Capstone Courses

Beginning in 1999, MSU faculty made a commitment to dramatically increase the participation of undergraduate majors in senior capstone experiences. To accomplish this, MSU began requiring all baccalaureate curricula to contain a required capstone course for all students in that major or option. With the emphasis on integration, the Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGSC) recommends a common capstone for all students in a given major, but the committee recognizes that it is appropriate in some majors to have capstone experiences differ by option.

A capstone experience requires seniors to integrate principles, theories, and methods learned in courses required throughout the major. Students creatively analyze, synthesize, and evaluate learned knowledge in projects having a professional focus and communicate the results of the projects effectively at a professional entry level by a method appropriate to the discipline.

Capstone experiences are intended to provide a shared common experience for students during their senior year. Qualifying experiences must contain an explicit communications component and a synthesizing project. An independent study alone cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. Normally, capstone experiences are completed within single 3 to 6 credit courses taken by all students. However, the UGSC considers exceptions to this provided that the required experience meets the overarching goals of the capstone experience. Exceptions approved to date include:

  • Capstone courses that rotate such that all students in any given semester complete the same course but the course can change from semester to semester.
  • Capstone courses of 1 or 2 credits that have an independent study component or co-requisite.
  • Independent study culminating in an appropriate group experience (e.g., an exhibition or symposium).

Beginning with introduction of CORE 2.0 in 2004, capstone courses have been indicated in the catalog in the course descriptions, which begin with the words, “Senior capstone course.” Courses listed below are currently recognized as capstone experiences. Follow the course link for a description of a course's synthesizing project and its communications component.

College of Agriculture

Agricultural Business

  • AGEC 451, Economics of Agricultural Policy - both options

Agricultural Education

  • AGED 462, International Extension Systems- Extension option
  • EDSD 413, Professional Issues - Agricultural Education Teaching and Broadfield Teaching options
and corequisite EDSD 410, Student Teaching

Animal Science

  • -Under Review


  • VTMB 477, Biotechnology Capstone - Animal Systems option
  • MB 400, Seminar - Microbial Systems option
  • PSPP 429, Biotechnology Capstone Seminar - Plant Systems option
in conjunction with VTMB 476, MB 476, or PSPP 476, Internship

Environmental Horticulture

  • PSPP 425-427, Horticulture Senior Capstone I & II - Science Option
  • PSPP 432, Advanced Landscape Design - Landscape Design Option

Environmental Sciences

  • LRES 441-442R , Capstone I & II Field Applications in LRES-both options
Land Rehabilitation

Land Resource Sciences

  • LRES 441-442R , Capstone I & II Field Applications in LRES-both options

Natural Resources and Rangeland Ecology

  • Under Review

Plant Science

  • LRES 428 , Cropping Systems and Sustainable Agriculture- Crop Science option
  • Under Review - Plant Biology Option

Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems

  • PSPP 499, SFBS Capstone (to be developed) - Sustainable Crop Production option
  • LRES 499, SFBS Capstone (to be developed) - Agroecology option

College of Arts and Architecture


  • ART 490, Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity - Art History option with corequisite ART 410 for Studio and Art History options with corequisite ART 489 for Graphic Design option
  • EDSD 413, Professional Issues - Art Education option

Environmental Design

Film and Photography

  • MTA 472, Motion Picture/TV/Video/Theatre Senior Production - Motion Picture/Video and Theatre options.
  • MTA 473, Photography Senior Production - Photography option


  • MUS 405R, Senior Project (all options: BA, BA-Music Tech, BME)

College of Business


  • BUS 474, Business Senior Seminar - all options.

College of Education, Health and Human Development

Community Health

  • HDHL 440, Principles of Epidemiolog, and Early Childhood Education and Child Services
  • HDHL 445, Program Planning and Evaluation in Health
  • HDCF 454, Practicum in Early Childhood Teaching Elementary Education
  • EDEL 414, Professional Issues and corequisite EDEL 410, Student Teaching

Family and Consumer Sciences

  • HDCF 474, Senior Seminar-Professional Issues - Non-teaching option
  • EDSD 413, Professional Issues - Teaching option

Food and Nutrition

  • HDFN 400, Seminar - Dietetics option
  • HDFN 426, Medical Nutritional Therapy II - Nutrition science option

Health Enhancement K-12

  • EDSD 413, Professional Issues and corequisite EDSD/EDEL 410, Student Teaching

Health and Human Performance

  • HDPE 465, Exercise Testing and Prescription - Exercise Science option
  • HDPE 475, Senior Seminar: Professional Issues - Kinesiology option

Secondary Education

  • EDSD 413, Professional Issuesand corequisite EDSD 410, Student Teaching

Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems

  • HDFN 499, SFBS Capstone (to be developed) - Sustainable Food Systems option

Technology Education

  • TE 417R, Manufacturing Technology - Industrial Technology option
  • EDSD 413, Professional Issues - Technology Education Teaching and Broadfield Teaching options and corequisite EDSD 410, Student Teaching

College of Engineering


Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering

Computer Science

  • CS 450, Compilers - Professional Option
  • CS 490, Undergraduate Research- Interdisciplinary Option

Construction Engineering Technology

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • EE 492R, Electrical Engineering Design II - all options

Industrial & Management Engineering

  • I&ME 444R-445R, Senior Design Project and Independent I&ME Senior Design- all options

Mechanical Engineering

  • ME 404R, Mechanical Engineering Design II

Mechanical Engineering Technology

  • MET 456-457R, Mechanical Engineering Technology Capstone Experience I & II

College of Letters and Science

Biological Sciences

  • BIOL 443, Current Topics in Evolutionary Biology - Ecology and Evolution, Organismal Biology, and Biology Teaching options
  • F&WL 401, Fish and Wildlife Topics - Fish and Wildlife Management option

Cell Biology and Neuroscience

  • BIOL 451, Cell Biology and Neuroscience Department Capstone Seminar - both options


  • BCHM 401, Seminar Presentation - Biochemistry option
  • CHMY 494, Seminar/Workshop - Professional and Teaching options

Earth Science

  • GPHY 425, Geographic Thought - Geography and GIS/Planning options
  • GEO 429, Field Geology - Geology, Geohydrology, and Paleontology options
  • ERTH 450R, Snow Dynamics and Accumulation - Snow Science option



  • ENGL 461 , Integrative Teaching Methods - English Teaching Option
  • LIT 494 , Capstone: Research Issues - Literature Option


  • HSTA/HSTR 490R, Undergraduate Research - SETS, Japan Studies, and Religious Studies options
  • HIST 499, Seminar in Historical Methodology - all options


  • M 431, Abstract Algebra I- Mathematics option
  • M 486 , Research Experiences in Applied Mathematics - Applied Mathematics option
  • M 428, Mathematical Modeling for Teachers - Mathematics Teaching option
  • STAT 422, Mathematical Statistics - Statistics option


Modern Languages and Literatures

  • MLF 450, Seminar: French Literature & Culture - all French language options
  • MLG 450, Seminar: German Literature & Culture - all German language options
  • MLS 450, Seminar: Modern Hispanic Literature - all Spanish language options



  • PHYS 406, Capstone Presentations - Professional and Interdisciplinary options in conjunction with PHYS 470, PHYS 489, or PHYS 490

Political Science



  • ANTH 422, Anthropological Theory - Anthropology degree (alternate years)
  • ANTH 425, Social Organization - Anthropology degree (alternate years)
  • SOC 451, Senior Capstone Seminar - Sociology degree

College of Nursing


  • N 485, Nursing Leadership and Management


Directed Interdisciplinary Studies

  • UH 490, Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity