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Business Management

Senior Capstone

An intensive research project on a topic of the student’s choice, researched and completed in close consultation with a faculty advisor.

Successful capstones demonstrate extensive research, critical thinking, careful analysis, and clear and effective writing. There is no set length, but most capstones are at least 50 pages long.

Before senior year

In spring of your junior year, you’ll attend a capstone info session. Before and after that, you’re encouraged to speak with your professors and especially your advisor, and reflect on what career or business area you are most interested in preparing yourself for. Capstones are most useful when they are aligned with your career goals.

(For instance, your capstone research might include interviews with professionals in a particular industry or business area. Why not view those interviews as networking opportunities, stepping-stones to a job offer?)

Three capstone tracks

There are three tracks for the Senior Capstone Experience (SCE): the Strategy capstone, the Business Plan, and the special topic. (Download the SCE guidelines at right for detailed information on each track.)

Strategy Capstone

The most popular track. You’ll do an intensive strategic analysis of a publicly traded firm, drawing on recent information about the firm’s operations, decisions, and bottom line. You’ll study the firm and its competitive environment. You’ll analyze a lot of data, come up with a solid understanding of the firm’s strategic situation, and write this up in clear, effective prose.

Business Plan Capstone

A great choice for students who wish to start a business. You’ll work closely with a faculty advisor on developing your own business plan, doing all the research necessary on market opportunities, financing options, operations, and more.

Special-Topic Capstone

If you’ve got a special interest in a particular area like leadership, information systems, or marketing, a special-topic capstone lets you do independent research, closely supervised by a faculty advisor, in that area.

Capstone research

Miller Library offers extensive assistance to students conducting capstone research.

Double majors

Students pursuing double majors are encouraged to write integrated Capstones for both majors. This requires planning beginning in the junior year. When faced with timelines from two departments, students should expect earlier ones to take precedence. Double majors can only earn four total SCE credits, even if they write two Capstones.

Credit and grading

To complete the Capstone seniors are enrolled in the 4-credit Senior Capstone Experience (BUS SCE) course, usually for the spring. The Capstone receives a mark of Pass, Fail, or Honors.

The last step

The last step in the capstone process is to submit your final, approved version to the library, as a single Word or pdf file, by emailing it to sce@washcoll.edu. With this step your work becomes true scholarship, able to be shared with the whole world.