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Thesis Timeline and Important Dates

Junior Year Timeline

Serious consideration and planning for thesis begins in the winter semester of the junior year. Starting in January and February of this term, you should approach the neuroscience faculty to talk about the various research options in each laboratory. In mid to late February of winter term, the Chair will circulate via email a thesis pre-proposal form to all neuroscience juniors. The form is to be completed and returned to the Chair on or before the first Friday of April. The Chair will notify you of your thesis adviser assignment in mid to late April and will confirm whether you will be doing a one- or two-semester thesis. More information about the pre-proposal process is found here.

Note about Study Abroad: The deadline to submit the thesis pre-proposal form is firm and extends even to students who are away from Bates in their junior winter term to study abroad. For students residing off-campus during this term, you are responsible for maintaining contact with the Chair so that you do not miss important thesis-related information. If you will not have regular access to your Bates email during this time, you must alert the Chair of this prior to your trip. It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to comply with all deadlines.

Senior Year Timeline

Students will submit a formal, written thesis proposal by the third Friday of September. More information about the formal proposal is found here. After submission, the neuroscience faculty then review the proposals and offer suggestions to help you with the research process. Intensive work on data collection and analysis is expected to be ongoing during the remaining weeks, leaving yourself enough time before the final deadline to produce a finished, written product. Students completing a Fall-semester thesis must submit the finalized thesis document to their thesis adviser by the end of the final exam period in December. Students completing a Winter-semester or year-long thesis must submit the finalized thesis document to their thesis adviser by the end of the final exam period in April. It is also part of the thesis process that all students relay their results to the broader community by participating in the annual Mt. David Summit, held on the last Friday of March. All seniors, whether you have done a Fall, Winter, or year-long thesis, are expected to present a scientific poster or give an oral presentation at the Summit.

Summary of Important Dates

The dates below apply to all neuroscience majors. Students who are eligible for Honors will have additional deadlines.

1. FIRST FRIDAY IN APRIL: Junior neuroscience majors will submit to the Chair a completed thesis pre-proposal form.

2a. THIRD FRIDAY OF SEPTEMBER: Senior neuroscience majors completing a one-semester (Fall) or two-semester thesis will submit to the Chair a formal thesis proposal.

2b. FIRST MONDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING BREAK: Senior neuroscience majors completing a one-semester (Winter) thesis will submit to the Chair a formal thesis proposal.

3a. END OF FINALS PERIOD IN DECEMBER: Seniors completing a one-semester (Fall) thesis will submit to their thesis adviser the completed written thesis.

3b. END OF FINALS PERIOD IN APRIL: Seniors completing a one-semester (Winter) or two-semester thesis will submit to their thesis adviser the completed written thesis. Exception: In compliance with guidelines established by the campus Honors Committee, Honors thesis students have an earlier deadline by which to submit the completed year-long written thesis.

4. LAST FRIDAY OF MARCH: All seniors present their work at the annual Mt. David Summit.


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