The Senior Project

Drawing on liberal study in the College's program of General Education and those understanding and skills learned through advanced disciplinary study, each senior undertakes a project appropriate to her or his field of study: a researched essay, statistical study, report on a laboratory experiment or field observation, gallery or stage presentation, computer program, or creative work. Some seniors elect to join their professors in research projects. Others design their own projects, and through independent study, follow their own intellectual passions. For those wishing to present papers based on their projects or who need to purchase special supplies or equipment, the College of Arts and Sciences supports the Dean's Fund to support senior research.

Those who select two majors for advanced study may work with advisors in both areas to design an appropriate project: a student majoring in French and mathematics, for instance, might study Pascal's contributions to the Calculus. Through the Honors Program, students may elect to design their own course of study and senior project. All seniors find their study energetically supported by the university's resources, especially a teaching faculty dedicated to fostering independent study by undergraduates and a library faculty expert in supporting their research. All of the university's advanced instrumentation and research facilities are readily available to seniors for their research.

While different disciplines approach the senior project in different ways, the goal is the same: to hone skills of close reading, careful observation, quantitative analysis, forceful speaking and persuasive writing through a project of the student's own choosing. Every project requires imaginative design at the outset and demands the persistence--the discipline--to see an extended task to completion.

Exemplary senior projects are presented to the university community at Stetson Showcase each spring. Seniors also regularly present their work at conferences or publish with their advisors in professional journals. Successfully completing a senior project is thus a capstone experience for all students in the College. Presenting their work orally and in writing, seniors show their growing mastery of a field of study and prepare themselves to bring knowledge and discipline to further endeavors in advanced study, the professions, citizenship and service.