Senior Research Thesis

The Senior Thesis option is for B.S. students who want to pursue a Ph.D or an industrial research position after graduation. Writing and defending a thesis improves technical communication skills and the ability to structure and plan complex tasks. The following are required in order to complete the Senior Thesis:

  1. Proposal and application:

    A student may apply for the senior research thesis program after completing two quarters of the CBE curriculum but before enrolling in CHE471, Process Design I. Typically, this corresponds to the pre-junior or junior year. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 overall / 3.3 CBE (or instructor approval).

    Interested students are responsible for identifying a faculty sponsor who will be responsible for serving as a research advisor throughout the project. The advisor does not need to be a CBE faculty member, but must be a professor or research staff (not a post-doc or graduate student). It is typical but not required for the student to have some experience working with the advisor, such as ChE I498 or STAR.

    The application form includes a brief proposal stating the project motivation and objectives with a research plan for the three quarters. The faculty advisor should be involved, but the student is primarily responsible for determining the content and writing the document.

  2. ChE I498/I499

    Students must complete ChE I499 (6 units) and ChE I498 (3 units) over their final three quarters at Drexel. These can count for 9 units of technical electives, or for 6 units of technical electives and ChE453, Lab III. 498/499 cannot be substituted for Senior Design. The research advisor is responsible for determining if a student is making sufficient progress throughout the year.

    CHE I499 Senior Thesis Research [PDF]

    CHE I498 Senior Thesis [PDF]

  3. Complete oral defense and written thesis.

    Written thesis: A thesis summarizing the project is due to the ChE 498 instructor by Week 7 of Spring Term. The thesis should be comparable to a scholarly publication in style and scope. Students are encouraged to submit this work with their advisor to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

    Oral defense: Students are responsible for scheduling an oral presentation in which they present the results of their research project and answer questions from the audience and committee. The thesis committee consists of the research advisor and the course instructor. An external (national or local) conference presentation can be substituted for the oral defense with instructor permission.

Students who complete the Senior Research Thesis are recognized for their hard work and scholarship at the College of Engineering Commencement ceremony.

BS/MS students are not eligible for ChE 498/499 and should instead enroll in 898/799. For more questions, contact the Undergraduate Advisor or current instructor for ChE 499.