects with the appropriate faculty members before submitting a proposal to the Department Chair. The deadline for the submission of the proposal is near the end of the Spring Semester (the exact date will be announced).
The thesis is due the last day of classes of the semester in which the work was completed. All students submit one copy of the thesis to the faculty supervisor. Each student will make an oral presentation of the senior project work at a meeting held during the last week of classes of the semester when the project is completed. The thesis is to be prepared in the style of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual. An example of a title page for the thesis is presented below.
In addition to the senior project requirements described above, students will have meetings with their faculty supervisors to discuss progress on their research, issues of relevance to all students working in a given specialty area, and other work assigned by the faculty supervisor.
The final grade for the senior project will be determined by the faculty supervisor on the basis of the written thesis, the oral presentation, and the progress in theoretical, laboratory, field, or internship work throughout the term.
A sample title page for the Senior Thesis follows:
EFFECTS OF INDEPENDENT STUDY COURSES
ON ULCER FORMATION IN COLLEGE STUDENTS
Anne O. Nymous
Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Bachelor of Arts Degree at Hamilton College
May 6, 2011
Advisor: (Type Name of Advisor Here)