Capstone

An important part of the individualized major is the capstone, in which you integrate the knowledge that you acquire during the course of your studies.

You may fulfill the capstone in one of three ways:

  • Capstone Course
  • Thesis project
  • Approved alternative capstone

Capstone Course

UNIV 4600W Capstone Course provides an intellectual space in which you can integrate what you have learned during your academic journey. The primary vessel for this integration is a research essay in which you explore a problem or question central to your major. There are opportunities for reflection on what you have achieved in the individualized major, as well, and practice of skills, like making presentations, which will facilitate your transition to post-collegiate life.

Thesis Project

A thesis project is most often a lengthy written study, but other forms are also possible, such as a photo essay, a piece of fiction, or a collection of poetry. Your thesis should develop new knowledge or practice, involve significant background research, require sustained attention in the implementation of the project, and result in a piece of written work that documents the learning process.

  • An honors thesis in the Individualized Major must consist of at least six credits, typically completed over the course of two (sometimes three) semesters.
  • A non-honors thesis may be either three or six credits.
  • If you intend to complete a thesis, you must submit a thesis proposal to the Individualized Major Program by the last day of classes of the semester before you intend to begin your thesis, typically the spring semester of your junior year.

For detailed information and advice on the thesis, please see the Thesis Guide.

For additional requirements for Honors thesis-writers, please see the Honors in IMJR page of this website.

Course registration for the thesis

  • A six-credit thesis typically consists of an independent study with your thesis supervisor during the fall semester. During the spring semester, you will enroll in UNIV 4697W Senior Thesis, for which your thesis supervisor is the instructor.
  • A three-credit thesis consists of UNIV 4697W only.
  • To register for UNIV 4697W, you must use the “Add a Course” form on Registrar’s website. This is an online form.
    • On this form, you will need to select a subject (University-UNIV) and select a course (4697W). Leave the section number blank.
    • For instructor, fill in the name of your thesis supervisor.
    • For advisor, fill in either your primary faculty advisor or the IMJR director (Monica van Beusekom).
    • When this form routes to your thesis supervisor for their approval, they will be asked to fill in the department head. They should list the IMJR director (Monica van Beusekom) as department head since she serves as department head for UNIV 4697W. They should not fill in their own department head. Please be sure to email your thesis supervisor separately to let them know that they must fill in Monica van Beusekom as department head.
    • Please remember that we must have your Thesis Proposal Form on file before we will approve enrollment in UNIV 4697W.

Approved Alternative Capstone

Departmental senior seminars or other advanced courses that provide you with the opportunity to integrate the themes of your individualized major may also qualify as a capstone.

If you are pursuing a double major or an additional degree, you may be able to satisfy the capstone requirement with a capstone course or thesis in your other major/degree if it allows you to explore the theme of your individualized major.

Note: You must get advance approval from the IMJR director and your primary advisor to pursue an alternative capstone.