Senior Thesis Policy Download PDF Version pdf icon

  1. An undergraduate thesis with strong experimental, computational, or theoretical physics content is required for the S.B. degree in Physics at MIT, for those students who select the Focused Option degree track.
  2. A thesis must state the problem, summarize previous knowledge, make some advance, and indicate its significance.
  3. A thesis proposal, signed by the proposed supervisor, should be submitted to Physics Academic Programs (4-315) by Add Date in the term before the term in which the thesis will be finished, even if you are not registered for thesis that semester.
  4. Any Physics Department faculty member or research staff person is an acceptable thesis supervisor.
  5. If you want to do a thesis under the supervision of an MIT professor outside the Physics Department, or by a professor of physics or astronomy at another university, fill out the thesis proposal and submit it as above. You will be notified if a departmental co-supervisor is required.
  6. If you wish to do a thesis with someone even further removed from the MIT physics faculty, then you must find a thesis co-supervisor from the MIT Physics Department.
  7. Total thesis registration in subject 8.THU, in one or more semesters, must be for a minimum of 12 units and a maximum of 30 units (the Institute limit). You must be registered for thesis in the term that your thesis is submitted.
  8. UROP policy forbids UROP for pay with your thesis supervisor in the same semester you are registered for thesis.
  9. You need only submit 1 copy of your final thesis. This will go to MIT Archives for microfilming. The Department will pay the microfilming fee. The thesis should be printed on archival bond paper with original signatures. Guidelines for thesis preparation are at: http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/thesis-specs/external link icon.
  10. A copy of your thesis, signed by your thesis supervisor, must be submitted to Academic Programs on the thesis due date, typically in early May.
  11. AFTER your thesis supervisor submits a passing grade for your thesis, the Department Thesis Coordinator will read your thesis.
  12. If your Physics thesis requirement will be fulfilled with a thesis submitted to another department, e.g. M. ENG., the thesis grade must be passing. You must satisfy all of the above requirements except #4, #6, (for #7 the thesis units are not in Physics subject 8.THU).