Year-Long Capstone and Honors Process
We encourage any Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSS) major interested in pursuing an idea or question through sustained, year-long study to pursue the year-long capstone process, which may culminate in Honors.
All GSS majors must take the GSS 498 capstone seminar, which includes a one-semester research project of each major’s choosing and design.
In addition, any GSS major may elect to extend this project into a year-long thesis or creative project, taking both the GSS 498 seminar in the fall with fellow senior majors, as well as the independent study GSS 499 in the spring with the project advisor.
Honors will be determined once the project is complete. Receiving Honors in GSS requires the following:
- A public presentation of the project attended by Core GSS faculty;
- Approval of both the project advisor and second reader (usually the GSS 498 instructor);
- Meeting the GPA requirements by the end of senior year, factoring in any P/F grades (overall GPA of 3.2 or higher and GSS major GPA of 3.5 or higher).
Because of GSS’ multi-disciplinary nature, year-long projects may take many forms besides a traditional thesis project, though all require research and writing. Examples of projects that are not traditional theses include: a final performance supplemented by an artist’s statement and literature review; a documentary film; a critically informed auto-ethnography; a digital archive.
Timeline and Deadlines
May 1 of Junior Year: Declare your plans for a year-long project to the Chair of GSS; the Chair will connect you with a project advisor if you don’t already have one
June 15: Draft of the project proposal due to the project advisor for feedback
Friday Before Fall Classes Start: Final project proposal due to project advisor and GSS Chair
November: Check-in with Chair to report on progress
March: Finalize plan and invitations for public presentation; make sure dates don’t conflict with McMillen lecture or any major events
End of April: Final version of project due to advisor and GSS Chair
The proposal should include all of the following, with citations and footnotes formatted according to APA, Chicago, or MLA style guides.
- Student Name, Project Title, and Advisor Name
- Project Plan: Enough context to situate your proposal for GSS Core Faculty with different areas of expertise, the premises you depart from, the central research and/or creative question(s) your project seeks to answer, the proposed contribution of this research, the methodologies you intend to use, and theoretical frameworks you will engage (300-600 words).
- Statement of Preparation: Summary of how you came to pursue this project and why you are prepared to do so, including a list of relevant coursework (in any department) and any faculty members besides the advisor that you have consulted with in preparation for making this proposal.
- Working Bibliography: List of scholarly works and primary sources you have consulted or plan to consult (at least 20).