The Senior Capstone (PDF) in international studies is the culmination of your major. It should demonstrate your ability to research and analyze an important issue in ways that:

  • Reflect your training in one of the thematic tracks
  • Utilize insights from more than one discipline
  • Employ relevant evidence and examples from the primary geographic focus of your studies
  • Use comparison — across time, across regions, across countries, across cultures — to situate that issue and your primary geographic area within a broader context

Details About the Senior Capstone

A successful senior capstone is an independent research paper of 20 to 30 pages in length written in consultation with one or more faculty members. Quantity does not equal quality. You are especially encouraged to use sources in the language(s) that you have studied. 

The senior capstone research proposal and bibliography is produced as an assignment within the Senior Seminar (INST 401) during the fall semester. That assignment serves as a description of the topic, and any substantial changes to your proposed topic must be approved by the department chair. 

The Senior Capstone will be due mid-February. You must submit digital copies of the following two items:

  • A copy of your project, including a preface of 2-3 pages that explains how comps draw on ideas and coursework from your thematic track, off-campus study and knowledge of a foreign language. The preface should also mention any faculty with whom you consulted for the project. The preface does not count as part of your capstone exercise.
  • A completed checklist of your track within international studies, clearly documenting that you have completed all of the required coursework for the major.

Recent Examples:

  • "Sustainable Agriculture: The Key to Fighting Hunger and Environmental Degradation"
  • "Environmental Non-Governmental Organization: Preservation of Local Communities"
  • "Urban Renovation, Shrinking of Public Space and Street Protests in Amman"
  • "Gender Roles of Women in Fascist Spain and the Lasting Impact of Franco"
  • "A Comparison of Refugee Legislation and Treatment in Botswana and Canada"
  • "Citizenship and Nationhood: A Case Study of Immigrants in France and Germany"
  • "Visibilizing Blackness: Unearthing Afro-Chilean Identity and Reframing Discussions on Chilean Immigration Policy"
  • "Effects of Threat of Removal and Increased ICE enforcement on Mexican and Central American Undocumented Immigrants"