Senior Projects

Senior Projects 2017

Guidelines, Requirements and Deadlines

All members of the senior class are required by the School to complete a senior project in order to graduate. Projects take the place of the academic day (8:00am to 2:30pm), and so are expected to be appropriately rigorous in terms of time and energy (approximately 30 hours/week). The four weeks allotted for Senior Projects represent an opportunity to engage in an edifying and fulfilling activity. Senior projects begin Monday 5/1/17 and run through Friday 6/2/17. The presentation day for the projects is Thursday 6/8/17.

The following steps lead to the approval of your project by the Senior Projects Committee:

  1. Design a project.
  2. Discuss the project with your assigned senior project committee member (SPA). This committee member will help you design a project that will be approved.
  3. Choose an on-campus project mentor. For creative, non-internship projects, you should choose a project mentor who has expertise in the area in which you will be working. This faculty or staff member will be responsible for checking in with you and your off-campus supervisor (if your project is an internship or apprenticeship) to make sure that you are successfully completing your project. Faculty and staff members may sponsor no more than three projects, so you should seek out a mentor as soon as possible. If you are pursuing an internship or apprenticeship, this faculty or staff member will be responsible for checking in with you and your off-campus supervisor to make sure you are successfuly completing your project.
  4. If your project is an internship or apprenticeship, acquire an off-campus supervisor.
  5. Write a proposal for your project. With your project proposal in-hand, next meet with your assigned SPA to review your project and make corrections.
  6. Complete an online Senior Project Proposal form, and then print it out for signatures (yours, a parent's, your SPA's, your mentor's, and, if applicable, your off-campus supervisor's). In order for your project to be sent onwards to the senior project committee, your SPA must sign in support of the finalized proposal. With all the signatures in place, turn in the form to your assigned committee member. The deadline for group projects is Monday 2/13/17, and the deadline for individual projects is Monday 3/6/17.

Your project must fit into one of the following categories:

  • INTERNSHIPS - Projects of this sort include interning with a wide variety of business, artistic, educational or government organizations. Consider also apprenticeships with chefs and photographers. A notebook containing information about previously completed internships is available in the College Guidance Office.
  • COMMUNITY SERVICE - Projects in this area allow you to expand your involvement with community service organizations. Work with organizations not ordinarily permitted by the school will be allowed as senior projects (e.g., a humane society).
  • INDEPENDENT STUDY - Projects in this area include an academic study in a chosen field (producing a research-based work) or a study in the arts (such as, writing, directing, acting, performing a new piece on an instrument you already play, graphic design, intensive dance study, and/or producing an artistic oeuvre). If you wish to pursue an arts project, you should have prior training in the field. For an independent study you must work with a mentor faculty member who will supervise you in your study and review your progress.


  • Projects without signatures (on and off-campus supervisors, parents) will not be accepted. YOU MUST LEAVE SUFFICIENT TIME TO GET THESE SIGNATURES IN ORDER TO HAND IN YOUR PROPOSAL ON TIME.
  • Off-campus supervisors must be made aware of the requirements of your project. They must be willing to be responsible for your project, by overseeing it or engaging in the same activity for approximately six hours per day.
  • Students must not be paid for project work.
  • Projects must not involve travel outside the Washington DC area.
  • Projects must entail approximately 30 hours/week of work.
  • Group projects are limited to three students. Each student in a group must hand in a separate proposal form describing the project and his/her role in it. The Project Committee will consider each member of the group individually and might not approve the project for all applicants. If a group of more than three is necessary for a project (a play, for example), the Committee may make exceptions.
  • Projects must be conducted with minimal expense.
  • If a project involves the construction of an item, you must donate the item to an appropriate charitable organization.
  • Students preparing for AP Examinations must design a project that will allow them to attend the necessary classes to prepare for the examinations. Students may do fewer than six hours of work per day on their projects during the period in which they are attending AP classes. The time commitment to athletics (practices and games) not counted towards the 6-hour daily project time.


    During the last week of senior projects or final exam week in June, seniors will meet with faculty panels in individual sessions for a brief 10 minute presentation and Q&A session. This year's defenses will be held June 1 & June 5-7.