Notes about capstones:
- Senior capstones must be taken senior year.
- Senior seminars cannot be substituted with other courses offered through IAPA or through other concentrations.
- Senior and junior seminars are not interchangeable; they have different purposes.
- Students are strongly encouraged to take senior seminars for a grade, as they represent the culmination of a student's work in IAPA.
There are three options for fulfilling the requirement:
- enrolling in a pre-approved IAPA Senior Seminar and writing a 20-25 page research paper or its equivalent, or
- by application and acceptance in the IAPA Honors Program and writing a senior thesis, or
- enrolling in an independent study or group independent study (GISP) and writing a 20-25 page research paper
Option 1: Senior Seminar
This option entails taking, during the senior year, a pre-approved IAPA Senior Seminar. Approved Senior Seminars require students, in their senior year, to write a research paper that draws on analytic expertise, thematic expertise, regional expertise, and foreign language skills, if applicable. The research paper is typically about 20-25 pages in length.
Option 2: Senior Thesis
Students interested in writing a senior thesis will apply to the IAPA Honors Program in the spring semester of junior year. The senior thesis can take the form of a written thesis (academic paper), media project, or other project with approval from the IAPA Director. Students must receive approval for their topic, but generally any topic that fits within the general framework of International and Public Affairs research will be appropriate.
Option 3: Independent Study
Students may fulfill the capstone requirement by writing a research paper or policy memo of 20-25 pages in conjunction with an independent study conducted under the supervision of a Brown faculty member. Capstone projects associated with independent study must receive approval from the International and Public Affairs Faculty Concentration Advising Committee. Students must submit an Independent Study Approval Form within one week of the start of the semester in which the student will enroll in IAPA 1818A. Students are required to register for a section of IAPA 1818A with their Brown faculty sponsor who will be supervising the project.
Independent Study with Internship Experience
Students may fulfill the capstone requirement by writing a paper of 20-25 pages analyzing and reflecting on an internship completed by the student in the summer prior to senior year or during senior year. The capstone paper should analyze and explain the nature of the work conducted and its relationship to specific issues of international and public affairs. The paper may take the form of either a scholarly essay or a policy memo. For the internship to be used to fulfill the capstone requirement, prior approval must be received by the International and Public Affairs Faculty Concentration Advising Committee. Students must submit an Independent Study Approval Form within one week of the start of the semester in which the student will enroll in IAPA 1818A. Students are required to register for a section of IAPA 1818A with their Brown faculty sponsor who will be supervising the writing of the final project.