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Senior Capstone

The Senior Capstone Experience strengthens the student anthropologist’s ability to think critically and conduct research independently.


To develop independent-minded and self-selected research with the guidance of a faculty advisor. 

The Senior Capstone Experience in anthropology is a substantial research and writing project completed at the end of the student’s course of study. Involving active learning and integration of materials within the major, the project centers on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with a faculty member in this department. The project must be approved by the thesis advisor.

While the SCE is completed during the senior year, the initial proposal may be formulated at the end of the junior year under the thesis advisor’s supervision.

The SCE may be a thesis or a project. Projects include an oral history, a museum exhibit, an ethnographic film project, or a body of materials to be used in elementary or secondary schools. Each project is accompanied by a written document that discusses how the project was researched and carried out and addresses the importance of the project in terms of anthropological theory. A thesis will have a substantial theoretical focus but also may include any of the project forms.

Students will give an oral presentation of their work upon completion. The presentation may be made to faculty only, or student peers may be invited to participate. The oral presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

Double majors

Seniors contemplating a double major may undertake a larger project satisfying the requirements of both majors only with the consent of, and under the guidance of faculty teaching the two disciplines on this campus. Students may not undertake a triple major.