Senior Thesis

Application of Admission Progress Report Candidate Declaration Form

The Undergraduate Senior Thesis is a two-semester program culminating in a written research thesis, public thesis defense seminar, and private oral examination. The senior honors thesis is a capstone experience for exceptional undergraduates, allowing them to showcase the depth of their Chemistry knowledge and focus on independent research. Students wishing to pursue an undergraduate senior thesis must:

  • Be a senior in good academic standing,
  • Be majoring in Chemistry, ACS Certified Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Chemical Physics,
  • Have been on the Dean’s list at least twice prior to senior year,
  • Have at least one prior summer or semester of research prior to senior year.

To Apply:

Students should coordinate with their research director*, register for CHEM 0195 for the first semester of senior year, and complete the Application for Admission to the Chemistry Thesis Program in the spring of their junior year. The research director* must sign the application indicating their approval. This form is due to the Chemistry Department Main Office no later than September 30th of their senior year.

* If the research director is not a chemistry faculty member then a Chemistry faculty member must also serve as co-advisor and also sign the form.


Prior to Senior Year

  • [Mandatory] Perform at least one summer or semester of research; one year of prior research is common.
  • [Mandatory] Apply to the Chemistry Thesis Program: The application form must submitted to the Chemistry Department Main Office (Pearson 110) no later than  September 30th of the student’s senior year. The Research Director must sign the application form indicating their approval; if the Research Director is not a chemistry faculty member, a chemistry faculty member must serve as co-advisor and also sign the form. The thesis committee must have at least two faculty members from the Chemistry Department. The Department will evaluate the application and notify the student if they are admitted into the thesis program.
  • [Mandatory] Register for CHEM 0195 for the first semester of the senior year.

Senior Year, Fall Semester

          All semester:

  • [Mandatory] Continue with research. Commit to performing at least 20 hours of research per week during the senior year.
  • [Strongly recommended] Attend departmental seminars.


  • Have a planning meeting with the committee by the end of October (recommended but optional).
  • [Mandatory] Submit the university form to be enrolled in the Honors Thesis Program

Senior Honors Thesis Policies and Procedures

In general, the “Thesis Honors Candidate” form must be received in Dowling by mid-October, but please check their website. 


  • [Mandatory] Register for Chem 0199.
  • Begin writing thesis, especially introductory sections during the break.

Senior Year Spring Semester

          All semester:

  • [Mandatory] Continue with research. Commit to performing at least 20 hours of research per week during the senior year.
  • [Strongly recommended] Attend departmental seminars.         


  • [Mandatory] A progress report meeting must be held in January–February. The student should make a 20-minute   presentation of research progress followed by a Q&A and planning discussion. A progress report form must be filled out after the meeting, indicating that the meeting has taken place and that progress toward the thesis is satisfactory, and must be filed with the Main Chemistry Office no later than February 15 of the student’s senior year.


  • [Mandatory] Schedule the thesis defense with the committee. Reserve a room with the Chemistry office and give them a title. The defense is public, announced by the office one week in advance, and the defense must be completed before final exams begin in May. The defense may take place shortly before or during the Reading Period.
  • [Strongly recommended] Submit a draft of your thesis to your research director for editing and general approval.


  • [Mandatory] Submit a written thesis to the committee at least two weeks before the defense date.
  • [Mandatory] Give the defense seminar on the scheduled date. The seminar should be 45 minutes, should include introductory information so that the audience can understand the context of the research, and should be presented at a level understandable by a chemically literate general audience. After the public defense, the committee will question the student privately. The research director must submit the “Recommendation for Senior Thesis Honors” form by the deadline (usually early May). 

Senior Honors Thesis

  • [Mandatory] Incorporate edits and suggestions from the thesis committee in the written thesis. Deposit the thesis with the Tisch Library. Please check these websites regarding formatting restrictions, how to deposit your thesis, and the deadline (usually mid-May):

Senior Honors Thesis Tufts Archival Research Center Submit Your Work