EARTH SCIENCES CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE DEADLINES AND GUIDELINES

Before the end of the fall of your junior year, talk to your advisor as well as other faculty about how you want to complete the capstone experience for your major track.  You can see the various capstone options for each major track here.

Regardless of how you complete your capstone experience, they are not regular courses though they do get credit and a grade.  As such you cannot preregister for them, you simply must complete the Registrar’s “Special Course Options Permission Form” by the end of Add/Drop.  You can access the form here.

Majors who complete the capstone with research must complete either ERSC 550 (Independent Research) or ERSC 560 (Student/Faculty Collaborative Research).  Students will earn 0.5 credit in the spring semester of the junior year as they conduct background research, formulate a testable hypothesis and draft a project proposal. Should a student be abroad for the first 0.5 credit, the student will meet regularly via Skype (or other appropriate real-time media) with the faculty member on campus who is advising the capstone project.  The second 0.5-1.0 credit will be completed in the fall semester of the senior year with data collection, analysis and writing.  Ideally students will do this as a 3.5-4.0 course load that semester.

Your advisor can nominate you for Honors at the end of the fall semester of your senior year based on your capstone research project.  To be considered for Honors, you must have a cumulative GPA across the College of 3.5.  Only those students doing independent research for their capstone can be considered for Honors (i.e., either ERSC 550 or 560). The faculty other than the thesis supervisor will decide if you are worthy of Honors.  You can do more independent research in the spring of your senior year (up to 2.0 credits of capstone independent research), but the Honors decision is based on your GPA and thesis at the end of the fall semester of your senior year.   

Junior Year - Spring Semester
 
 Date  Items Due
January before classes start  Sign up for 0.5 credit of ERSC 550 or ERSC 560
3rd Monday of the semester  Students turn in research prospectus using the attached form  to all faculty and the department technician; feedback is  returned  to the advisor
4-6th Tuesday of the semester  Students give 5 minute presentations at a department seminar  on their prospectus
4 weeks before the end of the classes  First draft of paper due following the attached guidelines
2 weeks before the end of classes  Students get their paper back
Last day of classes

 Final paper is due, no exceptions

Senior Year - Fall Semester
 Date  Items Due
August before classes start  Sign up for 0.5 or 1.0 credit of  ERSC 550 or ERSC 560
4 weeks before the end of classes  First draft of final paper due  following the attached guidelines
2 weeks before the end of classes  Students get their paper back
Last day of classes  Final paper is due, no exceptions

 

 

Senior Year - Spring Semester
 Date  Items Due
Early in the semester (dates to be determined in the seminar series schedule  Students give oral presentations (longer time allowance for honors  students)
Late in the semester  Each ERSC major is expected to  present a poster at the annual  Science Symposium Poster Session  summarizing their capstone  project.  A pdf of your poster is  due to Rob by two days before the  poster session.