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Senior Thesis Requirements

The senior thesis provides an opportunity for electrical engineering undergraduates engaged in extended research projects to document their work in a form suitable for archival preservation.

In addition to encouraging promising students to pursue their research to the point of publication, the thesis serves as preparation for similar, more extensive documents during graduate studies.

Acknowledgement of students' completion of the thesis and defense will be submitted for inclusion in the Commencement Program; deadlines for publication of the Commencement-day program and the final, Official Program should be considered in the scheduling of events discussed in Requirements below.


All students in good academic standing are eligible to complete a senior thesis, provided they satisfy the requirements listed below, including agreement with an advisor among the electrical engineering faculty to supervise the thesis and chair the committee and defense.

While the research will typically be done on the Notre Dame campus, students may also compose theses on work performed partly or wholly at other universities, laboratories, or corporations.

Senior Thesis Requirements

Each senior thesis candidate must form a Thesis Committee, comprising at least two members, the Primary Advisor and Reader. The Primary Advisor must be a faculty member of the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Readers must be full-time Notre Dame faculty members. Before the end of the fourth week of the semester in which the thesis is to be defended, the candidate must present to the Director of Undergraduate Studies the thesis title and names of Committee members who have agreed to review the thesis and conduct the defense.

The thesis document must be presented to the Thesis Committee a minimum of two weeks before the defense. Its format will be specified by the Committee, but should generally follow the formatting for dissertations and thesis provided by the Graduate School.  The Committee will examine both the depth and completeness of the research, and the thoroughness of the thesis document in determining its appropriateness for public defense.  Upon approval of the thesis by all members of the Committee, the date and location of the defense of the thesis will be posted on standard media of the Department of Electrical Engineering.

The thesis defense will comprise a presentation of the work by the candidate, and a period of questioning by the Committee and other attendees of the defense. The defense must be at least one hour in length, and at least the presentation and general questioning must be open to the public. Questioning by the Committee may be closed-door; this shall be decided by the Committee in advance of the defense. At the completion of questioning, the Committee shall vote in private on the question of the student's passing the defense.  A majority of positive votes, with unanimity in the case of a Committee of two members, is necessary for the student to pass.