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.
|Before 4 PM on the Last Day to Add/Drop||Sign up for 0.5 credit of ERSC 550 or ERSC 560 by completing the Registrar's "Special Course Options Permission Form"|
|3rd Monday of the semester||Students submit the on-line Senior Capstone Prospectus Form. Faculty and the department technician will provide feedback to the advisor to return to the student.|
|4-6th Tuesday of the semester||
Students give 5 minute presentations at a department seminar on their prospectus. Your talk can be PowerPoint based or not and should include:
If you are doing a PowerPoint based talk, send your slides to the department technician by as least the day before.
|4 weeks before the end of the classes||First draft of research proposal is due following the Research Proposal Guidelines|
|2 weeks before the end of classes||Students get their proposal back|
|Last day of classes||Final proposal is due, no exceptions|
|Before Last Day to Add/Drop||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 Thesis Format Guidelines|
|2 weeks before the end of classes||Students get their paper back|
|Last day of classes||Final paper is due, no exceptions|
|Early in the semester if not continuing research into this 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 doing research is expected to present a poster at the annual Science Symposium Poster Session. A pdf of your poster is due to Rob by two days before the poster session.|