K student presenting her SIP

The Senior Integrated Project

MiaFlora ’23 presenting her SIP “Synthesis of Tripyridyl Ligands and their Mn(II) Complexes.”

What is the Senior Integrated Project? 

The Senior Integrated Project (SIP) is a capstone experience, akin to a senior thesis, required of all students that showcases the critical thinking, communication, time management, and creative skills they have gained at K. While exact requirements differ by department—which does not have to be the department you are majoring in—all SIPs consist of original work or research, culminating in a report, performance, display or reflection.   

You will have the freedom to design your own project—in partnership with your SIP advisor—that aligns with your personal and professional interests. Travel to an archeological site and participate in a dig, create your own art installation, research epigenetics, or create a plan to reduce food scarcity; the options are endless! 

Over the course of a term or two, often paired with a summer research experience or internship in industry, you will dive deep into your project. Then in the spring of your senior year, the College will celebrate your accomplishments at various SIP symposiums on campus where you will present your work to your professors, classmates, friends and family. 

Nikoli Nickson ’21 presenting his SIP, “Citizen Science: Southwest Michigan Bee Watch,” where he recruited and tested the efficacy of volunteer networks in increasing bumble bee diversity.

The benefits of a Senior Integrated Project

Completing a SIP shows that you can successfully take a project from conception to implementation: independently identifying problems, gathering and analyzing information, coming up with solutions, and effectively communicating your findings with diverse audiences. These skills are extremely valuable and having your SIP as tangible proof of your ability goes a long way in setting you up for post-K success.  

Many students have also been able to directly leverage their SIPs into other meaningful opportunities, such as an academic publication, speaking at conferences, creating a professional portfolio, and even landing post-graduation jobs. 

What will you do for your SIP?

Gain professional experience

Lauren Crossman ’23

A political science major passionate about environmentalism, Lauren Crossman ’23 partnered with local businesses in downtown Kalamazoo to improve their sustainability practices for her SIP. From cocktail straws to packaging materials, Lauren researched and advocated for environmentally friendly business practices that would both reduce waste and save money. 

Create your own work

Rebecca Chan 22's poster for Unzipped

Rebecca Chan ‘22 used her SIP as an opportunity to write and create her own production, Unzipped, for K’s Festival Playhouse Senior Performance Series. The production—consisting of complete monologues and original music—explores perceptions of East Asians in the U.S. and her own experiences as a mixed-race, queer, Chinese American.

Conduct new research

Eli Edlefson '23 surveying local plants

As an Environmental Stewardship Fellow, Eli Edelfson ‘23 conducted his SIP a the College’s Lillian Anderson Arboretum surveying the interactions between local plants and pollinators. Eli used his findings to further promote biodiversity in the area through comprehensive recommendations on how to best manage the diverse mix of native plants.