Senior Fellowships

Students conduct year-long independent projects in lieu of a traditional major.

Guidelines

  • Students work on year-long projects in which the intellectual scope and breadth of imagination goes beyond what can be accomplished by taking courses in the existing curriculum.
  • Senior fellows are not required to enroll in classes during their senior year nor are they required to complete a major.
  • Senior Fellows are selected and evaluated by the Committee on Senior Fellowships according to the guidelines specified in the ORC.

Faculty Recommendations

The application process for the Senior Fellowship program is rigorous, and faculty input is essential to the selection process. Faculty are asked to address specific points depending on their role in the project, which is noted in the recommendation request email.

Faculty may submit a document with numbered answers to the questions, or they may submit a more traditional recommendation letter (but it must address the elements in the relevant list below). Documents should be submitted to UGAR as email attachments.

Consultants

Consultants advise the student on a specific aspect of the project but are not involved in the project as a whole.

Consultants should address the following:

  • What is the basis and length of your acquaintance with the applicant?
  • What is your experience of the student's academic ability and motivation?
  • Based on what you know about the student's project, what is your evaluation of the feasibility and quality of the project?
  • What role will you play in the project? Please address the extent of your involvement in terms of planned time commitment and specific areas in which you will provide guidance.

Primary and Secondary Faculty Advisors

The primary advisor works closely with the Senior Fellow throughout the Fellowship year and is responsible for oversight of the student and the project, coordination among any secondary advisors and/or consultants, and ensuring compliance with deadlines and requirements of the program.

The secondary advisor works with the Senior Fellow throughout the Fellowship year in collaboration with the primary advisor.

Primary and secondary advisors should carefully consider the level of involvement required. Faculty who are unable to commit the time and resources to the Senior Fellow or who have serious doubts about the project or the Fellow’s ability to complete the project should inform the applicant early in the process and not agree to advise the project.

Primary and secondary advisors should address the following:

  • What is the basis and length of your acquaintance with the applicant?
  • How long has the student been working with you on the preparation for his/her Senior Fellowship project?
  • What is your evaluation of the feasibility and quality of the proposed project?
  • Does the student have the academic background for this project?
  • Do you anticipate any challenges the student may face in completing this project?
  • What is your sense of the student's ability to complete the project successfully (e.g. ability to work independently, set and meet deadlines, accept and incorporate feedback)?
  • Could this project be completed as an honors thesis instead of a Senior Fellowship?
  • Why would a Senior Fellowship be a better way for the applicant to spend senior year than taking courses in the existing curriculum?
  • What role will you play in the project?
  • Will the student need input from other faculty during the fellowship year, and if so, do you know at this point which individuals or departments will be involved?

Recommenders

Recommenders are faculty who submit a recommendation on behalf of a student applying for a Senior Fellowship but have no other involvement in the project.

Recommenders should address the following:

  • What is the basis and length of your acquaintance with the applicant?
  • What is your experience of the student's academic ability and motivation?
  • What is your sense of the student's personal qualities, such as maturity, independence, and the ability to incorporate feedback?
  • Based on what you know about the student's project, what is your evaluation of the feasibility and quality of the project?
  • Do you anticipate any challenges the student may face in completing a year-long independent project?
  • How might a Senior Fellowship enrich this student's academic path?