Senior Tutorial (PSY 990/992/993)

All thesis students must enroll in the year-long Senior Thesis Tutorial. The preponderance of time spent on the thesis will be spent working directly on your research, independently and with your supervisor(s). Your lab is your first and most important resource throughout this process! There will also be tutorial meetings and some associated assignments, the goal of which is to provide some external structure and oversight to support the work you do on your own and with your lab, to build a supportive peer network, and to give you a connection to resources and support beyond your lab.


Make sure you sign up for the correct course number! Most students will sign up for PSY 990, but students in the MBB track will sign up for 992, and students in the Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology (Life Sciences) track sign up for PSY 993. (Even though there are different course numbers, the courses meet together and all requirements are the same.) The courses are split into a and b versions, one for each semester. Enroll in the "A" version - PSY 990A, 992A, or 993A - during your first semester of senior year, and you'll be automatically enrolled in the "B" version in your second semester

After you request permission via my.harvard to enroll in the course, the UGO staff will grant permission for you to enroll.  Your supervisor cannot grant this permission! Please request permission to enroll in advance of the Course Registration Deadline.

Tutorial Meetings & Assignments

These may vary from year-to-year as the format evolves to meet the changing needs of our students; they should be outlined in course syllabus / website. Generally, there will be required, semi-regular group meetings throughout the year which involve short assignments. There may also be required individual meetings with the instructor and/or consultant(s), and there may be one or more optional work-shops offered during the year.

Mid-Year Evaluation

In December, the department will report a SAT/UNSAT grade for your fall term thesis work. This grade will be based upon these factors:

  • Satisfactory progress on your thesis project (This is where you will spend the bulk of your time, and your progress will be evaluated by your supervisor).
  • Completion of your prospectus meeting and submission of the prospectus, Prospectus Evaluation Form, and any revisions or stipulations (if applicable) to the UGO by the respective deadlines.
  • Meeting the Tutorial requirements.
  • Completion and submission of your Mid-Year Progress Report
  • Recommendation from your supervisor, as indicated on the Mid Year Report Form

Note: Requirements will differ somewhat if you decide to drop your thesis after the first semester of 99x.
See: Dropping your thesis.

Final Evaluation

In May, the department will report a SAT/UNSAT grade for your work over the course of the year. This is the grade that is reported to the registrar; it is not the same as your thesis grade. This grade will be based upon these factors:

  1. Completion of the mid-year evaluation requirements.
  2. Electronic submission of your thesis, according to the stated guidelines, by the deadline.
  3. Participation in the poster session.
  4. Completion of the thesis defense (including submission of the form to the UGO).
  5. Hard copy submission of your thesis, according to the stated guidelines, by the deadline.
  6. Meeting the Tutorial requirements.