The Capstone Project is the culminating academic experience for all Honors College students.
Designed to reflect a student’s deep engagement with a specific discipline, question, or problem, the Capstone Project involves a substantial, sustained, and original writing, research, or performance requirement leading to at least 6 credits. The Capstone must include a bibliography of relevant scholarly literature, receive approval from the Honors College, and be supervised by an approved faculty adviser. To reflect the diversity of experiences available through the Honors College and to reflect the wide range of disciplinary specializations within the participating schools, there are six options for Capstone Projects available to Honors College students. The Capstone Project is a culminating project that generally occurs in the fourth year.
Note: The Capstone Proposal is due by June 1 of a student's junior year.
Six Options for Capstone Projects
Option 1: Departmental Honors
Students may choose to fulfill their capstone requirement by completing a senior honors thesis or project within their major-granting department or school. The Departmental Honors option must be supervised by a faculty adviser in the student’s major department and fulfill the individual department’s requirements for an honors thesis. Information on the available departmental majors through which a supervised thesis may be available can be found at nb.rutgers.edu/academics/academic-departments-programs. Some of these departmental options, such as Mathematics and Computer Science, may require a Scholarly Report. Students can contact their Honors College adviser for more information on the Departmental Honors option.
Option 2: School Based Honors Projects
Honors College students enrolled in schools with requirements for senior projects or experiences, such as the School of Engineering Senior Design Project or the Mason Gross School of the Arts Student Performance, must also complete a Scholarly Report.
Option 3: Honors College Interdisciplinary Thesis Projects
The Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis is a two-semester independent research project that culminates in a written thesis and an oral defense before a faculty committee. The Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis option is best for students who have an interest in a topic that spans more than one academic discipline or who are in a major that does not have a departmental honors program. The Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis is a minimum of 6-credits and typically takes the form of a scholarly monograph.
Option 4: Graduate Study
Undergraduate students can fulfill their capstone requirement by enrolling in two or more sequential or related graduate-level courses in the same department or program. Enrolling in graduate courses requires prior permission of the instructor and approval of the department's graduate director and the Honors College’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Students in the School of Arts and Sciences and Rutgers Business School who are interested in completing graduate courses for Capstone credit must submit the Graduate Request Form to the School of Arts and Sciences Office of Academic Services. Students enrolled in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences must visit that school's Academic Services Office to request permission to enroll in graduate courses. Engineering students in good academic standing must request permission to enroll in graduate courses through the Graduate Program Director. Mason Gross School of the Arts students must contact their Honors College Dean and the Mason Gross Office of Academic Services for approval. All students must complete a Scholarly Report in addition to the graduate coursework.
Option 5: Graduate Program Completion
Students who enroll in a Rutgers program that combines undergraduate and graduate coursework and culminates in multiple and distinct degrees can complete their Capstone by advancing into full-time graduate study. Programs offered through the Graduate School of Education and the seven-year BA/MD, among others, can be used for this option. Students who enroll in the seven-year BA/MD program will be assigned to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as their second capstone adviser. The PharmD program on its own does not fulfill this option. Coursework must be taken in consecutive semesters. This option requires a Scholarly Report.
Option 6: Experiential Capstone
Students can fulfill their Capstone requirement by completing an approved two-semester professional, certificate, or credit-bearing service learning experience, field placement, or internship under the supervision of a sponsoring department or academic unit. Only coursework completed through approved programs run by academic departments and university centers, bureaus, and institutes will be recognized. All students using this option must receive prior approval from the Honors College’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for their proposed course of study, this work must be a culminating experience and the student must earn at least 6-credits over two consecutive semesters. Examples of projects include programs in the Collaborative and the Institute for Women's Leadership. This option requires a Scholarly Report.
If you have any questions regarding the capstone requirement, please email Honors College Advising.