For a graduate student, the capstone project is new and unfamiliar territory. For that reason it can seem intimidating, but your advisor is there to give you guidance when and where you need it. Don’t hesitate to seek your advisor’s help. Look to your advisor for procedural advice, academic advice, and encouragement. Once you have completed 27 credits and have completed or are currently enrolled in all required courses, you may apply for a capstone project. To begin your capstone work, do the following:
- Consult with your advisor regarding the type and topic of the project you want to do, and obtain your advisor’s input and approval regarding which two other graduate faculty members may be valuable on your capstone committee.
- Secure the consent of the two other committee members (besides your advisor). Contact them by phone or email to explain your area of interest and your project.
- Complete the Capstone Application (available online) and send it to the director of graduate studies along with the tuition payment.
- Complete the capstone proposal following the guidelines in the Graduate Studies Bulletin and with input from the committee members and send it to your advisor.
- After each member of the committee has approved the proposal, ask your advisor to submit it to the director of graduate studies for final review and approval along with an IRB application.
- Do not start the research until the proposal and IRB application have been approved.
Your advisor wants to see you succeed and help make your task as easy as possible. It is important to listen to your advisor’s advice regarding things like the problem and purpose statement. Refining your ideas up front will reduce the need for corrections and the possibility of frustration. Finally, remember to begin all things with prayer, because we “can do everything through him (Christ) who gives me strength” (Phil. 4: 13).