Senior Thesis Policies

Catalog Description: " Prerequisite: ENG 2010 or ENG 2020 , Junior or Senior Standing, and instructor permission.. For students who are nearing completion of a baccalaureate degree in Biology. Provides the opportunity to pursue original research in the laboratory or in the field, or to do a comprehensive library research paper on a chosen topic under the supervision of an appointed faculty member in the Department of Biology. Provides experience gathering laboratory/field data or library data and writing a technically accurate report on one's findings. Includes the opportunity to present research results to students, faculty and the community at a Department of Biology seminar. May be repeated once for up to a total of two credits toward graduation."


Successful completion of Senior Thesis (Biol 499R) is recommended for all UVU biology baccalaureate students. The research is performed under the supervision of a Department of Biology contract faculty committee consisting of a supervising faculty member and two additional faculty members. The written thesis is approved by this committee.

Selection of a research project

The project should be of interest to the student, either from a personal interest or related to the student's career goals. Discussions with faculty members and/or literature readings may assist in topic selection.

Faculty supervisor and committee

Select a Biology Department contract faculty member who has expertise in the subject of the proposed research project. Select an additional two contract faculty members to serve, along with the supervising faculty member, as an advisory and approval committee.


Provide a written proposal that outlines the research project, including a clear statement of the problem to be addressed and a description of any laboratory or field activities. The supervising faculty member will provide guidelines for the proposal.


The student must discuss the project with the faculty supervisor and committee and obtain their approval prior to beginning the project.


Academic credits may be earned during both the research and writing phases of the thesis project. During the research phase, students may enroll for 1 to 4 credits of Student Research (BIOL 495R, to be renumber as 489R in 2009). These students and those performing a solely literature-based thesis study may enroll for 1 to 2 credits of Senior Thesis (Biol 499R) per semester and may repeat once in a subsequent semester for a maximum of 2 credits toward graduation. Credits beyond 2 will not count towards graduation. The anticipated scope of the project should determine the number of credits. The student should plan on dedicating approximately 3 hours of activity per week per credit.

General objectives and requirements:

  1. The scientific method will be used when designing and conducting the research.
  2. Information from primary scientific literature (peer reviewed journals and reference books) will be accurately and efficiently obtained and critically reviewed.
  3. A technically accurate and succinct scientific paper delineating the results of research will be written. The format and style of a major journal (e.g., SCIENCE, American Journal of Botany, Journal of Mammalogy) or format guidelines of the Council of Biology Editors will be used.
  4. Two typed, original unbound copies of the thesis on acid-free bond paper, including approval signatures of the committee on Departmental thesis cover page, must be deposited with the Biology Department. One copy will be retained in the Department and one will be deposited in the UVU Library.
  5. The length of the written thesis is dependent on the number of credits, type of data obtained, and guidelines provided by the supervising professor and committee.
  6. The research results should be presented in a seminar in a clear, accurate and pleasing manner for an audience of scientists and peers.
  7. Additional and more specific requirements may be made by the faculty supervisor and committee.

Approved by UVU Biology Faculty, 02 February 2001; updated 2006 and 2008.