Senior Capstone Experience

The Capstone

The senior capstone course in Africana Studies is offered annually each spring semester for senior majors. The capstone course focuses on knowledge and issues important to the discipline.

It is designed to help our senior majors reflect back on what they have gained from the major, any learning experiences as well as special area of expertise that they may have developed through their choice of electives. It also aims to prepare students for graduate school and/or employment.

Capstone Prerequisites

  • GPA of 2.0 or higher both overall and in the major
  • 36 credit hours of Africana Studies coursework.
  • 21 credits of the 36 credits of required core courses (e.g., history, literature and sociology).
  • A grade of C or above in the major core coursework.
  • Permission of the instructor

Senior Portfolio

As part of the capstone requirement, senior majors prepare a portfolio of their work in the major. A portfolio is a notebook or folder that contains documentation of your accomplishments. Having a polished portfolio, with evidence of your achievements, strengthens students' application to graduate school and/or employment.

The portfolio is designed to document what students have learned both in this course and throughout the major. All majors are encouraged to save copies of their best papers and other coursework for their senior portfolios.

Senior majors prepare two copies of their portfolios, one to keep, and the other to be kept by the department. Senior majors can continue to add to their portfolios until they graduate. Portfolios are displayed in the Africana Studies conference room after graduation.

Portfolios contain the following five elements:

  • A resume suitable for submission to employers
  • An intellectual autobiography (8-10 pages)
  • Copies of the research paper originally written in a topics course or seminar (10-12 pages)
  • At least three additional samples of what the student considers his/her best work accomplished during the major.
  • Other items that demonstrate expertise in the field. Senior majors have been creative and have included a variety of samples of their work. Because Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary major, poetry, fiction, artwork, photographs, video, music, etc. have all been submitted in senior portfolios.