Capstone

Capstone Requirement

To graduate with the designation of “SAS Honors Scholar” an SAS Honors Program student must complete a set of requirements, one of which is the Capstone.  

We strongly encourage students to complete their capstone in their senior year.  Certain circumstances may warrant students to begin their capstone in their junior year.  These students should speak with their Honors Dean to discuss their plans

Students are encouraged to begin thinking about plans for the Capstone no later than spring of the Junior year. A good preparation for the Capstone (particularly for students planning to write a thesis) is Introduction to the Thesis, a 1-credit course (01:090:391, 392). This course can be taken in the fall or spring of a student's Junior year.

For all options, work completed to satisfy the Capstone Requirement:

  • Must be carried out over two semesters, and must total a minimum of 6 credits (3 credits per semester). Six credits completed in one semester is not permitted.
  • Must involve a substantial, sustained, and original writing/research component
  • Must include a bibliography of the relevant scholarly literature
  • Must be supervised by an approved faculty advisor

ATTENTION JUNIORS: All SASHP students are required to submit the SAS Honors Program Online Capstone Form by June 15 of their junior year. 

Note: Submission of the SAS Honors Program Online Capstone Form is required in addition to any paperwork required by a department or program for each of the options below.

Approved Options

Option A: Departmental Honors

Completion of a senior honors thesis through Departmental Honors within the major department – for information, visit the Departmental Honors Listings.
Note: the departmental honors programs of some departments – e.g., Computer Science, Economics, Philosophy– offer variations on a standard thesis that are important to understand; please review the information on those department websites, and then contact your Honors Dean for further discussion.

*Funding is available in support of research through the Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates.

All SAS students who are completing a department-based honors thesis or an SAS Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis will be designated as SAS Paul Robeson Scholars. SAS Paul Robeson Scholars will be eligible for extended library borrowing privileges and for nomination for consideration for a Henry Rutgers Thesis Award.

Option B: Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis

Completion of the SAS Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis – for information, go to http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu/academics/additional-academic-programs/thesis-programs#interdisciplinary.

All students completing an IHT are expected to present their research at the annual IHT conference in April.

*Funding is available in support of research through the Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates.

All SAS students who are completing a department-based honors thesis or an SAS Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis will be designated as SAS Paul Robeson Scholars. SAS Paul Robeson Scholars will be eligible for extended library borrowing privileges and for nomination for consideration for a Henry Rutgers Thesis Award.  

Option C: Two Graduate Level Courses

Completion of two graduate level courses (non-hybrid; non on-line) in the same department or program; requires prior permission of instructor and approval of department graduate director, and clearance by an Honors Program dean.

Students must submit the Graduate Request Form available at to the SAS Office of Academic Services. See note below regarding completion of scholarly report.

A student completing Options C, D, or E must write a scholarly analytic report (18-25 pages) about the work in the two courses or experience in the program.  This report is designed to allow students to reflect on their Capstone coursework and/or experiences, to expand their knowledge of the field, and to enrich their engagement with the topic or experience.  

This report is meant to be academic, intellectual, and professional, and to address the following:

  • An explanation of the choice to complete the Capstone Requirement using Options C, D, or E (as opposed to writing a Departmental or Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis);
  • A statement about the focus (or foci) of the work;
  • A bibliography and survey of the scholarly literature pertaining to the coursework or experience
  • An analysis of the "outcomes" of the work completed, including data sets; results, and knowledge gained; and
  • Answers to the following questions:
  • How did work in the two courses or experience in the program enhance/enrich the student’s undergraduate studies?
  • What were the key issues or scholarly challenges that the student mastered as a result of taking the two courses or as a result of participation in the program

The report will be due at the end of the semester in which the student completes the second course or completes the program, and will be reviewed by the student’s faculty advisor. In all cases, students pursuing capstone work should be in touch early with their Honors Dean for detailed advising regarding options and requirements.  Students can also view these sample Scholarly Analytic Reports.

Option D: Professional Graduate Program

Enrollment in a Rutgers program that combines undergraduate and graduate coursework and culminates in a graduate degree. The seven-year BA/MD program, Phase II of Access Med, and programs offered through the Graduate School of Education are among those which can be used for this option. Coursework must be taken in consecutive semesters.

A student completing Options C, D, or E must write a scholarly analytic report (18-25 pages) about the work in the two courses or experience in the program.  This report is designed to allow students to reflect on their Capstone coursework and/or experiences, to expand their knowledge of the field, and to enrich their engagement with the topic or experience.  

This report is meant to be academic, intellectual, and professional, and to address the following:

  • An explanation of the choice to complete the Capstone Requirement using Options C, D, or E (as opposed to writing a Departmental or Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis);
  • A statement about the focus (or foci) of the work;
  • A bibliography and survey of the scholarly literature pertaining to the coursework or experience
  • An analysis of the "outcomes" of the work completed, including data sets; results, and knowledge gained; and
  • Answers to the following questions:
  • How did work in the two courses or experience in the program enhance/enrich the student’s undergraduate studies?
  • What were the key issues or scholarly challenges that the student mastered as a result of taking the two courses or as a result of participation in the program

The report will be due at the end of the semester in which the student completes the second course or completes the program, and will be reviewed by the student’s faculty advisor. In all cases, students pursuing capstone work should be in touch early with their Honors Dean for detailed advising regarding options and requirements.  Students can also view these sample Scholarly Analytic Reports.

Option E: Professional, Certificate, Service-Learning, Field Placement, Internship

Completion of a two-semester professional, certificate, or 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. The total credits earned must be at least 6.

Examples (non-exhaustive and for illustration only) of programs and departments which offer possible experiences that would satisfy Option E are the School of Social Work, the Institute for Women’s Leadership, The Collaborative (Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships), the Eagleton Institute of Politics, the Undergraduate Certificate in Computational Genetics, History Public/General History Internships, and Health Administration and Public Health Internships.

A student completing Options C, D, or E must write a scholarly analytic report (18-25 pages) about the work in the two courses or experience in the program.  This report is designed to allow students to reflect on their Capstone coursework and/or experiences, to expand their knowledge of the field, and to enrich their engagement with the topic or experience.  

This report is meant to be academic, intellectual, and professional, and to address the following:

  • An explanation of the choice to complete the Capstone Requirement using Options C, D, or E (as opposed to writing a Departmental or Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis);
  • A statement about the focus (or foci) of the work;
  • A bibliography and survey of the scholarly literature pertaining to the coursework or experience
  • An analysis of the "outcomes" of the work completed, including data sets; results, and knowledge gained; and
  • Answers to the following questions:
  • How did work in the two courses or experience in the program enhance/enrich the student’s undergraduate studies?
  • What were the key issues or scholarly challenges that the student mastered as a result of taking the two courses or as a result of participation in the program

The report will be due at the end of the semester in which the student completes the second course or completes the program, and will be reviewed by the student’s faculty advisor. In all cases, students pursuing capstone work should be in touch early with their Honors Dean for detailed advising regarding options and requirements.  Students can also view these sample Scholarly Analytic Reports.