I am currently in my final year of BSCS. And we have the option of pursuing a thesis or do a Final Year Project (FYP). I asked a professor related to my field and she told me that It's really hard to write a thesis as you need to pick an original research paper or area, reproduce the work done in this area, work on the limitations mentioned and add your own new findings which I think is really hard for me at this stage since I'm in the phase of understanding existing knowledge.

My main interest is in Computer Graphics and I was thinking to create a path-tracer, have already created a gpu ray-tracer, and use different acceleration data structures and profile the increase in speed obtained.

The thing is, all of this has already been done so I'd just be reproducing the work already done and implementing it and highlighting conclusions already drawn with just a little talk on the limitations and what could be done. Does this qualify as an undergraduate thesis or should I give up on it and she is right in assuming that thesis needs to have some new findings?

Also if it qualifies as a thesis what are the chances to getting it published since there are no new findings?

The reason I was pushing towards the thesis more as I am from a South-Asian country and the standard of education is "pretty" low here. Research is like a godly word for people here and we have zero exposure to research/conferences/seminars etc. I aim to do my masters from abroad and was thinking my bachelor's thesis would be a valuable experience.

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    You need to work this out with your advisor(s), we can't really help you with the specifics of what someone else's expectations are. In my own experience, undergraduate theses usually are original work, but they are typically either very small projects or a piece of a larger unfinished work. In biology, they are sometimes publishable but not always, and if they are publishable its usually a project that was started well before the final year. They are typically work towards a publishable project however, and the student might be an author on a paper published after they leave.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 17:17
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    The requirements for an undergraduate thesis depend on the rules of your university and department and also on the standards imposed by your adviser. In my experience, the rules usually didn't require original results, but and adviser who wants original results can probably insist on them (i.e., refuse to approve a thesis without original results). Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 17:18
  • Talked to my professor once again and finally persuaded him to allow me to give thesis. As Jennifer suggested I think he wanted to keep it easy so he told me that he'd only guide me and that I'll have to write it myself. He was still somewhat bent on doing something new but told me that it could be a review of a "recent" work as well. Thanks for everybody's support tho. Anybody in the same situation as me, as everybody suggested try to get in touch with your adviser more and find out what he wants. Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


The professor is suggesting you do the final project and keep it easy for both parties. I got data, my name on the paper, and research presentation at academic conference in undergrad by playing ball and working on the professor's pet project. And just because the school calls it an FYP doesn't mean you have to call it that. I'm not saying you can call it a thesis but if you applied elsewhere, FYP would sound really obscure and student-ish. If you own a quality piece of written work, you can rework the intro and publish it wherever it fits in your field. If nobody wants to publish it, hold onto it and maybe it can get worked into something else later. Maybe that FYP is "currently submitted" for publication on your CV at just the right time later. Thesis may be property of the school. Final thought: professor may commit time to messing around with data and getting complicated with you if he can co-publish something. It's a lot of extra office hours with you to do a thesis when they could be with their family at home. Can you make it worth their time? Let them hint to you how it can be worth going the extra mile.


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