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Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience is an independent research project, on a topic of the student’s choosing, undertaken with the close guidance of a faculty thesis advisor.

Each student defines a problem or question he or she is interested in investigating and then utilizes a wide range of knowledge and skills gained from previous coursework to answer that question through the completion of a senior thesis.

Students begin to develop a research topic and proposal in their Research Methods in Sociology course (SOC 306), typically taken in the second semester of their junior year.

Work on the Capstone is also supported by some of the work of two courses, SOC 001-002: Senior Seminar, taken in the two semesters of the senior year. Students meet regularly with their faculty advisors as well as fellow students in the senior seminar to discuss their research and writing processes. The year concludes with a formal presentation of the completed research. The Capstone is graded by the department faculty as Honors, Pass, or Fail and successful projects are published on the Miller Library’s web site.

Some recent projects include:

  • “Why Are We Famous?: Michael Jackson, the Media, and the Emergence of the Postmodern Celebrity”
  • “Violence in American Schools: A Strategic Analysis of the Causes of Adolescent Violence”
  • “Social Disorganization in Mexico: Crime and Violence of Mexican Cartels Along the Border”
  • “Living with Type I Diabetes: An Examination of the Chronic Illness Experience and Self”
  • “Implicit and Explicit Racism: White Students’ Reactions Towards Interracial Couples”
  • “Fashion Statement: How Fashion Advertisements Affect the Body Image of Females in America”
  • “Can Assisted Living Care Replace the Family?”