Independent and Honors Research

Professor Moon Duchin working with students

A senior honors thesis in mathematics is the result of a project that may include original research and/or research in original sources. Expectations vary and are set by the advisor. In particular, there is no department-wide length requirement.

Students interested in writing a senior honors thesis in mathematics must find an advisor among the mathematics faculty. Once a professor has agreed to serve as advisor, the student must register for Math 195/196 (fall and spring) on SIS, and also fill out the thesis honors candidate form and return it to Dowling Hall.

A senior honors thesis must be presented before a committee of two faculty members from the mathematics department, including the advisor, who will typically help the students find a second committee member. This presentation, called the thesis defense, typically involves a talk of 30 to 60 minutes, followed by a question and answer session. Only after a successful defense is a single grade for Math 195/196 assigned.

Because supervising a senior honors thesis is a large amount of work for the advisor, only a small number of seniors can complete a thesis in a given year. Students should contact potential thesis advisors towards the end of their junior year, if not earlier.

According to university rules, students must appear on the Dean's List for at least two semesters to be eligible to register for work on a senior honors thesis. If you have further questions, please contact the undergraduate director, Genevieve Walsh.

Important Deadlines

Please visit the Senior Thesis Timeline page on the Student Services website for important information on deadlines for a Senior Honor's Thesis.