Honors Research Thesis Requirements


Enrollment in a minimum of two credits of Chem 180 (Research Thesis) over the last three semesters of the student's residence at Swarthmore is required; typically, this is done by one credit in each of the two semesters of the senior year. It is expected that ~12-16 hours be dedicated to Chem 180 per week during the academic year. Please discuss with research advisor the specific requirements for her/his research group.

The grade on your transcript for Chem 180 is determined by the Honors Examiner. Until the Honors Orals Exams are complete, each semester of credit for Chem 180 will be listed as "IP" (In Progress) on your transcript.

Also note that enrollment in Chem 180 requires attendance at the departmental Colloquium Series (including preview sessions before each speaker's visit). Each Honors thesis student should also i) sign up to present a preview session and ii)  discuss research with a colloquium speaker at least once during the academic year.

2017-2018 Dates:

Thursday March 29th 2018, 4:15-5:30 PM in SCI 199: Honors Thesis Talks
Each honors student will be given 12 minutes to talk (timer used) and then three minutes for questions. Please practice your talk carefully to make sure it fits into the 12-minute slot. Clearly, this is too short a time to give an exhaustive overview of your thesis project. We suggest you provide an overview of your work and the motivation for your project, and then pick one short story that exemplifies the work you did. Do not try to speed-talk and cover all your work. You are strongly encouraged to seek the guidance of your research mentor well before your scheduled presentation. All majors/minors and instructional staff in the department will be invited.

Wednesday April 11th 2018 by Noon: Honors Thesis Due
Turn in a double-sided hardcopy to Cathy Cinquina in the Chemistry Office (SCI 188A). Students should keep an identical hardcopy for themselves for preparation for the oral exams as well as give a hardcopy of the thesis to their research mentor.

Research mentors should be consulted for questions regarding suitable structure of the honors research thesis. Use the following margins: 1 inch top, bottom, and right side; 1.5 inch left side. There is a departmental limit of 60 pages for text and figures for presenting the primary work completed. Supplementary material (such as compound verification, computer code, etc) is not included in this page limit. Furthermore, appendices can be added beyond the 60-page limit for additional information on work that you wish the examiner to see.

NOTE: If the thesis is turned in late after the deadline, the following sentence will be added to the information received by Honors Examiner:  "In making your evaluation, you may wish to know that this paper was submitted __ days after the deadline observed by other students. "

Sunday-Tuesday May 20-22 2018 Time TBA: Thesis oral exams by visiting Honors Examiners. The format of the one-hour Honors Oral Exam is at the discretion of each examiner. The department will inform each examiner that each student has a set of PowerPoint slides of ~15-30 minutes presentation material available in case the examiner would like to use that format as part of the oral exam.

Thursday May 24 2017 by Noon: Corrected version of thesis must be turned in to Cathy Cinquina in the Chemistry Office (SCI 188A) . The thesis must be in a format suitable for binding and reproduction. Three good quality copies (one for you, one for your supervisor, one for the seminar room). Double sided, double-spaced. Margins: 1 inch top, bottom, and right side; 1.5 inch left side. Include page numbers, table of contents and cover page.