Information for Students

2018 Undergraduate Symposium Group Photo

Abstract Guidelines

For general submission to the Simmons Undergraduate Symposium, abstracts should follow these guidelines. Students submitting work in the performing, visual, or media arts should submit an artist's statement incorporating these criteria, in addition to a short performance preview or a selection of the images to be presented. Abstract and artist statements should not exceed 250 words.

  • State, in clear terms, the central thesis or goals.
  • Avoid the overuse of technical jargon (should be understandable to people outside of your discipline).
  • Provide a brief discussion of the process or methodology used.
  • Primary data or progress-to-date is acceptable for abstract submission.
  • State the project signi´Čücance and/or conclusions in context.
  • Organize your abstract in a clear and concise narrative.

Additional Resources:


Early Action Deadline: November 16, 2018
Applicants will be notified by December 7, 2019.

Regular Deadline: March 1, 2019
Applicants will be notified by March 15, 2019.

The deadline for early action submissions has passedWe will begin accepting submissions for the March 1 deadline in mid-January.   Read the instructions in the How to Apply accordion (below) to prepare your submission.


All undergraduate students with good academic standing are eligible to participate in the Undergraduate Symposium and are encouraged to submit work for consideration. Students are required to have a faculty sponsor who will agree to recommend the project and assist with the abstract submission and presentation components of the symposium.


The Undergraduate Symposium welcomes submissions across the disciplines, in a variety of formats. Students typically present their work in one of two ways:

  • Individual or Group Panel Presentation
  • Individual or Group Poster Exhibit

Panel sessions are typically one-hour long themed panels with individuals or groups presenting for 10 - 15 minutes each, followed by a brief audience Q&A.

Poster Exhibits offer students an opportunity to present their work visually and to engage in conversation with symposium attendees. Poster exhibits are often represented by traditional posters, but may also include visual artistic work, such as photography, painting, and mixed media, or other non-traditional entries, such as film or animation.

In addition to panel and poster sessions, we welcome submissions in the performing and media arts. For more information, email

How To Apply

Ready to participate? Here's what you need to do:

  • Choose a project!
  • Discuss your intention to enter your project with your faculty mentor. Your faculty mentor will need to recommend your project and approve your abstract.
  • Write a short project overview (50 words max) and an abstract or an artist's statement (250 words max).
  • For artistic or non-traditional entries, prepare a supplementary portfolio sample or short video clip that represents your work.

*Note: If you are a member of a group, submit only one project proposal per group.

The deadline for early action submissions has passed.  The submission form for the March 1 deadline will be available mid-January.

Poster Guidelines

Standard poster dimensions are in landscape or portrait layout, and are typically 24" x 36". Your poster should include:

  • A title
  • Your name (with the names of group members, if applicable), contributor names, institution name, and faculty mentor name

Posters displaying work in the physical, biological, or social sciences typically include the following:

  • Brief project introduction
  • Method (subjects, procedure)
  • Outcomes
  • Discussion
  • Illustrations (tabular and/or graphic) that support major points

Your poster design can be creative and may and incorporate color, images, graphic elements, diagrams, and so forth. As you design your poster, keep in mind the audience, which may include people who are unfamiliar with your discipline and subject. Because people will initially view your poster in passing, your heading and sub-heading should be brief and attention-grabbing.

Avoid using lengthy technical jargon or overwhelming observers with too much text. You will be able to elaborate on the finer points of your project with exhibit attendees interested in learning more about your work.

Printing and Materials

Posters must be affixed to a rigid backing, such as a foam board. Participants in the poster exhibit will be provided with a standing easel and one 24" x 36" foam board.

Students may procure one complimentary (24" x 36") foam board from the Simmons Copy Mail Center; foam boards in other sizes may be purchased from art supply stores, such as Blicks or Staples.

Students are responsible for printing costs associated with their presentation. The Copy Mail Center will accept poster print requests for the Undergraduate Symposium until April 16, 2019. To submit your print request:

  • In the subject line of your email, please include "Poster Order: (Your Name)", including the names of any group members. In the body of the message, include the project title and poster size.
  • Standard poster dimensions are in landscape or portrait layout. The recommended dimensions for your poster are 24 in. x 36 in. Dimensions may vary, but keep in mind that there will be several easels per exhibit row and minimal space between easels; as such, the maximum width of the poster should not exceed 36 in.
  • All attachments should be in PDF format.
  • When converting from PPT to PDF, please ensure that the Design Layout Dimensions reflect 24" x 36" landscape criteria.
  • Save and name your file: Symposium Poster Presentation_[Your Name]
  • Email your request to and

Please note that the Copy Mail Center is very busy at that time of the year with printing requests, so do not wait until the last minute to submit your request. The Copy Mail Center will accept symposium printing requests until April 16.