Senior Project FAQ

created 3/25/20 JAF


What is senior project?

Senior project, is a capstone research experience that is part of the Imaging Science undergraduate program. Typically, in senior project, a student finds a topic within the field of imaging science that interests them, and completes an independent research project on this topic over the course of their senior year under the guidance of an advisor. Students may also use research experiences gained as part of a co-op, internship, or research assistantship as the basis of their senior project.

How do I figure out what I’m going to do for my senior project?

Senior projects can either be student-driven, faculty-driven, or some combination of the two. Often students will approach faculty members whose research area they're interested in and ask if they can get involved in their research. Alternately, students who want to work on a particular topic can approach faculty members with related expertise and ask them to be their advisors. Any CIS or CIS-affiliated faculty member can serve as a senior project advisor.

When do I need to figure this out by?

Students should start thinking about their projects and approaching potential advisors in the spring semester of their junior year.

Is there any paperwork involved?

Yes, all projects need to be approved by the Undergraduate Program Coordinator. To complete the approval process students need to fill out and submit the Senior Project Approval Form. Forms can be submitted at any time, and will be reviewed/approved on a rolling basis. Early submission is encouraged. The hard deadline for submission/approval is the second week of classes in the Fall term.

Are there courses associated with the senior project?

Yes, IMGS-502 Imaging Science Senior Project I (Fall) and IMGS-503 Imaging Science Senior Project II (Spring). Students completing their projects over the course of their senior years must enroll in these courses. Student using research experiences gained through co-ops, internships, or research assistantships will enroll in professional electives instead. The syllabi for the courses are available from the instructor.

What is the purpose of the classes?

The purpose of IMGS-502/503 is to help students stay on track with their projects over the course of the year. In each class there is a series of written assignments and presentations that build toward the final project paper, poster, and presentation. Please consult the course syllabi for details.

How will my assignments be graded?

Your written assignments in IMGS-502 and 503 will be reviewed by your project advisory committee and graded by your project advisor. Your presentations will be reviewed and graded by the senior project executive committee.

I’m currently employed as a research assistant in a faculty member’s lab, can I use this work as the basis of my senior project?

Yes, but you cannot simultaneously receive pay and credit for the work. For example, if you start your project over the summer, you can be paid for that work, but during your senior year you must either stop being paid and enroll in IMGS-502/502, or continue the work for pay and enroll in professional elective courses distinct from your research.

Do I have to do a senior project?

Yes, the faculty believe that the experience of doing a hands-on independent research project is an important component of your education as imaging scientists. It is a requirement for graduation. You may also find that you really enjoy research (or not). This is also a valuable learning experience.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

You can contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and/or the instructor for IMGS-502/503.