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Students majoring in the sciences normally culminate their four-year experience at Keck Science in a research experience and/or thesis in their major field. Topics for investigation can be of the student’s choosing or result from consultation with a faculty member in the field of concentration.

The one year (two-semester) program consists of 188-190 and usually involves a laboratory or field investigation with a faculty member. In 188, a topic is chosen, background materials reviewed, and research started. In 190, research is continued, culminating in a written thesis and a poster presentation. Seminar attendance is required in each semester. Normally this two-semester sequence begins in the fall semester of the senior year. A variation on this is to begin field or laboratory research during the summer between junior and senior year, and to complete the thesis in the fall of senior year—this option requires plenty of prior planning and organization with the Keck Science thesis reader early in the spring of junior year.

Students who prefer to undertake a one-semester thesis should enroll in 191 during either the fall or spring semesters of their senior year. Laboratory or fieldwork is possible but requires prior planning. A poster presentation, and seminar attendance, is also part of a one-semester thesis.

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