Senior Honors Thesis

The honors program is a two-semester sequence (Math 99a, "Senior Research" in fall, followed by Math 99b, "Senior Research" in spring) during which senior mathematics majors carry out independent research and the  writing and oral presentation of a senior thesis. Only students who major in the BS in Mathematics or BS in Applied Math may choose the option of writing a thesis in order to be considered for Honors, High Honors or Highest Honors in mathematics. View university resources for undergraduate research support here.

Rules for Senior Honors Thesis

  1.  A committee of two faculty members, one of whom will be the official instructor, will supervise the work.
  2. A written thesis proposal must be prepared at the beginning of the first semester, and be approved and signed by both the committee and the Undergraduate Advising Head (UAH), prior to registration for the course. In order to register for the course, the student must requests to take the course in Work Day (see "Request Prerequisite or Permission to Enroll" section under Planning and Registration).
  3. A mid-year evaluation must be done by the committee by the end of the first semester, and a written report submitted to the UAH. Students judged to have made insufficient progress will not be permitted to continue in the second semester.
  4. A thesis in a department-approved format must be submitted to the committee by the last day of classes in the second semester or by a deadline set by the committee members. At a minimum, the thesis must have a title page, a signature page, and an abstract, description of the work performed and the conclusions reached, and references. Students are encouraged to learn the Latex typesetting system (this repository holds a LaTeX file that serves as a template for senior honors theses in the Brandeis University Department of Mathematics, developed by Chami Lamelas, '22). We also encourage you to submit your thesis electronically to the library using the following link: Submitting your Thesis to the Library
  5. The student must defend their thesis in a public oral examination of at least 30 minutes duration by the end of the second semester exam period. The talk should take place in the Math Department and should be accessible to junior math majors. A list of thesis defense talks will be published on the website.
  6. Written evaluations of the thesis and of the defense must be submitted by the committee to the UAH by the Friday preceding the department degree meeting.
  7. The level of distinction will be determined by the UAH from evaluation of both the thesis and the student’s academic record.
  8. Students wishing to graduate in seven semesters must start their thesis research in the spring semester of their junior year, and follow the same rules moved forward one semester.
  9. The required forms for items (2), (3), and (6) are available on the department website.
  10. Supervisors outside of the Math Department are acceptable, either in other Brandeis departments or outside of the university. All the rules above apply, including the deadlines. The defense must take place in the Brandeis Math Department. The outside advisor may be an ex officio member of the supervising committee, and advise the committee on the evaluation of the work performed. The grade for Math 99a/b will be determined by the Brandeis instructor of the course.