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Senior Project Guidelines

View our handy slideshow for an overview of the ESYS Senior Internship Project guidelines!


The ESYS Program places a significant value on interdisciplinary problem solving and all majors are expected to complete an integrative Senior Project in their final year.  The Senior Project is designed by the student to focus on an interdisciplinary environmental problem or research topic and is developed either individually or as part of a team.  An important component of the Senior Project is an off-campus or laboratory internship.  With prior approval, students may opt to fulfill their internship requirement in the laboratory of participating faculty.  The internship should be undertaken during the 190A course sequence and is expected to be a 200 hour commitment (20 weeks @ 10 hours per week). The ESYS Associate Director will provide guidance and a list of potential internship hosts; however, students are ultimately responsible for finding an appropriate internship.  The goal of the internship is to gather original data and/or develop analyses and experience that will be reported in the deliverables for the Senior Project, which include a 25-page research paper and graphical material (power-point) for a presentation.  The research paper and presentation are typically developed during ESYS 190B in Spring Quarter.

Faculty Mentorship

Students will identify a faculty member to oversee the Senior Project. The student will sign up for the 190A section associated with their faculty mentor. Students and faculty will meet on an ongoing basis to design and develop the focus and deliverables for the Senior Project. Oversight and coordination of Senior Project faculty mentorships will be provided by the ESYS Program advisors. For an outline of the responsiblities of Faculty Mentors, click here.

Internship Site Supervisors

Often, many Seniors will have supervisors on-site at their internships.  These supervisors oversee the day-to-day responsibilities of the student and are a critical part of internship experience.  The site supervisors provide much of the direct contact, hands-on guidance, and training students will receive.  Occasionally, a Faculty Mentor will also act in the role of Site Supervisor.  For a description of the duties of Site Supervisors, click here.

Senior Project Deliverables

The deliverables for the Senior Project will include a twenty-five page paper and graphical material for a presentation. Students should be working on both of these deliverables while in the ESYS 190A sequence, but they can be developed and completed in the ESYS 190B seminar in Spring Quarter.

Submitting an Internship Contract Learning Agreement

  1. Log into InternLink using Student SSO: http://aipinternlink.ucsd.edu/
  2. Fill out all sections and include the given information in the following sections:
    1. Program: Environmental Systems Senior Project
    2. Organization/Position: If the organization is not in the system, enter in the name of the organization into the “New Organization” field
    3. Academic Course: ESYS 190A

*The Learning Agreement can be saved as-you-go, please don’t start a new learning agreement if you need to fill it out over multiple sessions.

  1. Print your saved Learning Agreement
    1. Use the keyboard shortcut for printing if the print button does not appear
      1. PC: Control + P
      2. Mac: Command + P
    2. Submit the electronic version of your Learning Agreement to indicate that you are gathering signatures once it is complete.
    3. Sign your Learning Agreement and gather signatures from your internship Site Supervisor and your UCSD Faculty Mentor.
    4. Submit the signed copy of your Learning Agreement to the ESYS undergraduate advising office.

Evaluation Forms

There are two evaluation forms associated with the internship portion of ESYS 190A. These include:

Both of these forms must be completed by the Student, the Internship Supervisor and the Faculty Mentor and approved by the ESYS Associate Director. 

The ESYS Student Affairs Advisor will provide a schedule for the completion of these forms and evaluations. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the necessary paperwork to earn credit for the 190A series.

Contact Info

Galbraith Hall, 3rd Floor, Rooms 365-368
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093


Office Hours
8am-12pm &

Walk-in Advising:
Mon-Thurs: 10-11:30am & 1:30-3pm

*Tuesday hours will take place at the SIO Campus, Eckart 211*


Current UCSD students: 
Please submit your questions via the VAC. An advisor will respond to you within 1-3 business days.