Senior Thesis

Psychology 195: Senior Thesis 

  • A senior thesis project is a major independent research project carried out under the supervision of a UCSC Psychology Faculty Member (Faculty Sponsor). Completing a senior thesis project typically takes about one year. At the end of that year, students turn in a senior thesis to their Faculty Sponsor and a Second Reader, who is also a UCSC Faculty member.
  • Speak with your potential Faculty Sponsor about proposing a senior thesis project. In some cases, students bring an idea for a senior thesis to their potential Faculty Sponsor. Keep in mind that faculty members are unlikely to sponsor projects that are outside their area of expertise. In many other cases, however, the students develop ideas for a senior thesis project in collaboration with a Faculty member they already know, typically from working in a lab. Start the conversation about your senior thesis project no less than a year before you intend to graduate (typically Spring of your Junior year).
  • Faculty Sponsors may expect you to have completed some coursework, or have gained other expertise, before starting or completing your thesis project. Speak with your faculty member about what they expect and describe your relevant expertise on the Senior Thesis Application Form.
  • If you find a Faculty Sponsor and have developed an idea for a thesis project, draft a title and 1-2 page thesis proposal. This proposal will be attached to your Senior Thesis Application Form. In addition, attach a print-out of your most updated transcript. Complete the Senior Thesis Application Form, and obtain a signature from your Faculty Sponsor. Your Faculty Sponsor may also suggest another faculty member who can serve as a Second Reader for your thesis. Your second reader may be from the Psychology Department or another UCSC department.
  • Ask your potential Second Reader if they would be willing to serve as your second reader (by email or in Office Hours). If a Faculty Member agrees to be your Second Reader, provide the person with your completed Senior Thesis Application Form and attachment to obtain their signature.
  • Take your signed application and the brief proposal to the Psychology Department Office where you will receive an enrollment number. For each subsequent quarter in which you plan to complete your thesis, you will need to obtain an enrollment number from the Psychology Department Office. 
  • Early in the final quarter of the thesis project, ask your Faculty Sponsor and Second Reader when they would need to receive an electronic copy of the thesis in order to read and approve the thesis. Send the thesis to them by the agreed-upon date and arrange to meet them so they can provide their approval signatures on the cover page of your thesis. 
  • By the last day of the final quarter,  submit a paper copy of your thesis with signatures from the Faculty Sponsor and Second Reader to the Psychology Department. 

Download PSYC 195 Senior Thesis Information (PDF)

Download the PSYC 195 Senior Thesis Application Form (PDF)

Download the PSYC 195 Senior Thesis Application Form (Word)

Download the Senior Thesis Sample Cover Page (PDF)

Download the Senior Thesis Sample Cover Page (Word)