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Honors Capstone

The Honors College

What is an "Honors Capstone"?

An Honors Capstone (previously referred to as a senior thesis) is a significant independent project that is completed under the direction of a faculty mentor. The project may be research, creative, applied, or innovative in nature. Your Honors Capstone work may culminate in a scientific paper, a scholarly research report, the composition of music, the writing of a play, the start of a business and more. You and your faculty mentor will decide together the appropriate final project deliverable and the timeline for progress and completion.

What are the Honors Capstone requirements?

Honors College students need to complete their Honors Capstone and give an ORAL presentation in an Honors-approved venue OR Undergraduate Research and Inquiry Across the Disciplines Day (April), OR the Honors Roundtable (December). In addition, you will be expected to upload your project to UWYO Libraries Repository (unless your work contains proprietary information or is under peer-review).

Can I complete my Honors Capstone within my major or in conjunction with a special program?

Some undergraduate majors require a capstone experience that may also fulfill the Honors Capstone requirement. In addition, some undergraduate research programs will also fulfill the Honors Capstone requirements. If you have questions about whether you could fulfill your Honors Capstone in your major, please reach out to the Honors Capstone Coordinator, Joslyn Cassady at For more information on a few specific programs see the links below:

What should my Honors Capstone demonstrate?

Your ability to:

  • complete a significant independent or collaborative project

  • locate and evaluate information

  • think critically

  • situate your work in the appropriate critical, creative, and ethical conversations

  • communicate your ideas effectively

  • display a high level of knowledge, creativity and intellectual ability in a specific area (usually related to your major)

Can I read the Honors Capstone projects of other Honors students?

Yes! Honors students have submitted their final Honors Capstone projects to the Honors Repository. You may read their work by searching the archives of the Honors Repository at the following address:

Does my faculty mentor have to be in the Honors College?

No, you may work with any UW faculty member who has agreed to oversee your research/creative/innovative work. If you are enrolled in a major (eg., engineering, education, nursing, music, statistics, international studies and others) that has a required capstone or senior design project, the instructor for the course may likely be your faculty mentor. Please contact the Honors Capstone Coordinator to discuss.  

How do I get started?

Start by thinking about your passions, interests, and professional goals. Meet with potential faculty mentors to discuss your ideas and interests. If you need help with identifying a project or faculty mentor, reach out to the Honors Capstone Coordinator, Joslyn Cassady at

How and when do I tell the Honors College that I am completing an Honors Capstone?

Once a faculty mentor has agreed to work with you, you must complete the Honors Capstone Initiation- Student Portion. This declares your intention to complete an Honors Capstone, describes the project, and identifies your faculty mentor.  Watch for emails from the Honors Capstone Coordinator for deadline announcements. Here's the link:

In close collaboration with your mentor, prepare a literature review and project proposal. This proposal should identify your question/problem, place it in the critical, scientific or creative conversation, state your methodology, outline the project, and provide a calendar for the completion of its various stages.

What does my faculty mentor need to do before I get started?

Your faculty mentor also needs to complete a short form called the Honors Capstone Initiation Faculty Form. Please share this link with them:

Do I need to sign up for a class to complete the Honors Capstone?

No, you don’t need to sign up for a class to complete the Honors Capstone. 

We do offer an independent study if you need additional upper division elective hours to graduate, if you need additional hours to be a fulltime student in any given semester, or if you feel you need the structure to help you complete your project, but it is not required that you take those hours.  You can take up to 3 credit hours of an Honors independent study per semester for up to a total of 6 hours overall.  Remember that these hours will count as upper division electives but do not meet any specific requirements towards your degree or your Honors minor. 

If your catalog year is 2016, you are under the 2015 University Studies Program Requirements (which took effect Fall 2015 and apply to all students who were admitted in or after that term.)  Therefore, students with this catalog year who wish to enroll in an independent study for the senior thesis should enroll in HP 4976.  

  • HP 4975: Sign up for 3 credits of this class and your project can be used to meet your WC requirement under the University Studies Program 2003.

  • HP 4976: Register for 1 to 3 credits of upper division credit.  Please note that this course does not meet the COM3 requirement under the University Studies Program 2015.


Does the Honors College have funding to support my research or creative work?

Yes! Dean Parolin manages a scholarship fund to help offset research costs associated with the Honors Capstone.  Please consider applying for a grant. Priority will be given to students who don't have other sources of funding.  

The grant application link is below. Read the directions carefully. You will complete the top half, and your faculty mentor will complete the bottom and then submit to the Honors College.

Contact Us

The Honors College

Guthrie House

1200 Ivinson St.

Laramie, WY 82070

Phone: 307-766-4110

Fax: 307-766-4298


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