Reed College Library Research Guide


Chemistry Senior Thesis Information

What is the Chemistry Senior Thesis

The Chemistry Department has a nice explanation of what a senior thesis is and what is expected.

Choosing a thesis topic and advisor

Arrange meeting times to speak to at least three faculty members about possible thesis topics; these discussions can occur as late as the first week of classes of the semester in which you start your thesis, but ideally you should try to do it before the end of your junior year.

Once you’ve chosen a thesis topic and a chemistry faculty member has agreed to be your thesis advisor, chemistry majors need only inform the department secretary of their advisor’s name and the thesis office they will be using. BMB and Chemistry/Physics majors need to submit thesis project proposals to the relevant committees (please see the chair of the BMB committee or the physics member of the Chemistry/Physics committee for more information).

Getting a thesis desk & key to the chemistry building

Ask your thesis advisor about available thesis desks. Once you have chosen a desk, let the chemistry secretary know your thesis advisor’s name, and the location of your thesis office (building and room number). The secretary will also sign your key request form for the chemistry building.

Thesis draft deadlines

Seniors in Chemistry, as well as seniors in Chemistry/Physics and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology who have a Chemistry Professor as a thesis advisor, should be aware of three deadlines we have set for turning in drafts:

  • Friday, October 18th - A five page review of a topic related to your thesis. This review will be based on 5-10 articles selected from the research literature, and will be the first step in preparing the introduction to your thesis. Your advisor will assist in picking a topic, and informational sessions in the library will help you develop a bibliography for this assignment.
  • Thursday, December 12th - The first draft of the Introduction chapter of your thesis will be due on the last day of Falll Semester. Your Introduction should summarize a thorough literature review of your thesis topic in 15-20 pages, including figures, and should draw on a bibliography of 20-30 sources.
  • Friday, April 11th - The first draft of the complete thesis will be due three weeks before the thesis is due at the Registrar's office. Although we fully anticipate that some revision and reformatting will be necessary, these first drafts should be complete; the drafts should include all of the figures, tables, and references you intend to include in the final draft.
  • Friday, May 2nd - Thesis Due!

Formatting your thesis

The standard format is available from the Reed Library. If you have questions or problems, see your advisor.

Maintained by: Linda Maddux, Science Librarian