College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Students present their capstone projects in 7th annual departmental Senior Conference

Last Friday, graduating political science majors presented their senior capstone projects in the Bronco Student Center. The department’s Senior Conference is an annual tradition where students showcase original research and internship projects they have been working on for the duration of their senior year.

Every year, Senior Conference runs several concurrent panels in different rooms in Ursa Major. During Conference, students are given 10 minutes to orally present their thesis or internship projects. More than 70 students presented capstone projects this year, with faculty in attendance in order to moderate each panel.

Seniors with Dr. Speak and Dr. Guerrero

Thesis requires students to write an original research paper that totals 30 to 40 pages in length. One of the major elements of the thesis project is for students to collect their own original data. Some examples of thesis projects include a comparative examination of gender equality and fertility rates, an original survey project highlighting the connection between social media use and political behavior, and even how Congress has been interpreting the climate change debate. Students choose their own topics, as long as the project is directly related to their coursework in the major.

Internship requires students to use their experience after serving 200 hours in a local internship in order to write a 20 to 30 page paper. Students serve in a variety of different internships including those in local government, the courts, non-profit organizations, and even political campaigns. Internship showcases our department’s “learn by doing” approach, but allows students to think critically about the practical experience they have amassed while part of our major.

To view a schedule from the day's proceedings, click here