Academic HomecomingIn Your Major

Joining a major marks your transition from advising in the Academic Advising Center to advising within your major during your last two years at Duke. With this move to a new academic home come new considerations for how to get the most out of your Duke experience.

Capstone experience

The best way to tie together four years of learning at Duke is through a capstone experience, an opportunity to bring together multiple facets of your academic experience through the completion of a culminating project. A capstone project allows you to apply the expertise you have developed in a major or deeply explore an interdisciplinary theme. Many majors and all certificate programs have capstone requirements, and you can pursue an interest in your field through independent study.

Whether you complete a capstone requirement or define and create your own project, a capstone experience allows you to integrate different experiences into a single representation of your work. For example, many students pursue Graduation with Distinction through the completion of a senior thesis or project. The benefits of this program include the chance to have a close working relationship with an esteemed colleague in your area of interest, demonstrating expertise in an area in your field and writing a paper that reflects your efforts over your senior year. Many seniors consider their Graduation with Distinction project to be the highlight of their academic career at Duke.

You will complete your capstone experience as a senior but should start planning early, especially after joining your major. Finding a mentor in your department or program, discovering a passion in your field, engaging in undergraduate research and raising questions to be explored by immersing yourself in your major will inspire your capstone project. You should also work with your major advisor to plan a course schedule that allows you the flexibility to devote time in your senior year to a capstone experience.