Comprehensive Requirement

Students in each track choose between a senior seminar and a senior thesis as the comprehensive/capstone requirement. Both involve written research, and include submitting a copy of the final paper to the Mathematics Undergraduate thesis library.

Most Math majors complete MATH 194 Senior Seminar, a regularly scheduled class with an assigned instructor offered both winter and spring quarter. Each student in the class researches a topic in mathematics, writes a 10- to 12-page paper on the topic, and presents the research orally in class. Students must be prepared to submit a topic to the Senior Seminar instructor before the quarter begins.

The Senior Thesis is an individual study course under the mentorship of a faculty member. The thesis itself is a one-quarter-long research project (longer if your advisor agrees) resulting in a 20- to 30-page paper that shows the student's "substantial research effort and analytical thought." It is best to draft a proposal and find a faculty advisor the quarter before enrolling in individual study. Typically, the student submits the thesis no later than two weeks before the last day of instruction.

Once you have found a mathematics faculty member willing to serve as your thesis advisor, you and your thesis advisor agree on the thesis requirements (including research topic, frequency of student/advisor meetings, due dates of outlines and drafts, and required length of the paper). Complete an "Individual Study" petition with your thesis advisor. Once you have submitted the completed and signed petition to the Undergraduate Affairs Mathematics Advisor, you will receive a course ID to enroll in MATH 195.