Capstone courses serve as the demonstration of cumulative learning through the completion of a Signature Work. Capstones courses (1-3 credits) are offered within the major and are typically taken the final year of college.  A Signature Work is a semester-long project that might be a research paper, a performance, a portfolio of “best work,” or an exhibit of artwork. Students may use their ePortfolios to display their Signature Work products and outcomes and show evidence of a connection with previous learning experiences.

Like the First Year Seminar, Capstone courses have been extensively researched and serve the purpose of encouraging a student to synthesize and reflect upon transferrable skills. Capstones can promote coherence and relevance of both the general education and major curriculum, assist in development of key skills, and improve career and graduate school preparation. Capstone courses will become a graduation requirement for all Adams State students starting the 2022/2023 academic year.

Capstone Highlights Across Campus


  • ART 497 – Exhibition
  • ART 498- Professional Practice

Senior Websites


  • BIO 493/494 Thesis

Students prepare a professional presentation on an advanced biology topic and present to the faculty and seminar students.


  • CHEM 471/472 – Chemistry Seminar

Senior chemistry majors present to kids at the Annual Chemistry Show

Teacher Education

  • ED 455 – Student Teaching

As a culmination to their pre-service training, all teacher education students complete a full semester of student teaching in which they apply their knowledge and skills in lesson design, classroom management, and assessment toward the development and growth of diverse K-12 students. Students have the choice to complete student teaching within any Colorado school district and gain experience within urban, rural, and suburban contexts. A number of student teachers are hired as full-time teachers of record by the time they reach this phase of their degree program which enables them to complete their degree while gainfully employed as a practicing professional.


    ENG 495 – Senior Seminar

Our capstone course is Senior Seminar which is designed to approximate a graduate level course. The rigor, assignments, and readings (number and difficulty of works) move beyond the junior and senior level courses that ELA majors have become accustomed to taking, preparing them for graduate level work. Students turn in a 15-20 page paper which, in theory, would become a published journal article at some point in the future.

    ENG 497 – Capstone Writing Workshop

Students develop existing work and create new work for a 35-page final portfolio/chapbook culminating with a formal reading in the Black Box Theatre.


  • GSCI 450 – Senior Capstone in Geosciences

Students conduct a research project in their senior year and present it in the spring.

History, Government, and Philosophy

  • HGP 471 Senior Seminar

HAPPSS has a Senior Seminar, in which students are to produce a paper of near-publishable quality that represents the culmination of their experiences.  Since we have primarily History and Political Science (but also Social Studies education and Anthropology) we offer a themed seminar to allow research in all fields.

Previous Themes

  • Revolutions
  • Current Political Topics
  • American West


  • KIN 450 Senior Capstone

The capstone course in Kinesiology is like a professional development course for seniors graduating our programs.  The goal is to get them out of the student mindset and into the professional mindset.  They have specific assignments aimed at getting them to think like a professional in their field versus a student.


  • MATH 471/472 Senior Capstone


  • MUS 445 – Senior Recital

Most music majors have a performance component of their senior capstone.

Senior Capstone Performance Example

Delaney Armstrong video project


  • NURS – 414/415 – Nursing Internship and Clinical


  • SOC 493/494 – Internship

Students complete an internship.


  • THTR 490 – Senior Thesis

For this course, students work with a thesis advisor on projects that tailored to their degree plan and career goals. Students may direct a production in our Xperimental Theatre, design the set, costumes, or lighting for a faculty directed production, stage manage,  or perform a solo show.  Last fall, one student who is wanting to voiceover work created a demo reel with which he can start his career.

This spring, Brandon Billings directed three of the original Twilight Zone episodes as live theatre. His Student Scholars Day presentation video won 2nd Place.

Resources for Instructors

  • Google Drive Resources – Capstone worksheet that can be copied and used for program development
  • Nielsen Library has the book that accompanies the worksheet  “Designing and Teaching Undergraduate Capstone Courses” by Robert C. Hauhart and Jon E. Grahe.