The course requires students to apply and synthesize the methods, data analysis and theories they have learned across course curricula, and develop a signature research project on a topic of their choosing. Each unique project will build on a literature review, community needs analysis, or equivalent assessment of existing knowledge on the topic. Students share their final projects in class before submitting their work to the college library repository.

Requirements

Although each course section may vary in layout and form (depending on the instructor), the basic requirements of a capstone course will typically include:

  • Defining a research problem.
  • Developing a research proposal, including a methods section that specifies how research will be carried out.
  • Producing a literature review.
  • Conducting research (library or empirical) and writing up findings.

As of Fall 2019, Liberal Studies majors are required to take Junior Seminar the semester prior to registering for Senior Seminar. The course provides students with a roadmap for designing and conducting their research projects in an interactive environment. Hybrid designation for capstone courses indicates that class meetings alternate with individual one-on-one meetings with the instructor. 

Prerequisites

Students must be receive a C- or higher in college writing in order to enroll in the capstone in their senior year.

Please note: If you are double-majoring in another degree program in which a senior project is available, you must complete that senior project rather than enroll in a senior capstone course.

Sample Capstones

Peter Tedesco

 
Queering Cartoons: Steven Universe
By Peter Tedesco 

Steven Universe ​is the first show to present queer relationships, gender nonconformity, and non-binary characters as the main focus of a children’s program. It presents the dense subject of identity politics in the non-threatening format of a children’s cartoon. For the first time ever American society has reached a point where these topics are socially acceptable to present on a mainstream program. Research was conducted through analysis of gender roles in children’s programs throughout the past thirty years in comparison of recent representation and reception of non-heteronormative characters as well as applying queer theory to the subject matter of ​Steven Universe​. Findings of research show that children’s programming has been evolving toward more progressive gender roles as well a non-heteronormative representation slowly. However, ​Steven Universe​ is the first to present a variety of queer identities so blatantly with such positive reception.