The Senior Thesis Project offers NSB majors a unique opportunity to conduct their own research project and gain a deeper understanding of scientific research. Knowledge students have acquired in multiple courses is brought to fruition to develop an original study, from its incubation to the last line of the final report. By working in a lab under the supervision of an advisor students learn first-hand the nuts and bolts of experimental research. Several projects were especially solid and thoughtfully designed that merited publication in scientific journal and presentation in scientific meetings.
All NSB majors complete a Senior Thesis Project that consists of two semesters of research and the Senior Research Seminar (NSBV BC3593+3594) during the fall and spring semesters of their final full year. Senior students are expected to invest in their senior thesis a minimum of 10-12 hours of lab work per week. Students in their junior year must begin to develop a plan for their project. The department holds a meeting for junior major students to better understand and begin this process.
The senior requirement is a year-long research/seminar experience that must be taken in the Fall-Spring sequence. If you plan to graduate in January, the senior thesis must be done in the Fall and Spring of your Junior year.
Although the department informs your thesis advisor about the goals for a senior thesis research and your academic requirements, it is useful that you review these goals and requirements with your thesis advisor and that you explain that your laboratory work schedule may be interrupted by exams and semester breaks.
The final part of the NSB senior thesis project is a presentation of the theses to the community. The NSB Department hosts a two-day conference at the end of each academic year in which all senior NSB majors present their thesis projects. Faculty, staff, families, and fellow students are invited to attend and hear about the majors' impressive work. It is always a wonderful culminating experience for both students and faculty. The conferences are held at the end of the Spring semester on the first and second reading day.
Previously completed thesis papers are available for reference and reading in hard copy form. Please contact the Department Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the Department in 415 Milbank Hall to gain access.
Selection of Thesis Topics
For many NSB majors, the senior thesis project is their most enjoyable and intellectually rewarding experience at Barnard. To make sure you have a similar experience, we can offer you several types of support:
- Attend the NSB program-planning meeting in the Spring semester no later than in your junior year. We will have an extended discussion about the process of selecting a mentor and thesis topic.
- Meet with the Chair or the administrator of the NSB department to discuss your interests.
- Explore the research interests of Neuroscience faculty within Barnard NSB Department, the Departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences at Barnard and Columbia University, the Zuckerman Istitute, CU Medical Campus, NY State Psychiatric Institute, and nearby universities, including NYU, Rockefeller University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
- Speak with the Chair or your advisor to help look into the labs in the many institutions in New York City; look at the webpage of labs in New York City; contact labs/mentors who have worked with Barnard NSB students in the past to see if there are openings at the present time.