Capstone Experiences

Complete your major coursework with real-world experience.

All students completing the EPS or EES majors are required to complete a Capstone experience during their Junior or Senior year. The capstone should provide an opportunity to synthesize knowledge obtained during earlier coursework in Earth and planetary sciences. The department will accept one of following experiences in fulfillment of this requirement:

  1. Geological or environmental field course. Field courses must be taken for credit and a passing grade must be earned. To fulfill the capstone requirement the field course must be a minimum of 3 weeks (3 credits). Note that for Geology majors, the required field camp is still a minimum of 6 weeks (6 credits).
  2. Internship. Internships must be arranged through the Career Center, related to the student’s major, and be of a substantive nature (e.g., a semester-long part-time internship or a 6-week, full-time internship).
  3. Research experience. Research experience must have a minimum duration of one semester or one summer, and must be supervised by a faculty member within EPSc. Research may culminate in a senior thesis; however, this is not required.
  4. EPSc writing-intensive class. Satisfactory completion of an EPS or EnSt writing intensive class (EPS 498 Undergraduate Research Seminar; EPS 404 Ideas and Controversies in Geosciences; EnSt 350W Environmental Issues – Writing).
  5. Field experience. Satisfactory completion of the EPSc Geological Field Experience Class (EPS 496) during Junior or Senior Year.
  6. Interdisciplinary project-based course (EES majors only). Satisfactory completion of Environmental Law Clinic (EnSt 539) or Sustainability Exchange (EnSt 405).

Proposal Form

Fill out and submit the Capstone Proposal Form to submit to your advisor.

Download Capstone Form [PDF]

Additional Policies

  • Credit will not be granted for capstone experiences obtained during the summer between Sophomore and Junior years.
  • No later than the end of the spring semester of the Junior year, the student must submit and have accepted a capstone proposal (see “Capstone Proposal Form”).
  • All capstone plans must be approved in advance by student’s major advisor.
  •  Interdisciplinary courses that fulfill the capstone requirement will be added to lists of elective classes.  Students who complete their capstone requirement by another path, including internships and research experience, will be permitted to use these classes to fulfill an elective requirement.  One course may not be used as both an elective and a capstone. The courses affected by this change are: EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology, EnSt 539 Environmental Law Clinic, and EnSt 405 Sustainability Exchange. 
  • Upon conclusion of the capstone experience, evidence of successful completion must be provided. A grade of C- or better is required for any class taken for credit. For internships or research experiences, a signed assessment letter from a supervisor will be accepted as evidence of successful completion.