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Religious Studies Capstone Course(RELS 4900)

What is the Religious Studies Capstone Course?

The RELS 4900 Religious Studies Capstone class will be required of all RELS Majors. The capstone is a significant undergraduate project completed under the supervision of a faculty member and approved by the RELS Director, Maeera Shreiber.  Its purpose is to advance knowledge and understanding within the context of the major.  This culminating project may take different forms, but should always demonstrate your research expertise in Religious Studies, a command of relevant scholarship and an effort to contribute to that scholarship. 

Topics of the Capstone Course

Topics might be developed out of coursework, class projects, UROP projects, community engaged research, internships or even faculty research. Topics should be designed with the following objectives in mind:

 Demonstrating deep knowledge and understanding of significant methodological approaches to the study of religion and culture.
 A serious grasp of at least one religion (Islam, Buddhism, Sufism, Mormonism, Catholicism, Judaism, etc.).

There is no uniform required length for the final project. However, if the final project takes the form of a research paper, a range of 25-30 pages (including a bibliography) is common.  You will be expected to work closely with your Faculty Supervisor who will ultimately set specific expectations. 

Thesis Expectation for Students and Faculty Supervisors

A successful project requires that viable goals and a realistic timetable be established at the outset.

 Faculty Supervisors: Faculty Supervisors must establish clear expectations for the scope of research, the timeline of student meetings, submitted drafts and the final completion of the thesis.

 Students: Students completing RELS 4900 are also expected to participate in a symposium where they present a 10 minute account of their project and are prepared to answer questions about the process and their discoveries. 


Capstone Proposal:  A Capstone proposal should be explored with our Program Director, Maeera Shreiber, the semester prior to one's graduation (i.e. Fall Semester for students graduating in the Spring).   However, earlier consideration is a good practice and may lead to a broader academic opportunity. 

For further questions regarding the RELS 4900 please contact the Director of Religious Studies, Maeera Shreiber (


Last Updated: 8/29/17