Faculty  Majors  Honors
Self-Determined Majors

Self-determined major final project

Final Projects

A well-designed and successfully executed final project is the culminating capstone experience of the major. The final project must be done during the student's senior year of study and must integrate the various components of the student's Self-Determined Major. The final project takes the form of an Independent Study (ID 371, 372). On rare occasions, other courses, such as Professional Internship (399) or a senior-year seminar (if it includes a major project of an appropriate nature) may fulfill the final project requirement with the approval of the Self-Determined Majors Advisory Board. Every final project must have two faculty readers, at least one of whom functions as the instructor of record who is the "instructor" for the Independent Study and is responsible for assigning the grade for the final project.

How is the final project developed and approved?

Prior to undertaking the final project, the student must submit a formal proposal for the final project to the SDM Advisory Board and must receive approval of the proposal before registration. At that time, the student must also submit the names of the two readers or evaluators of the final project. (The student must select the latter from outside the department of the course) instructor and may, with Advisory Board approval, select this person from outside the College. SDM advisors may also act as readers. The description should be approximately six pages; must describe the final project clearly and precisely, including methodology, purpose, and goal; and present a preliminary annotated bibliography. If the SDM Advisory Board has not received the final project proposal prior to the student's registration in the course, the student's program will be in jeopardy and may be canceled. Both readers must submit comments on the proposal when the student submits the final copy of the proposal to the SDM Program Director. In addition to the evaluation of final projects by the faculty sponsors, the SDM Program Director reviews each completed project to confirm that the project fulfills the plan approved by the SDM Advisory Board. 

A one-credit course (ID 351A) is offered in the fall of the senior year that is designed to guide the student in writing the final project proposal, including the annotated bibliography. Students will also gather all readings and other pertinent material required for the spring semester ID 372 Final Project. The student is responsible for submitting copies of the completed final  project to his or her readers no later than two weeks prior to the end of classes during the term of study in which he or she is registered to complete the project. The readers must then submit their comments and evaluations to the SDM Advisory Board by the beginning of the final examination week for the term.