The capstone requirement in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies can be met either by completing SPAN 3972W: Graduation Seminar or by completing a 5000-level course with a SPAN, PORT, or SPPT designator. A primary focus of the senior project 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 are required to take SPAN 3972W and to make special arrangements before registering for the senior seminar.

The deadline to submit an application for Spring 2023 SPAN 3972W: Capstone Seminar is Tuesday, November 1st, 2022.

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

The seminar needs to be taken during the semester in which a student completes major coursework. 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 or come to Zoom drop-in hours to discuss your proposal by Tuesday, November 1st 2022. 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.
  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.

Students will be admitted to a section of 3972W based on the following list of priorities:

  • Students who have finished all major classes and plan to graduate in the semester in which they take SPAN 3972W.
  • Students who are taking the remaining major requirements and plan to graduate in the semester in which they take SPAN 3972W. Higher priority will be given to students who have fewer SPAN/PORT courses to take with the graduation seminar.
  • Students who are done with major classes (excluding 3972W) but plan to graduate in a future semester.
  • Students who submitted the graduation proposal past the deadline.