What is the Capstone Research Requirement?

  • This is a requirement that all majors complete an in-depth research paper as the "capstone" or culmination of their studies in STSC.
  • The capstone requirement can only be fulfilled in one of the last three semesters before graduation (after tne middle of junior year) in a 400-level class in the department.

How to FulFill the Capstone Requirement 

  • By taking any 400-level STSC (or HSOC) course. These courses all include guidance in writing a 20+ page paper of independent research as a course requirement. (This includes STSC 400.)


  • By completing a 400-level independent study (STSC 499)  that produces an independent research project of at least 20 pages or an equivalent project, approved by the STSC Chair or Associate Director. See the independent study page for additional details


  • Only a 400-level STSC (or HSOC) course or independent study (STSC 499) taken in the last three semesters before graduation fulfills the Capstone requirement. (400-level courses taken earlier may not be used as the capstone). 
  • The Capstone course cannot be double-counted within the major as a core, department or concentration course- it is a separate requirement. 
  • The Capstone paper – a 20+ page research paper - must receive a grade of at least C- to receive capstone credit.
  • The Capstone project is not the same as a "senior thesis" - please see the Senior Thesis page to understand the difference between the capstone paper and a senior honors thesis.