Capstone Project and Thesis

Students who have been approved to write a Thesis as their culminating project, will conceptualize, research and write, under the supervision of a selected faculty member, a ca. 10,000-word piece of work featuring original research.

Capstone Project Process

Meet with the Program Advisor

At the very beginning of the term preceding that in which the Thesis is to be researched and written, meet with the Program’s Deputy Director/Advisor to discuss your plan and to seek the Program’s approval to pursue this track. You will be expected to have a GPA of 3.7 and ideally to have written a substantial research paper that can be revised and expanded into a thesis. Once you have secured the Program’s approval to pursue the thesis track, seek the agreement of a selected faculty member to be your Thesis Advisor, and begin preparatory work for the project under his/her guidance.


In consultation with your Thesis Advisor, write a ca.1200-word Thesis Proposal in which you (a) present a thesis question(s) and explain how they relate to existing scholarly discussions of the proposed topic, (b) discuss your proposed research methodology, and (c) discuss anticipated key arguments or findings. In addition, construct a separate research bibliography. The purpose of the proposal and bibliography is to document that you are on track to conduct a tenable scholarly project.

Submission for Approval

The Thesis Proposal and bibliography must be submitted to the Program’s Director for approval by the end of the term before that in which the thesis will be written (May 20 for a Fall Term Thesis and December 10 for one to be written in the Spring Term). Once approved, the signed proposal is deposited with the Program, and you will be cleared to enroll in the Thesis Supervision course under the supervision of your selected Advisor (typically in your last term in the Program). Research involving human subjects (e.g. ethnography, interviews) requires Internal Review Board (IRB) approval.  

Depositing your Thesis

Before depositing, your Thesis must be signed off by your Thesis Advisor and, three working days before the deadline for depositing, by program Director. For instructions on formatting the thesis and on procedures and deadlines for depositing it, see the Mina Rees Library Dissertations and Theses Page. Make sure you review the instructions and begin the process of depositing at least two weeks before the deadline. In addition, you may set up a preliminary review meeting at the Library’s Dissertation Office (room 2304).

Deposit Deadlines

For Degree Date Enrollment Required Deposit Required By
February 1 Preceding Fall term Last business day in January
May/June Commencement Spring term April 30
October 1 Preceding Spring term September 15