I’m currently supervising an undergraduate senior project in the Department of Physics. I’m responsible for supervising a last year physics student who will be graduating by the end of June. As a new lecturer and supervisor, I was wondering about several aspects and I would like to gain a deeper understanding of how supervision is normally carried out. Please note that I neither have previous experience in supervising students, officially speaking, nor I did a senior project during my Bachelor degree. For that reason, I would really appreciate if you can share your valuable experience and kindly advise me to the following questions I have on my mind:

  1. Since I didn’t do a senior project during my undergraduate studies, I would like to know what a senior project is and what should the student work on during his last semester? To be more specific, what is the difference between a master degree thesis and a senior project?

  2. Should the project include research work or just reading about a certain subject (literature review only)? What if the student worked on a research topic and did not obtain any result, what should be done in this case?

  3. Since the project spans over a semester, may the student work on a research topic? Do you advise publishing a research paper on the Bachelor degree level?

  4. If it is not a research-based project, what kind of topics the student would be able to work on? Should he choose his own topic?

  5. I understand that the grading criteria differ from one university to another, but in general, what are the main points the student will be assessed on?

  6. Besides, on the day of the presentation, what type of questions should be asked by me to the senior students of different fields?

Any advice, ideas, suggestions, and other aspects I should be aware of or consider. Sharing your experience is much appreciated.

  • You have too many questions, I think. If you have access to local faculty who have done this before, they can give you a lot of help - especially on the local expectations. – Buffy Oct 5 '19 at 14:46
  • Get some past senior projects from your department to find out what is expected too. – Poidah Oct 5 '19 at 21:24