Senior Capstone

Senior Capstone Experience

A key requirement of the Discovery Program is the completion of one senior capstone experience, to be supervised and approved within the major.  All senior capstone experiences at UNH must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. The capstone synthesizes and applies disciplinary knowledge and skills.
  2. The capstone fosters reflection on undergraduate learning and experience.
  3. The capstone demonstrates emerging professional competencies.
  4. The capstone applies, analyzes, and/or interprets research or data or artistic expression.
  5. The capstone explores areas of interest based on the integration of prior learning.
  • The capstone requirement will vary across departments and colleges and may be satisfied through a course, thesis, created work or product, mentored research project, or some form of experiential learning or activity (e.g., internships, community service, fieldwork).
  • The capstone should occur during the student’s senior year.
  • Departments designate capstones as appropriate to their respective disciplines following the usual administrative procedures for their college or school.
  • Departments are responsible for certifying that graduating seniors have met the capstone requirement for their majors.

Senior Capstone Options in the Department of Earth Sciences

Suggested ways of meeting the capstone requirement in the Department of Earth Sciences include approved INCO 790 experiences, ESCI 795/796 field courses, senior thesis (ESCI 799/799H), URA/SURF/IROP projects, internships, environmental/geologic field camps, REU programs, or Earth Sciences education and outreach activities that are designed according to the above criteria. Capstone experiences must be equivalent to a minimum of 2 academic credits.

Students should work closely with their faculty advisors to define the most appropriate capstone experience for their Earth Sciences degree program, although the capstone mentor can be someone other than their primary faculty advisor.  All capstone experiences must be approved and certified by the faculty advisor and the capstone mentor (see below).  Presentation of projects or experiences developed for the capstone is encouraged at the annual UNH Undergraduate Research Conference or other appropriate venue.

Senior Capstone Approval Form and Certification

All Earth Sciences majors must complete a Senior Capstone Approval Form no later than their junior year, or prior to completion of 90 earned credits.  Forms can be picked up in the Earth Sciences main office, 214 James Hall, or printed from the link below.  Students will not receive a RAC to register for senior year courses until the approval form has been signed by their faculty advisor and capstone mentor.  Faculty advisors and mentors are also responsible for certifying that graduating seniors have met the capstone requirement.  Students will not be approved for graduation until capstone certification has been granted.

Capstone Approval form