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The Senior Project (BA and BS Programs)

The senior project is a collegewide requirement for the BA, BS, and some BFA programs. (Students in the liberal studies degree completion program are required to complete a senior capstone course.) It is the hallmark of the Purchase educational experience and the signature of our curriculum. Students devote two semesters (Senior Project I and II) to an in-depth, original, and creative study, which may take the form of a research paper (laboratory or field), an exhibition, a piece of creative writing, or a translation.

It is recommended that the senior project be sponsored by a member of the department in which the student has majored. After the student has chosen a faculty sponsor, he or she should consult that sponsor about the choice of a second reader.

At the end of Senior Project I, a grade of SP (satisfactory progress), UP (unsatisfactory progress), or NP (no progress) is assigned. After the completion of Senior Project II, the project or thesis is evaluated by the responsible faculty member, who obtains comments from other involved faculty and/or staff. A grade of A+ through F is given for Senior Project II. In the event a grade of F is received, Senior Project II must be retaken.

The thesis, signed by the sponsor and the second reader, must be submitted to the Purchase College Library by the last day of the semester. The Library does not accept paper projects; all student projects, including senior projects, senior capstone papers, and master’s theses must be submitted to the Library via the Student Project Portal. (Refer to the Library’s guide for instructions.)

In the event a senior project cannot be completed on time, it is subject to the same rules that govern other incomplete coursework. However, if the senior project is not submitted to the Library by (a) the deadline for resolving grades of Incomplete (I) for the fall semester or (b) August 15 for the spring semester, an additional registration for the senior project is required. This policy supersedes any arrangements for “extended incompletes” that may have been made. Special permission from the sponsor and Department Chair is required to register beyond a third semester for the senior project.

Accelerated Status in the Senior Year

Students may be given accelerated status in their senior year by registering for and completing Senior Project I and II in one semester. Acceleration requires permission of the advisor, senior project sponsor, appropriate Department Chair, and/or Director of the student’s school.

Senior Project Registration in Summer Session

Students cannot complete both Senior Project I and II during the summer; however they may register for either Senior Project I or Senior Project II in the summer session, provided:

  1. The principal sponsor can certify to the chair or director of the student’s school that he or she will be present for a significant portion of the summer to provide guidance and direction to the student.
  2. The project is approved and the registration is allowed for the summer by the Department Chair and Director of the student’s school.
  3. The student registers and pays for the summer session work: 3 credits for a 6-credit senior project or 4 credits for an 8-credit senior project. (Students cannot complete the equivalent of two semesters of senior project work during summer session.) Students who register for Senior Project II during summer session must complete the project and submit a copy to the Library via Moodle no later than August 15.