ENST Thesis/Capstone

Starting in AY 2022/23, all students majoring in ENST will complete either a BA Thesis or BA Capstone in their 4th year. Either option will provide students with a rigorous application of concepts, theories and methods taught throughout the major program. The two alternatives, while distinct in scope and approach, are intended as a culmination of environmental and urban studies and preparation for future academic, career and life endeavors.

The BA Thesis is required for any student pursuing honors in the major, while all other students must complete either the BA Thesis or BA Capstone. The changes do not apply to students who are in their 4th year in AY 2021/22.

Upcoming 4th Year BA Thesis dates:

Thursday, May 26 – BA Thesis presentations are due. Please submit your presentations here.

Tuesday, May 31 – BA Thesis Symposium and End-Of-Year Celebration. Please see here for the Symposium schedule. In-person at 1155 E 60th Street (9AM—6PM).

BA Thesis

The thesis gives students a valuable opportunity to conduct extended research, writing, and analysis on a topic of particular significance to them.  Frequently, undergraduates who write and reason well are nevertheless unaccustomed to directing their own academic inquiry from within by formulating and conducting a research project from start to finish. The Program therefore offers significant guidance and support from faculty and preceptors in these independent projects. For this purpose, students choose expert advisors from across the University, receive mentorship from Program faculty, and participate in two-quarter BA Colloquium course sequence in their 4th year.

Some theses are not only self-styled but may take students to far-off places, both geographically and intellectually. The results are often remarkable in their scope and creativity.

For questions about the BA Thesis, please contact the program director Sabina Shaikh

BA Capstone

In some cases, student may prefer to complete a BA Capstone project within the framework of a designated course taken in their 4th year. This option allows for structured creativity using skills developed throughout the major program, culminating in an engaged project showcasing knowledge and experience in environmental and urban studies.

The BA Capstone option is open to all students in the major but does not qualify any student for honors. In this track, students must complete one individual BA Capstone project as required within a designated BA Capstone course. While certain Capstone courses can be taken prior to the 4th year, it will only count towards the Capstone requirement if taken in the 4th year. The course-based Capstone project will be designed by the instructor for all students in the course, regardless of major or track. The project may be an extended research or policy paper (15-20 pages), a series of writings for art or media (several 6-10 page articles), a design project in a studio-course, a creative project (e.g. short film, artwork, creative writing, or podcast) or other type of project designed by the instructor. The Capstone project will be evaluated by the instructor and contribute to the final grade in the chosen Capstone course.

Students must present their BA Capstone project in the final symposium held at the end of Spring quarter of their 4th year.

For questions about the BA Capstone, please contact Professor Evan Carver.

Sample Capstone Courses 

For a full list of courses that fulfill the 4th year BA Capstone requirement, please see the full list of approved ENST courses.