All undergraduates must complete a capstone course during their last 45 hours of study. Capstone courses should ordinarily be selected from among those designated by the student’s major department or degree program.
All departments and programs shall designate at least one course to serve as a capstone experience for their majors.
Please contact an academic advisor in your field of study for more information on specific requirements.
The Capstone Experience: A Definition
The undergraduate capstone experience is designed to bring reflection and focus to the whole of the college experience. It should encourage students to integrate facets of their area of concentration with important concepts from related disciplines.
This culminating college experience should focus on some feature of the student’s area of concentration and should require the disciplined use of skills, methodology, and knowledge taught throughout the undergraduate curriculum.
Examples of possible capstone experiences include (but are not limited to) the following:
- A senior seminar that requires a major project.
- An undergraduate thesis.
- A semester project that culminates in a paper, essay, presentation or similar product.
- An internship to investigate a problem in the workplace, and a paper that asks students to analyze and evaluate the experience.
- A performance, show or recital appropriate to the discipline, together with relevant supporting assignments.
- Capstone experiences of all such descriptions will normally be embodied in an academic course.
The general education program requires students pursuing double majors or dual degrees to complete a single capstone course in the program of their choice. Individual departments and degree programs may, however, on their own initiative, require completion of their particular capstone course for all their majors. To receive credit for taking a capstone course, students must earn a grade in the C-range or better.
- The nature of the academic work should fall within the purview of the student’s area of concentration, but should also draw upon knowledge acquired during the entirety of the student’s education. Investigations should use methods appropriate to the student’s area of concentration. The modes of teaching and learning may include individual or group work, oral reports, written reports and essays, laboratory or field experiences, or any of a variety of methods appropriate to the academic discipline.
- Both the quality of the product of the student’s investigation and the process of presentation should be evaluated.
- Capstone courses should be completed during the student’s last 45 hours of coursework.
- Course Parameters
- Capstone experiences should be organized so that no teacher has more than 25 students in a class in order to allow for active participation by each student and feedback by the teacher. Capstone courses should be taught by full-time faculty.