Capstone Honors Guidelines
Religious Studies Capstone/Thesis Guidelines for Latin Honors
- RELS 4952 (4 credits)
- Students work independently with a faculty member (capstone advisor) of their choice on a paper involving original research on a topic related to their Area Concentration.
- Capstone projects usually take the form of an analytical research paper that is fully documented and includes a bibliography. For non-honors, these are usually around 25 pages in length. Honors papers are generally longer than this, involving more research, stronger theoretical framing, and deeper analyses. Forms other than a research paper for the capstone project may be negotiated with the faculty advisor.
- Latin honors papers must be read by a thesis committee of at least three members, one of which is the thesis advisor. Committee members are identified in consultation with the capstone advisor.
- For magna and summa, a penultimate draft of the project must be approved by all committee members. Upon this approval, the oral defense is scheduled.
- A public, oral defense is required for summa capstones. The defense is optional for magna and cum laude.
- Upon completion of the defense, the committee decides the appropriate honors level (magna or summa) of the final project.
- The final grade is assigned exclusively by the capstone advisor.
- A cum laude thesis is a paper of high quality in research, analysis, and presentation.
- A magna thesis is of particularly high quality as judged by the three-member committee and often involves two semesters of work, with the first semester being a course or directed study or learning abroad experience and the second focusing on the writing process.
- A summa thesis is of exceptional quality as judged by the three-member committee. Like the magna thesis, a summa thesis usually involves two semesters of work, with the first being in a course, directed study, or learning abroad experience and the second focused on the writing process.