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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 (usually in mid-March). 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 0500, 0700 and 0701. Eligibility does not guarantee honors are granted. Honors are determined on the basis of the thesis, presentation and defense.


Program in Neuroscience

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Middlebury College
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