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 SOC 491: Senior Seminar, taken in the first semester 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 and Honors level projects are published on the Miller Library’s web site.

Sam McCreary '19, presents her Senior Capstone Research.

Student Examples

"The Effect of Gender on Animal Product Consumption Opinions and Behaviors,"by Kelsey McNaul ' 19

"Photography Through the Social Lens: A Case of East Baltimore and Gentrification," by Danielle Lynch '19

"The Modern Athena: Full Gender Inclusion of the United States Military," a documentary film by Jack Butler '16 

 The Modern Athena: Full Gender Inclusion in the United States Military

Watch the Documentary here: The Modern Athena: Full Gender Inclusion in the United States Military

Student Conference Presentations

Regional conferences, like the Eastern Sociological Society, are an excellent opportunity for students to share their outstanding Senior Capstone research.

Sarah Kraus ’17 at the Eastern Sociological Society 2016 meeting in Boston, MA.

Christy Littlefield ’15 at the Eastern Sociology Society 2015 meeting in NYC.

Emma Craig ’17 with her Senior Capstone Project research poster.

Allie Grillo ’17 with her Senior Capstone Project research poster.

Kaitlyn Ecker, ’18, presents her Senior Capstone research at the 2018 Eastern Sociological Society annual meeting in Baltimore.

Sociology majors Rachel Martinez ’18, Emma Craig ’17, Allie Grillo ’17, and Emili Stopak ’17 (not pictured) participated in the 2017 Eastern Sociological Society annual meeting in Philadelpha, Pa.

“Attending and presenting my research at two sociology conferences has given me the opportunity to discuss my research with many experienced sociologists. These conversations have gotten me to think critically about my own work as well as about the real world impact that my research can have.”
 - Sarah Kraus, ’17

Student Testimonies