Schedler Honors College Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is a requirement of all honors students who are completing the honors interdisciplinary studies minor through the Schedler Honors College. Two of the five courses required by the honors minor are dedicated to completion of the Capstone Project. Through the Capstone Project, honors students are challenged to take ownership of their educational experience; communicate logically and effectively; evaluate how content is shaped by the context in which it was created; formulate and develop meaningful claims supported by reason and evidence; and integrate diverse knowledge, perspectives, and skills.

Types of Capstone Projects

The Honors Capstone Project may take many different forms. It can be interdisciplinary research in the form of a traditional thesis, but it could also be creative writing, fundamental research, an innovative curriculum, a performance, an artistic creation, or a substantive service project. Regardless of the type of project, the student must provide both a written and oral presentation. The types of activity that can satisfy the Honors Capstone Project requirement are listed next.


Traditional Honors College Thesis Project

This type is often called the “classic” Honors Interdisciplinary thesis. A thesis of this nature generally consists of five parts: (1) an introduction to the topic, (2) a review of relevant literature, (3) the proposed methodology or design of the project, (4) the results, and (5) the analysis, explanations, and relevance of assertions being made about the topic. Because the traditional Honors College thesis is interdisciplinary, the project must integrate diverse knowledge, perspectives, and skills into arguments and strategies.


Departmental Thesis Project

A student may opt to follow her own major department protocols in partial fulfillment of the Honors Capstone Project. Students will carefully investigate options in Oxford Tutorial before deciding to undertake a Departmental Thesis Project. That decision should include consulting with the department’s chair and faculty members. Note that some departments do not currently have Honors in the Majors protocols for undergraduate thesis writers.

Students choosing this option are still required to take and fulfill requirements of the Honors Capstone Course, but Honors College requirements will not impinge on the rules required by the student’s home department. Whatever classes or protocols are required for completion of the departmental thesis will automatically be accepted by the Schedler Honors College in partial fulfillment of the Honors Capstone Project requirements.


Creative Project

Some Schedler Honors College students select creative projects to fulfill the capstone requirements. Creative projects may include producing an original literary or musical composition, painting, film, sculpture, photography exhibit and photo essay, or other art form. Like the Traditional Honors College Thesis Project or the Departmental Thesis Project, creative projects require long-range planning and careful adherence to deadlines. They also require carefully researched proposals written in the tutorial semester that situate them alongside other creative projects of similar dimension or scope. The form or medium of the creative project must be acceptable to the mentor and relevant disciplines from which it is drawn.

Preliminary research may explore the relevant influence or influences on the work at hand, common themes inherent in similar projects, or the treatment of historical periods to which the project relates. Although the project is creative, original work, the student should display mastery of existing, applicable scholarship or practice in the field or fields under investigation (See Appendix E in the Capstone Handbook for additional guidelines).


Experiential Project

Some Schedler Honors College students select experiential projects to fulfill the capstone requirements. Experiential projects may include developing a business plan, founding a student organization, developing a curriculum, or fulfilling a community need. Like with other Capstone projects, long-range planning and careful adherence to deadlines is required. Experiential projects will require carefully researched proposals written in the tutorial semester that situate them alongside other experiential projects of similar dimension or scope. The form or medium of the project must be acceptable to the mentor and relevant disciplines from which it is drawn.

Preliminary research may explore the relevant influence or influences on the work at hand, common themes inherent in similar projects, or the pedagogical focus or tools through which the original idea came into being. Although the project is an original work, the student is expected to display mastery of existing, applicable scholarship or practice in the field or fields under investigation (See Appendix F in the Capstone Handbook for additional guidelines).


Honors Dual Capstone/Thesis Projects

If a Schedler Honors College student chooses to do a Departmental Thesis Project in addition to the Honors Capstone Project, the two projects must be different. While the Schedler Honors College accepts Capstone Projects that rely on the same body of research as the student’s Departmental Thesis Project, the two projects must have different frameworks that place the subject matter in significantly different interpretive contexts. While they may share primary sources and literature reviews, the two projects may not share the same purpose nor borrow from one another word for word.

Students planning to use the same body of research for Honors Dual Capstone/Thesis Projects must make sure to understand Departmental regulations concerning dual theses. Best practices are to arrange a meeting at the outset of the project between the interested Departmental faculty and the Schedler Honors College administration. In that discussion, questions can be explored about whether and how the two projects can meet specification for both the Schedler Honors College and the Department.


 

Capstone Project Handbook with Assessment & Grading Policies

Visit the Honors Portal to find capstone projects from previous students. The UCA Archives also contain information about previous capstone projects.