The Honors Capstone Project Report (previously called “Thesis”) is a written manuscript that presents a piece of original scholarship conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor. For most Honors students, completion of the Honors Capstone Project will be the climax of their college careers. Working on a capstone project provides ways of developing the ability to investigate a problem and to do serious writing, research, or creative work that will provide a foundation for work in their chosen profession.
By completing an Honors Capstone Project, students will develop knowledge, skills and initiative that are essential to meet future challenges. Students will develop self-knowledge and new personal resources. When students are pushed to the limit of your energy and creativity, they will discover new ways of addressing problems and organizing time. This training is invaluable and students will often look back to realize just how much difference it made in their professional preparation.
In addition to independent work, the Honors Capstone project involves a close relationship between the student and a capstone project advisor/mentor, particularly with the mentor supervising the student’s scholarly work. Such sustained interpersonal interaction contributes greatly to the quality of the experience, leads to more intimate and informative letters of recommendation, and sometimes leads to lifelong professional relationships.
Typically, preparation for the Honors Capstone Project starts in the junior year and finishes in the senior year. In the spring semester of a student’s junior year, students find an advisor/mentor and write a proposal for their project which must be approved by an independent reviewer and the program director. Students then conduct research or scholarship for their project, usually into the Fall semester of their senior year. Students write up the project and present their work at the RAPS conference in the spring semester, as they graduate with their Honors Program designation.
The Honors Capstone Project process is documented in several Honors Program handbooks (Student Handbook, Mentor Handbook, Guide to Capstone Projects), which include important timelines, formatting, and forms. Below are links to the Mentor Handbook, Guide to Capstone Project Proposals and Reports, and Capstone Project Forms and templates.