Middlebury

 

Independent Study and Senior Thesis

Neuroscience Senior Thesis

Senior Neuroscience majors may choose to pursue an honors thesis, which is an independent research project that is conducted with supervision from a neuroscience faculty member. Neuroscience theses must be related to understanding the operation of the nervous system and the mind.
 
Students interested in pursuing an honors thesis should consult with a faculty member no later than their junior year in order to begin planning their thesis work. Students who wish to conduct a senior thesis must complete and submit a Thesis Intent Form the semester prior to when they begin their thesis work (Mar. 19, 2015 for Class of 2016). In order to complete a Thesis Intent Form, students must have visited with at least two neuroscience faculty members to discuss the possibility of conducting a thesis, and must have decided upon a general area of research they would like to pursue in collaboration with each faculty member.

Neuroscience majors wishing to pursue independent research, but who do not wish to write an honors thesis, should enroll in Independent Study (NSCI 0500; for non seniorsor Senior Research (NSCI 0700; seniors only) for one or more semesters.  Students wishing to enroll in NSCI 0500 or NSCI 0700, must have their topic approved in advance by the NSCI faculty member who will advise the project.

Neuroscience majors wishing to pursue a senior honors thesis should enroll in at least two semesters of independent research; NSCI 0500 (non-seniors) or NSCI 0700 (seniors) for the first term, and NSCI 701 (Senior Thesis) for the final term.  Unless otherwise noted, Neuroscience students follow the thesis process of their thesis advisor's department. Therefore, students interested in pursuing a Neuroscience thesis should consult the details of the thesis process and calendar of due dates in BiologyPsychology, or Philosophy, as appropriate. 

The Neuroscience thesis process culminates in a public presentation of the thesis, a written thesis document, and an oral defense of the thesis document before a committee composed of at least two Neuroscience faculty members. In order to be eligible for honors in the Neuroscience major, students must complete a Neuroscience thesis and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 in Neuroscience major courses, not including NSCI 0700 and 0701. Eligibility does not guarantee honors are granted. Honors are determined on the basis of the thesis, presentation and defense.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

NSCI 0500 Independent Research (Fall, Winter, Spring)
Students enrolled in NSCI 500 complete individual research projects involving laboratory or extensive library study on a topic chosen by the student and approved in advance by a NSCI faculty advisor. (Approval required)  (Staff)

NSCI 0700 Senior Research (Fall, Winter, Spring)
Senior NSCI majors who plan to complete a senior thesis should register initially for NSCI 0700. Students enrolled in NSCI 700 complete preparatory work toward a senior thesis, such as researching and writing a thesis proposal as well as, if appropriate, collecting data that will form the basis for a senior thesis. Additional requirements may include participation in weekly meetings with advisors and/or lab groups and attending neuroscience seminars. (Approval required)  (Staff)

NSCI 0701 Senior Thesis (Fall, Winter, Spring)
Senior NSCI majors who have completed one or more terms of NSCI 0700, who have a GPA of 3.3 in their major courses, and who plan to complete a senior thesis should register for NSCI 0701 for the final semester of the senior thesis process. Students enrolled in NSCI 0701 write a thesis, give a public presentation of their research, and present an oral defense of the thesis before a committee of at least two Neuroscience faculty members. Faculty may recommend High honors in Neuroscience after considering the quality of these components of a student’s thesis and the student’s GPA in major courses. Additional requirements may include participation in weekly meetings with advisors and/or lab groups and attending neuroscience seminars. (NSCI 0700, Approval required)  (Staff)