The History Capstone
The culmination of the History degree is the capstone, which can take several forms. If you’re in interested in a Liberal Studies capstone, please visit that page.
1. The Thesis Option
This option is considered the traditional capstone for History. Students who choose the thesis option develop their topic, formulate their argument, and build their bibliography in HIST 303. In HIST 403 the thesis is actually written. Theses must be at least 30 pages in length (excluding the bibliography) and incorporate footnotes and an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
2. The Public History Option
For the Public History capstone it is recommended that students take HIST 210: Public History, and then complete a faculty-approved project. Examples of such projects are often posted on our public history webpage. In addition to completing the project, which may include digitization, museum work, or archival work, students doing this option must write an essay of at least 20 pages about their project, linking it to current scholarship in the field.
3. The Teaching Option
The teaching capstone is a blend of pedagogical and disciplinary research. Students taking this option typically intend to become elementary or secondary teachers, and they work to develop an extensive curriculum unit. Generally this curriculum is at the secondary or undergraduate level and it takes into consideration state standards where appropriate. In addition to developing the curriculum, students must craft an essay on pedagogy and scholarship related to the topic (12-15 pages in length), a set of lesson plans and rubrics (8-15 pages in length), and accompanying written descriptions of the teaching materials (5-10 pages in length).