Senior Capstone Project

Bring Four Years of Coursework and Personal Experiences Together

The Senior Capstone Project is the opportunity for you to bring four years of coursework and academic and personal experiences together by engaging in an extended project in your major. What you do for your Senior Capstone Project depends on both your chosen field of study and your own personal interests. Each major department designs the parameters of the project to help you develop an expertise and synthesize the learning you’ve done at Arcadia. And you select the focus of your research, scholarly or creative activities.

Then when you’ve completed your Senior Capstone Project at the conclusion of your final year, you tell the world about your work during our campus-wide celebration of senior projects. Faculty members, family, and friends come out to learn about and enjoy the product of your academic labors. Art and Design majors host an exciting group exhibit. Majors in some departments give oral presentations describing their research and engage in lively discussion sessions. And those in other departments create visual displays of their work for interactive public poster fairs.

About the Project

In 1989, as part of the university's strategic planning process and with help from a grant from the Knight Foundation, a policy was established whereby each department provides a capstone course and each student completes a capstone project in the major.

Most of the presentations take place over a two-day period during the last week of the semester. Friday evening concludes with the longstanding tradition of the Senior Art Exhibit. The faculty encourages all students to attend these events. Since regular classes are not held on Friday, many instructors and departments require their students to attend.

There are several different ways in which student work is showcased. These methods parallel the ways in which professional meetings are held and include:

Poster presentations: A poster presentation is just as it sounds. The research project is summarized on a poster. Many of these posters are displayed at one time. When you attend a poster show you walk around and stop at posters asking the presenter questions about his or her work. Students are encouraged to stand next to or near their posters for the majority of the poster show time so that you can ask them questions.

Oral presentations: Other departments have students give oral presentations of their projects. These may be in the form of multimedia presentations and include power point, video or music. 

Creative presentations: One of the highlights of Friday is the Senior Art Exhibit, which takes place in Spruance Fine Arts Center. You can walk around and see paintings, ceramics, jewelry and other displays of student artwork. Just like the poster show, you are encouraged to talk to the students about their work. And don't forget the theater presentations-these take place on Friday evening in the Blackbox Theater in the Dining Complex.