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JCU Honors Senior Experience Expectations: Depth or Breadth of Scholarship

Graduating seniors in the JCU Honors Program are expected to demonstrate either depth or breadth of scholarship as the culminating experience of their academic program. Depth is demonstrated by completion of a capstone project in their major field. Students may demonstrate breadth of scholarship by double majoring or minoring in a field distinct from their first major area. For example, a student could major in Biology and minor/double major in Peace, Justice and Human Rights and satisfy the breadth expectation.  A Biology major who double majored or minored in Chemistry or Computer Science would not do so. Students who take the breadth track may opt out of the senior capstone experience (HP 349 and HP 450) by submitting an academic petition.


Students who opt for the Honors Capstone may choose from four tracks:

  • Research: This broad category includes all kinds of conventional research and its dissemination, including but not limited to: lab work; historical research; literary studies; human subject research; lesson plans; software development; data analysis.
  • Performance: This category includes, but is not limited to, creative work like fiction writing; poetry; stage performance/writing; screenplays; game development; musical performance.
  • Service: For students who are engaged in a sustained community service experience.
  • Applied experiences: For students involved in internships, workplace, or other “real world” settings.


The following expectations apply to all four tracks:

  • All capstone students must work with a JCU faculty member as an adviser with whom they collaborate in the development of their capstone project.  This adviser may be the instructor in a departmental capstone course, or it might be an independent study or internship supervisor. If a major capstone class does not include a significant research component, a student should enroll in HP 450 and recruit a faculty member to supervise an independent research project. The current expectation for a second reader should be eliminated.
  • Registration in HP 349 (Honors Capstone: Project Development) during the junior year or first semester of the senior year.
  • Registration in HP 450 (Honors Capstone) or in an appropriate capstone course or independent study in their major department during their senior year.
  • A written component that is appropriate to the project’s track. It must include an academic background analysis, including a literature review and a critical reflection on the experience.
  • Public presentation of the results of the experience at the spring Celebration of Scholarship or other appropriate venue, like an undergraduate research conference or YouTube video (in disseminating a performance, for example).
  • Submission of the final project including your signature and that of your primary advisor and the director of the honors program, and submission of the project into Carroll Collected via the Carroll Collected Submission Form (it’s the same form for both). Send completed projects to


Capstone advisers may nominate an advisee for recognition with an Outstanding Senior Honors award. The honors faculty committee will choose up to five students to receive a $1500 award at the end of the academic year. To receive consideration, projects must go beyond expectations for major capstone classes and should demonstrate exceptional ambition, skill, and creativity.