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Suggested Honors Capstone Timeline

The University Honors Program recognizes that each student and capstone project is different and that a variety of circumstances will shape each student’s timeline to completion. Honors offers this suggested timeline as a starting point for students and faculty, who will work closely together to develop a timeline that is realistic and feasible for each other and for the proposed project.

Suggested timeline visualView a visual timeline here.

3-4 Semesters Before Graduation

  • Begin thinking about a project topic in the year before graduation (ideally 4 semesters prior to anticipated graduation term).
  • Enroll in HONR 3900, a one-credit capstone preparation course. In this course students will…
    • Learn what is required to complete a capstone project
    • Study samples of outstanding capstone projects in their fields
    • Read samples of outstanding capstone proposals on related topics
    • Write brief descriptions of their proposed projects to share with prospective faculty mentors
    • Secure capstone mentors and complete their own capstone proposals by the end of the term

2-3 Semesters Before Graduation

  • Begin project research, working closely with capstone mentor.
  • Develop a detailed work plan and research schedule in collaboration with faculty mentor.
  • Complete any required capstone course for the major.

2 Semesters Before Graduation

  • Continue research and/or begin writing the capstone project.
  • Maintain regular contact with capstone project mentor and committee members and complete high quality work in a professional, responsible way.
  • By the end of the third week of classes in term before graduation, schedule a mandatory honors graduation audit to tally total honors points and to ensure that student has completed all honors requirements.

Final Semester

  • Submit drafts to mentor and committee according to work plan. Since all projects require multiple drafts, meeting scheduled deadlines is crucial. Students should remember that they are involved in professional relationships with their faculty mentors.
  • Complete and document public presentation or defense of the project, which must occur by the last day of classes in the graduation term.
    • FOR SPRING GRADUATES: Students may participate in Student Research Symposium during Research Week. Applications and abstracts are required and are typically due in March.
    • FOR FALL GRADUATES: Students may participate in the Fall Student Research Symposium or work with their mentors and the University Honors Program office to find appropriate venues for public presentation. 
  • Provide entire committee with a mentor-approved final draft of the project by the deadline in the work plan, at least one week before the last day of classes.
  • Polished, revised, and complete capstone projects are due to the University Honors Program office one week after the last day of classes. When students turn in the completed capstone project, they must also include the University Honors Cover Page, the Capstone Oral Presentation Verification form, and the Honors Electronic Capstone Approval form.
  • Attend University Honors Program medallion ceremony and graduation celebration party!

Download the full Honors Capstone Handbook here.