The Degree Project is the culminating study of the student’s learning. It is usually undertaken in the last two semesters of study. Although the primary focus of the project is in the student’s major, the project integrates elements from the student’s total learning experience and is unique to each individual. A student must be in good academic standing to undertake the Degree Project.
The Degree Project is a 6-credit study that is done over two semesters—3 credits each semester (DPI and DPII). Campus-based students must attend the departmental Degree Project seminar for both semesters, and distance learning students work closely with their faculty and attend seminars at the residencies. During the DPI semester, campus students choose, with their advisor’s approval, a Degree Project instructor who will guide them in their study. This instructor may be a Burlington College faculty member or another individual who has expertise in the student’s area of study. This instructor will submit credentials that document his/her work and will be approved by the department chair and the Dean. Additionally, the student will select a reader who will also be part of his or her Degree Project committee, and his or her credentials will be approved in the same way.
Degree Project instructors will not be, except in rare occasions, the student’s advisor. The advisor’s role is to facilitate the Degree Project process and serve as another reader on the Degree Project board. Degree Project instructors approved by the department chair should have an academic background in the student’s academic discipline.
All Degree Projects for the Humanities must follow Modern Language Association (MLA), and all Social Science Degree Projects must follow American Psychological Association (APA) format. Students in the Documentary Studies, Expressive Arts, Fine Arts, Photography, Writing and Literature, and Cinema Studies and Film Production programs must complete a creative component as part of their study (e.g., a portfolio of paintings or a film). Students completing the creative component Degree Project must also complete a 15-page process paper as part of the project.
When the student has completed the Degree Project, he or she will meet with the committee (faculty, reader, and seminar leader) for final approval. When the project is approved, a bound copy of the Degree Project manuscript must be submitted to the seminar leader (the student may agree to make it available to other students and the general public by signing a release form). A second copy of the Degree Project must also be submitted in digital form for archive purposes. Some assistance with creating digital files may be available from the IT department.
Students not completing the course by the end of the semester may be eligible for an incomplete if they meet specific criteria for the amount of work they have completed. Students have only one semester to finish the incomplete. Summer semesters would not be counted, unless the student is enrolled during that semester. If the Degree Project is not finished at the end of this time, students are required to re-register for DPII with the usual lab fees. Students in an extension of DPII may have reasonable access to student support services, their advisor, and their instructor. Additional information about the Degree Project Seminars and the role of Degree Project Instructor and Reader is available in the Degree Project Handbook. Copies may be obtained from the academic coordinator or academic advisors.