Self-Designed Senior Capstone

Designing Your Capstone Experience

The purpose of the self-designed Senior Capstone is to provide students with the opportunity to design a specialized Senior Capstone beyond those that are currently offered. All Capstones presume a significant scholarly background of specialized study in a major as well as in liberal education course work. In other words, a Capstone does more than culminate years of baccalaureate study: it culminates a student's liberal education.

View Current Senior Capstone Courses

Providing this opportunity, the university invites students, in direct collaboration with a faculty advisor, to create a course of study reflective of requirements and goals represented by the Miami Plan and relevant to students' specific academic, professional, social, and political concerns. Capstones may be completed in or outside students' majors; in some departments, the Capstone Experience may be a requirement of the major.  You must complete it in the senior year for it to count (minimum of 93 hours earned). It can be used in the Experiential Learning requirement.

You must submit your petition for a Self-Designed Senior Capstone before the experience begins.

Note on Combined Degree Programs - For students in combined degree (BAMA) programs, it is acceptable for some amount of the preliminary work or foundation for their graduate thesis or graduate culminating research experience to occur through their senior capstone project. That said, it is critical that their final graduate project build upon and extend this work in substantial ways. For example, a student completing a thesis requires 6 credit hours of thesis credit, and thus the work commensurate with 6 credit hours (see instructional minute requirements) must occur separately from the work engaged in for the capstone experience. This might involve a student beginning to review the literature on their topic as part of their capstone experience, but the formal proposal, data collection/analysis (when applicable), and defense building upon that foundation in subsequent terms. A student cannot complete their entire graduate thesis or graduate culminating research experience in fulfilling the capstone requirement.

Petition Checklist

You must address the following components to be uploaded as part of any self-designed Capstone proposal:

  1. Contact information for Senior Capstone Faculty Advisor—You must select a faculty advisor for your capstone. It is expected that the faculty member will work closely with you to develop your proposal and will oversee your work in the course. You must provide the faculty advisor's name, department, and Miami email address.
  2. Statement of Explanation—Upload a detailed proposal outlining the proposed capstone. Describe how the goals, objectives, and projects of your capstone embody each of the 4 Pillars of the Miami Plan. The 4 Pillars that must be addressed are: Civic-Mindedness and Social Engagement, Critical and Integrative Thinking, Communication and Expression, and Collaboration and Innovation). You must also answer each of the following questions with detailed examples: 
    1. How will you use and apply multiple sources and types of sources?
    2. How will you apply knowledge to address real-world problems by asking questions and exploring solutions?
    3. How will you apply knowledge gained in various courses and experiences? These should include not only courses in your major, but from your broader Miami Plan experiences (e.g. Creative Arts, Humanities, Global Inquiry, Sciences (social and natural), Intercultural Consciousness, Advanced Writing).
    4. How will you create artifacts/deliverables that communicate your ideas to a wider audience beyond the teacher. What will they be?
  3. Degree Audit Report—Upload a newly generated  DAR with your proposal. Please be sure to print the detailed version of your DAR that lists which courses are meeting all Miami Plan and major/minor requirements.
  4. Obtain statements of support:  Your faculty advisor must sign an authorization and may include a letter of support. We will send the authorization form electronically to your advisor after you submit the proposal.  

All components of the self-designed Senior Capstone must be completed before it will be reviewed by the Director and Associate Director of Liberal Education, including the advisor(s) support. Please allow 7-10 business days for the petition to be processed after all materials have been received.

Submit your Self-Designed Senior Capstone Proposal