The vice president for academic affairs/dean of faculty may designate academically outstanding members of the junior class as senior fellows. Highly motivated juniors who are prepared to conduct an intensive, year-long program of individual research for their senior year may apply for a Senior Fellowship.

The final project is comparable to producing a master’s thesis. A fellowship proposal should grow out of earlier coursework, and must be framed in consultation with two faculty advisors of the student’s choice.

Fellows must have completed 24 course credits before the beginning of their fellowship year and must have fulfilled the Writing Intensive, QSR, and physical education requirements. If the student has not yet completed the SSIH requirement in a concentration, the Fellow must choose a method of fulfilling the SSIH requirement in consultation with their advisors.

The Senior Fellowship serves as the concentration for the Fellow and counts for 8 credits. Fellows are exempt from taking a normal course load, but they may take such courses as are appropriate to their projects and their educational goals. A Fellow may not earn more than 10 credits for the academic year of the fellowship. The final project is required at the close of the fellowship year, along with a public lecture to the College community. Evaluation is made by the advisors and an examination committee.

The courses (if any) taken by the Senior Fellow appear on the transcript, and the instructor grades the student with a CR or an NC (on Self-Service/Academic Planning) depending on whether they pass or don't pass.  

The principal advisor writes a letter to the Dean, explaining how the student achieved the goals of the project and evaluating the presentation and final examination. The letter can be sent along with the official transcript at the student’s request.

Senior Fellows

Sino German Relationships

Sophia Wang ’19, who’s originally from China and has taken German for two years, began her research as an Emerson project, but she soon realized that what she wanted to explore went beyond the scope of a regular senior thesis.

Understanding Implicit Bias

Ben Mittman ’18 used computational neuroscience to study how the ways in which the brain collects and processes information affects how people interact with members of different social groups.

A Poetic Exploration

Amy Zhang is using her senior year to pursue a project that she hopes will provide insight into the Asian-American female identity. It is titled “Birds of the Body: a Poetic Exploration of the Performance of Asian-American Femininity.”

Engaging with Contemporary Poets

Senior Fellow John Rufo ’16 spent the year interviewing contemporary political poets through the lenses of race, gender, sexuality, and disability.

Bringing Math to the Masses

Senior Fellow Robert Huben’s project, “Size Matters: Directed Explorations in Measurable Dynamics and Homological Algebra,” seeks to study two distinct areas of mathematics: homological algebra and ergodic theory.

Watching What We Watch

Sabrina Yurkofsky ’15, a psychology-communication double major, studied sexism in television programming and its potential effects on viewers’ gender perspectives.

Culinary Illiteracy

Emma Laperruque ’14 pursued a project centered around food—specifically, how the millennial generation relates to what they cook and eat.

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