The capstone requirement in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies can be met either by completing SPAN 3972W: Capstone Seminar or by completing a 5000-level course with a SPAN, PORT, or SPPT designator. A primary focus of the capstone is sustained research. Both paths to fulfill the requirement involve sustained research, though in different ways.

Span 3972W involves a semester-long research project in which the student, in consultation with the course's faculty member, selects a topic related to Spanish and/or Portuguese literature, culture, or linguistics; carries out research on that topic; and presents the results of this research in the form of a research paper (typically 20–25 pages) written in Spanish or Portuguese. Courses at the 5000-level will vary somewhat from course to course. 5000-level courses generally include sustained research through extensive reading throughout the semester and writing and/or presentations based on the content of the course. While the format differs between Span 3972W and 5000-level courses, both require a level and quantity of work based on a semester of sustained research, and both serve as a significant capstone experience for the Spanish studies and the Spanish and Portuguese studies majors. 

Honors students completing their honors thesis in Spanish or Spanish/Portuguese Studies are required to take SPAN 3972W and to make special arrangements before registering for the Capstone Seminar.

  • Honors students who declared Fall 2022 and after and are completing their honors thesis in Spanish Studies need to take a Spanish 5xxx course as a Spanish elective. These students must also take SPAN 3994 Directed Research (3 cr.) the semester before they take SPAN 3972W. SPAN 3994 will count as an elective with a Critical Analysis prerequisite.
  • Students pursuing their honors thesis in Spanish and Portuguese Studies must take a PORT5xxx course (or SPPT 5xxx with coursework in Portuguese) as one of their electives and SPAN 3972W as their capstone. Those who declared Fall 2022 and after must also take SPAN 3994 Directed Research (3 cr.) or PORT 3994 Directed Research (3 cr.) the semester before they take SPAN 3972W.
The deadline to submit an application for Spring 2024 SPAN 3972W: Capstone Seminar is Monday, November 6th, 2023.

SPAN or PORT 5xxx Course

Students wishing to take a SPAN or PORT 5xxx course for the capstone requirement are encouraged to take the 5xxx class prior to the final semester. Students who wish to take a 5xxx course for their capstone must meet all course prerequisites and receive instructor permission to enroll in the 5xxx course.

SPAN 3972W

 Students wishing to take SPAN 3972W should formulate a research topic before enrolling for the course; early planning is advised so students may take a relevant core of upper level electives to prepare for the seminar. Students need to follow the application procedures and deadlines provided by the advising team.

SPAN 3972W Prerequisites:

Spanish Studies Majors (for those who declared before Fall 2018) Spanish Studies major (for those who declare Fall 2018 & after) Spanish & Portuguese Studies Majors (for those who declared Fall 2021 and before) Spanish and Portuguese Studies Majors (for those who declared Spring 2022 and after)
SPAN 3015w Span 3015w SPAN 3015w SPAN 3015w
SPAN 3104w 2 Spanish 31xx courses PORT 3003 PORT 3003
SPAN 3105w 4 Spanish electives with a Critical Analysis prerequisite SPAN 3104W & SPAN 3107W

SPAN 3104W or 3105W

& 3107W

SPAN 3107w   1 PORT 35xx course 1 PORT elective
3 SPAN electives with a critical analysis prerequisite   2 upper-level Spanish or Portuguese electives 2 additional upper level Spanish or Portuguese electives

Application Instructions

  1. Prepare a typed summary (in Spanish or Portuguese) of 1-2 paragraphs describing the topic you intend to pursue. Make sure that you include your name, student ID, and e-mail address. Also include a list of the courses you have taken that have prepared you to address the topic. For a list of past thesis titles, see past thesis titles Span 3972: Graduation Seminar.
  2. Attend an appointment to discuss your proposal by Monday, November 6th 2023. Submit your proposal via email when you attend your appointment or drop-in. Permission for enrollment will be granted through email at a later date. Make sure to have your proposal at the appointment. 
  3. Students taking Span 3972W need to attend the corresponding faculty information session. 
  4. HONORS STUDENTS contact your honors advisor and Spanish/Portuguese Studies advisors for additional information.

Please be sure to follow each step accordingly. Proposals must be reviewed with an advisor in our department.