Senior Scholars Research Program

As many as 15 seniors are able to devote their entire final year of college to work on a single intellectual project—a year-long independent study. The project may be a scientific investigation, a scholarly endeavor, a work of art, creative writing, or filmmaking, or any other proposal that engages the imaginative and intellectual faculties students have been developing at Rochester. The project must be composed and carried out under the supervision of a faculty adviser or advisers. The project does not have to be related to, or part of, the student’s major.

Although Senior Scholars are not required to take courses, the project may include course work in addition to independent study. All together, the project will carry a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 32 credits, and must be capable of being completed by the end of the senior year.

The project can be a part of the major, with the consent of the department. When such departmental endorsement is not possible or appropriate, or if students cannot finish their major requirements by participating in the program, students receive the degree under the auspices of the Committee on Individualized Interdepartmental Programs: that is, they graduate with a major in Interdepartmental Studies.

If you are interested in applying for the Senior Scholars Program, begin to think and plan. Discuss your ideas with a faculty member (or members) whom you would like to have as an advisor for your project. Test out your plans with others. Prepare to submit, with a faculty advisor's help, a well-reasoned and convincing document.

Application forms for and further information about the Senior Scholars Program are available in the Center for Study Abroad and Interdepartmental Programs, 2-147 Dewey Hall or you can download the application here. Proposals are reviewed by the Senior Scholars Committee, generally following the April 1 deadline.

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