Senior Project

General Policies:

You may carry out your senior project under the direction of any faculty member affiliated with the Biochemistry program*. Your committee must include at least one other member of the Biochemistry faculty and that person should be in a different department from your first reader. Depending upon the department in which your primary advisor is based, the procedure for choosing second readers varies slightly. However, students can generally expect to know who their second readers will be by late in the spring semester of their junior year.

In most cases, students carry out their senior research project in the lab of a Biochemistry faculty member based in the same department as that in which the Junior Seminar was based. However, if you and a Biochemistry faculty member housed in another supporting department work out a project of mutual interest, you may register for that person’s section of the Biochemistry Senior Project (Biochem 600 & 610).

*Occasionally, students wish to carry out their senior project work under the direction of a faculty member who is not formally part of the Biochemistry program. Such an arrangement requires prior approval by the Biochemistry faculty and will rely in large part on the ability of the student to demonstrate (i) that the proposed project is, in fact, related to Biochemistry and (ii) that the proposed first reader (as opposed to a Biochemistry program member) is the most logical person to supervise the project in question. In addition, a second reader from the Biochemistry program must be part of the student’s committee.

This approval process should occur as soon as is practical, but not later than Spring Break of the student’s junior year (or, if the student is on some alternative timetable, the middle of whatever semester precedes enrollment in Biochem 600). Students interested in exploring this option should contact the Biochemistry chair for additional information.

Brainstorming about Projects

Specific Guidelines

The specific schedule, format guidelines, and expectations for the senior project differ slightly, depending upon the department in which your senior project advisor is based. However, in keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the Biochemistry major, your written and oral presentations are expected to span disciplinary boundaries, particularly with respect to effectively communicating with the member of your faculty committee who is based in a department other than your first reader.

Biochemistry Senior Project Guidelines

For students working with a member of the Biology Department:

For students working with a member of the Chemistry Department:

  • Altered Senior Comp Guidelines for Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • All students will submit a complete comp to their advisor following traditional comp formatting based on what they completed on 4/10 in the lab.
    • The advisor will have until 4/17 to review. Suggested revisions will be returned to the student on or before 4/17.
    • The student will make revisions and submit their final copy to their committee for review and grading on the last day of classes, 4/24.
    • There will be no oral portion of the comp exercise.
    • The typical assessment exam will not be required.
    • Instructions for submitting senior project submissions to the library (DSpace)