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Senior Thesis Center

Congratulations! You've made it to PH 488, the capstone, the final hurdle to graduation, the cherry on top of your educational experience here at BYU-Idaho.
But what is a Senior Thesis? Where do you begin? What are the instructors looking for in the final draft? So many little time. But let's start with a few basics:
What is a Senior Thesis?
A Senior Thesis is required in order to graduate with a BS in physics. This course will help you prepare for graduate school. You will imitate graduate school by writing the formal thesis based on your research and presenting it to faculty and other students.

You will work closely with faculty to complete a predetermined project based on the subject of physics. Select a topic that interests you and that you want to research.
Where do you begin?
Most research information will come from either your internship, senior research, or both. Plan to complete your research project before you enroll in PH 488. The PH 488 Senior Thesis class is designed to help you write about your thesis. So, the earlier you start, the better.

Need ideas? Check out the Student Handbook or talk with your favorite professor(s) to find out about projects currently going on in our department. Discover new ideas or also get involved in real research.
What are the instructors looking for in a final draft?
You will be graded on the following:
  1. Formally write a report of the internship or senior research in AIP Format, including the literature search, a description of the research, conclusions drawn as a result, and areas of future research.
    Here is a sample template written in LaTeX you are welcome to use.
  2. Report progress in a weekly class meeting.
  3. Defend the thesis in front of a faculty committee.
Some other important things to cover & general hints:
The Senior Thesis is designed to give you help and experience in the following areas:
  • Experience with writing research proposals.
  • Experience editing in committees.
  • Help with the research process and putting together respectable bibliographies.
  • Learn to set your own deadlines and work under your own initiative—an experience you don't often get in an undergraduate course. (Hint: that's what a big part of what you're graded on.)
Get some ideas of Senior theses completed by former BYU-Idaho students.