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General Capstone Requirements

General Honors Capstone Requirements

Each University Honors Capstone Project must meet these general criteria. These criteria are to be judged by the faculty mentor.

UH Capstone Projects must demonstrate that the student:

  • Conducted scholarship that was largely independently driven (albeit under the mentorship of at least one faculty member). No group projects. No faculty-driven research projects where the student serves as research assistant (although a student-driven research project may emerge from this work)
  • Contextualizes the scholarship along two dimensions: the field of study and society. The project must address how the research fits within and helps to advance the field of study. It must also include a statement of how this research is of societal import or interest. Some types of research may require a longer causal chain to a direct societal impact. In such cases, students should discuss the potential import of their work even if that impact is distal or uncertain. The contextualization along these two dimensions should be written into a separate section entitled Contextualization of work within the manuscript.
  • Holds exceptional skill or knowledge in their chosen area of study. This “area” need not be a specialization within a major/discipline. A student could do an interdisciplinary piece of scholarship or scholarship outside their major
  • Makes an original scholarship contribution
  • Appropriately cites sources
  • Displays exceptional writing skills

In addition, the capstone project should be written up according to the style manual recommended by the advising faculty member. There is no length minimum or maximum. Students should consult with their faculty advisor to decide on the appropriate amount of writing required to accomplish the goals of the project and the above mentioned general capstone requirements. Generally projects fall into the 20-30 page range. But, again, these are not requirements. Consult with your faculty advisor. 

A note about using other projects to fulfill UH Capstone requirements

Scholarship that is conducted for other purposes can still be accepted for UH credit if the project also meets all of our above criteria. As such, the possibility exists a UH Capstone Project could double as a research project enacted via the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), a department level honors program, or other curricular requirements. The key is that the UH project meet the requirements listed above. Students and faculty are responsible for ensuring that the project meets the UH general criteria listed above.