Frequently Asked Questions About Senior Capstones
Can I fulfill my Capstone requirement by completing a portion of one Capstone and then transferring to a different Capstone? No. All six credit hours must be completed in one Capstone course in order to graduate. Switching courses mid-quarter or after completion of part of the credits will not be permitted.
Can I create my own Capstone? No. A Capstone course is an approved University Studies course with faculty-designed class sessions, grading, coursework, etc. and you register for it just as any other University Studies course. There are over 200 UNST 421 Capstone courses available. (NOTE: Student may be able to register for a course tiled CAP: Effective Change Agent which allows students a great deal of freedom in framing their community experience).
Do I choose my instructor for my Capstone? Capstones are just like regular courses in this respect. You will register for this course like any other course; the Capstones will be listed with the instructor's names and contact information.
How do I select a Capstone course? How do I know if it is best suited for what I want to do? You should meet with your academic advisor to discuss the skills and interests you bring to the Capstone project, the type of work you would like to pursue in the future, and to make the best choice based on your areas of expertise. It's also recommended that you attend the Capstone Fair to learn more about course offerings and to meet the instructors. Contact the University Studies office for this year's Fair schedule. In addition, we encourage all students to research Capstone courses via the Capstone page on University Studies website: www.pdx.edu/unst.
This site will provide thorough course descriptions, sample syllabi, video clips, and sample assignments so that students have in-depth information available for most Capstone courses offered.
How will my Capstone be graded? As a graduation requirement, Capstones require A-F letter grades. Capstones will be graded by the faculty member overseeing the Capstone. Each instructor will inform students of the grading procedure for that particular Capstone. Grading criteria should be found in each Capstone syllabi.
If I volunteer for an organization, does that count for my Senior Capstone? No. University Studies Senior Capstone is a required general education 6-credit course. No prior or current volunteer project, internship, paid work experience or community involvement can be used to substitute for this required course.
Is a Capstone one or two terms long? All Capstones are 6 credits. However, Capstones can range over one, two, or three terms depending on the project. See the Schedule of Classes to determine the length of a particular course. If a course is listed as 6 credits, than the project is only one-term long.
What is the time commitment involved in a Capstone? Capstone time commitments vary. As a rule, it will be three hours of academic learning and applied community work for one hour of course credit. As a 6-credit course, the time commitment is significantly greater than the traditional 4-credit course at PSU. Capstones will frequently require additional time for collaborative projects with peers and direct contact with the community.
What should I do if I have an idea, community partner suggestion, or topic for a Capstone? Most years the Capstone office has far more ideas for courses than we could possibly fund or staff, but any student, staff, faculty member, or community member is welcome to contact Dr. Seanna Kerrigan, the PSU Capstone Program Director, to discuss any ideas related to Capstones
Does my Capstone have to correspond with my Upper Division Cluster? No, students may choose a Capstone related to or different from their junior cluster.
Can I use my Capstone to count toward a Minor? Possibly. While this is not the case across the board, most Capstones only count for Capstone credit. In some cases, select Capstones can count for additional credit - like a minor. However, this is entirely up to the department offering the minor, and what their specific requirements are. Capstone courses, while grouped into themes, do not automatically count toward a related minor.
If you did not find the answer to your question, contact the Capstone Office in University Studies, Cramer Hall 117 or call 503.725.5890.