In the senior year, all biology majors complete a research project that requires original experimentation and scientific review. The goal of this thesis is to have it published in premier scientific journals. This process occurs over the span of one summer and two semesters.
The senior thesis is a transforming experience. Personal growth and maturation can be "painful". Some students have a difficult time, and it can be unpleasant for those who procrastinate. Although it is hard, it is not the intellectual component that confounds students: it is the self-discipline required.
Faculty are ever present to support and discuss the research projects with the students, but the faculty will not micro-manage the students' projects. Students come to understand their stake in their own research, and that they are responsible for its palpable success, or its reduced success. This is a difficult lesson for students who are accustomed to being told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. The rewards in learning and professional growth are unparalleled in any program.