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Capstone Projects and Departmental Honors

Capstone Projects and Departmental Honors

The School of Drama offers students the opportunity to graduate with Honors.  To be eligible to apply for departmental honors, students must have a minimum of 90 credits, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30, a minimum major GPA of 3.50, and an identified faculty advisor.  To graduate with departmental honors, students must complete at least one 5 credit Honors independent study course (Drama 499) which can be tailored to each students goals or interests. 

Senior Capstone Projects

Students interested in pursuing honors may also apply for the Senior Capstone Project award.

The Senior Capstone Project is an applied research project that investigates, explores, and articulates topics in theater and performance research, performance, playwriting or devised projects, design, or other areas students wish to pursue in an in-depth, individual project.  Applications are due in spring, and the project is completed the following academic year.


  • Capstone projects may receive some financial support (not guaranteed)
  • Faculty mentorship
  • Publicity in School of Drama communications (if the performance space is accessible)
  • Designation as a School of Drama Honors student


  • Declared Drama Major, Junior standing
  • 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Application, Budget proposal and fundraising plan

 All forms are due at the end of the 7th week of Spring quarter. 

Click here for the Senior Capstone Application


The central question underscoring a viable project is: How is this project a culmination of the student's academic and artistic experiences as a Drama major, trained to be a highly skilled artist, scholar, and citizen engaged with the world and invested in theatrical storytelling - in all its guises - as a means of elevating and celebrating our individual and collective voices, promoting understanding, and nurturing compassion?

The projects are designed so that students have a portfolio documenting a project that can be used for graduate school applications, career and job interviews, and in pursuing practical experience in creating art in their community.

Students enrolled in the Senior Capstone Project register for 5 credits of independent study.

The time frame:

End of Spring, Junior year – Approved Capstone Projects are notified.

  1. Autumn, Senior year – “Pre-production phase.” The student presents a detailed project plan, which might include texts, documentation, identified community partners (if applicable), a final budget, project schedule, production schedule, fundraising, etc. (The fundraising aspect begins here.) The project and production schedules must be discussed with and approved by the School of Drama Production Manager.
  2. Winter, Senior year – “Production Phase.” The student begins the creative work in terms of rehearsals, writing, documentation, meetings, design and build, etc., or the research and writing phase (for capstones in research and playwriting). Regular check-ins with the faculty mentor are important during this phase.
  3. Spring, Senior year – “Presentation Phase.” The project is brought to fruition as proposed. A production is mounted, a scholarly paper is prepared, a design portfolio is displayed, documentation is presented, etc.
  4. End of Spring, Senior year – “Post Project Phase” The student presents a report on the project for final adjudication, approval and grading.


Senior Capstone Project Checklist

__________ A commitment from a faculty member to mentor and supervise your project

__________ One-page description of your project

__________Application form

__________ (if applicable) List of Drama majors who will be participating in your project

__________ (if applicable) Name of the community partner/organization you will be working with   

__________ Anticipated needs for rehearsal and production space

__________ A budget proposal and fundraising plan

Once approved, if the capstone project is to culminate in an artistic production and requires use of School of Drama space and resources, the student and faculty member should be in close communication with the Production Office from the earliest stages of the process.

If during the capstone process the project changes in a way that makes it substantively different in nature or scope from what was described in the project proposal, the student and faculty mentor must obtain additional approval from the Undergraduate Coordinator and Undergraduate Advisor (and, if applicable, the Production Office).

Information for Faculty Mentors

School of Drama faculty mentors should be involved from the outset of the project. They advise the student at all stages of the process: from conception to execution of the final project to post-project reflection. Faculty mentors are key in helping the student shape a project that is both rigorous and high-quality while being reasonable in scope and doable within existing resources. The student and faculty mentor should determine together the criteria for success at the beginning of the project and the means by which the student will evaluate their own work and process. Often this can be done in the form of a brief reflection paper at the end. Faculty mentors serve as the instructors of record for capstone credits and should incorporate this reflective component in the final grade.