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Capstone, Independent Research & Departmental Honors

Senior Capstone

The SIS Senior Capstone course integrates the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary SIS core curriculum with the experiential learning of study abroad. This is accomplished through analysis of the role of the individual in a variety of cultural and historical contexts, paying particular attention to questions of identity and ethics in a complex global environment.

Independent Research

Sophomores and above who have completed INTL 101, Social Science Research Methods, and who have a GPA of at least 3.0 may take an INTL 197 (Independent Research) course with a faculty adviser appropriate to their research interests. For more information, talk to your Faculty Adviser or SIS Academic Adviser.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors are awarded to SIS Seniors who have completed INTL 101, Social Science Research Methods, and who have a Pacific cumulative GPA of 3.5 and undertake a Senior Honors Thesis as Independent Research (INTL 197 or ANTH 197) or Capstone Seminar (POLS 189* available to SIS seniors double majoring in Political Science) and receive a minimum grade of B+. Students will work with a faculty adviser appropriate to their research interests.

To receive credit for independent research:

  1. The student confers with a faculty research adviser, and if they agree on a research project for the student, he or she signs up for an SIS Independent Research class of 2-4 units. The course is designated in the Schedule of Classes as an "Instructor's permission required" course. A student may do a 4-unit course in one semester or two courses of 2 units each for two consecutive semesters on the same research project. The student then picks up an Experiential Learning Opportunity form from the Career Resource Center for the faculty research adviser to sign at the beginning of the course.
  2. In the first month of the semester in which they are taking the INTL 197 Independent Research course, the students will be expected to attend a series of faculty and student research workshops. This is to review research methodology and to help with the research design for the student's project.
  3. Senior SIS students are encouraged to designate the 197 Independent Research course(s) as SIS Seniors Honors Research. If so, it must be taken for a letter grade, not P/NC. The student must receive a B+ or better in the course(s) for it to count as an SIS Senior Honors project.
  4. When a student completes 4 units of SIS Seniors Honors Research on one senior level project, he or she will present it to, and defend it before, a panel of three SIS or other appropriate professors and/or give a public presentation (to be determined by the advising professor and the student).
  5. After the student successfully presents and defends his or her Senior Research project, and receives a minimum B+ grade on the final project, we shall designate the student as graduating with SIS Departmnental Honors. The student will be awarded an SIS Senior Research Honors certificate.
**** Capstone research project must be conducted independently and completed on an approved international topic, and receive a minimum grade of B+ to earn departmental honors.