Thesis in Chemistry
Chemistry majors are invited to prepare an Undergraduate Thesis describing
the results of original research they have conducted under the supervision
of a member of the MIT Chemistry Department faculty. The undergraduate
thesis is not a requirement for the S.B. degree in Chemistry, but students
intending to pursue graduate work in chemistry are strongly encouraged
to obtain experience doing original research as part of their preparation
for graduate school.
Students preparing a thesis should enroll in course 5.THU in the semester
they intend to submit their thesis (generally the spring of the senior
year). At least two semesters of research (summer UROP is considered to
be the equivalent of a semester of research) in addition to the "5.THU
semester" usually constitutes the minimum research experience that
can provide the basis for a satisfactory thesis. Research toward a thesis
carried out prior to 5.THU can be conducted for credit under 5.UR, 5.URG,
or as "UROP for Pay." Students enrolled in 5.THU may not simultaneously
enroll in 5.UR or 5.URG that semester and may not receive financial support
that semester through the UROP program, although they may be directly
employed by faculty members as research assistants.
STYLE AND LENGTH
Your advisor will provide you with guidance concerning the specific style
and organization appropriate for your thesis. In general, the style should
follow that style appropriate for a full journal article in your particular
area of chemistry. In most cases the thesis will include sections entitled
"Introduction and Background", "Results", and "Discussion",
and an Experimental Section. Literature citations should follow the format
required by typical journals in your area.
The thesis should be double-spaced and typically will be 25 to 50 pages
in length, under no circumstances exceeding 100 pages in length. The thesis
should begin with a Title Page followed by a one-page Abstract, both conforming
to the format described in the publication "Specifications for Thesis
Preparation" prepared by the MIT Libraries Archives Department (14N-118)
[this publication is available at the website: http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/thesis-specs/.
A Table of Contents should also be included in the thesis.
SUBMISSION OF THE THESIS
Students enrolled in 5.THU in the Fall must submit their thesis no later
than December 1. Students enrolled in 5.THU in the Spring semester must
submit their thesis no later than Friday, May 10, 2013. One copy of the thesis should be submitted to the Research Supervisor, and 2 printed copies and a pdf file for the Chemistry Department should be submitted to the Chemistry Education Office (6-205).
EVALUATION OF THE THESIS AND UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
The Research Supervisor will read the thesis and determine the letter
grade the student will receive for course 5.THU. In general, students
should enroll in 5.THU for 6 to 21 units. Each spring, faculty supervisors
will recommend particularly outstanding theses to a faculty committee
that will select one or more students to receive special Departmental
Research Awards. An Undergraduate Research Symposium is held each spring
and all students completing theses are encouraged to make an oral presentation
at the symposium. Information concerning the Undergraduate Research Symposium
will be posted on the Chemistry Department website by Professor Cummins,
the Symposium Coordinator.