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Liberal Studies 400: Senior Project in Liberal Studies

The Senior Project, (a capstone academic experience), affords you an opportunity for self-reflection and independent study.

The Senior Project orients your attention toward an activity which might include, yet is not limited to, an integrative research paper, a student practicum, internship, presentation, or creative undertaking.

  1. Begin the Senior Project by first discussing a general concept with the Director of Liberal Studies. No topic or activity is unworthy of academic inquiry
  2. After an idea for the Senior Project is developed in consultation with the BLS Director, prepare a more detailed proposal to present to a faculty member of your choosing.
  3. When thinking about the Senior Project, you should orient your proposal toward ideas which will include (a) the interdisciplinary, (b) written and oral communication, (c) quantitative and/or analytical thinking, (d) national and/or international import, and (e) reasoning aptitude.
  4. In some instances, a waiver of one or more concepts with emphasis on one or more of the other five is valid if you pursue a special creative undertaking (for example, the writing of a screenplay, performing an opus, working in foreign languages, doing a music project, etc.).
  5. The faculty sponsor may be someone you have had previous classes with or someone new to you who becomes interested in your project proposal. After a sponsor has been determined, you must report this information to the BLS Academic Advisor who then confirms the student-sponsor relationship by way of memorandum to your sponsor. The Project now becomes an independent academic experience between you and your sponsor.
  6. Once your faculty sponsor agrees to accept you as a student, the specific activities required for completion of your project will be determined by the faculty sponsor. Your faculty sponsor assigns the only grade reported to your transcript.

Before the end of the semester, provide the Director for Liberal Studies the title and brief synopsis of the assignment and a copy of your finished project once it has been turned into the faculty sponsor.

Liberal Studies 400: Proposal Criteria


Your proposal should be typewritten double-spaced and contain at least the following:

  • Description of the issue you want to study
  • Why you want to study it
  • How you intend to study it (this entails describing your study/research methodology, an approximate timeline, and a rough outline of the paper you'll produce)
  • Deliverables (research paper and oral presentation at end of semester)
  • Description and justification of how the proposed project satisfies five conceptual dimensions detailed in the Liberal Studies 400 guidelines

Note some of my expectations regarding your research project and associated paper:

  • Literature cited will be a mix of practical trade literature and academic literature.
  • Some original data capture is needed (e.g. simple, short survey).
  • Keep your recommendations few and detailed. That is, don't just spew a long list of ideas. Instead suggest two or three key recommendations, and flesh them out a bit.
  • Write well (you know me-write flawlessly). Also, write expositorily. I want to read your writing and ideas, not just a bunch of quotations of other peoples' ideas.
  • Let me help you with this stuff. By this I mean I can help you with survey design and methodology, literature citation conventions (important for avoiding plagiarism trap), draft reviews, and so forth.

To avail yourself of my help, we'll need to meet from time to time, and you should submit drafts of parts of the paper as you go along.

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