For each student, the core of the program is a significant, ambitious capstone project, intended to engage the student in experiential learning. A capstone project is expected to be an ambitious undertaking, which will occupy significant time in the student’s final year and will be evaluated with rigor. It should be based on original research, using methods that the student has explored during his or her interdisciplinary course work. Methods might include ethnographic, textual, linguistic, documentary, archival, journalistic, or artistic research methods.
Capstone projects can be thought of as experimental explorations of a student’s possible career paths. For this reason, they can take any variety of forms, including but not limited to a traditional thesis, a grant proposal for a UM or NGO project, an investigative and research-oriented report on a public-service project or an internship in the public or private sector, or an individual or collaborative artistic work or performance.
A project proposal must be approved by the advisor by the beginning of the fifth year; the completed project must be approved and graded by the advisor and one additional faculty member by the end of the fifth year.