Watson Institute at Brown University
International and Public Affairs

Capstone

All International and Public Affairs concentrators complete a capstone project during their senior year. The capstone can take one of the following forms:

Senior Honors Thesis

Students who meet the concentrations’s honors requirements, and who have completed an approved thesis prospectus by the spring of junior year, have the option of writing a senior thesis. Thesis writers must in their senior year take the two-semester honors thesis seminar. 

Capstone Paper Associated with Senior Seminar 

Students may fulfill the capstone requirement by writing a research paper or policy memo of 15-25 pages as part of an International and Public Affairs-approved seminar taken during senior year.

Capstone Paper Associated with Independent Study

Students may fulfill the capstone requirement by writing a research paper or policy memo of 15-25 pages in conjunction with 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 concentration advisor. 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 faculty sponsor. 

Capstone Paper Associated with Internship

Students may fulfill the capstone requirement by writing a paper of 15-25 pages reflecting on an internship completed by the student in the summer prior to senior year or during senior year. For the internship to be used to fulfill the capstone requirement, prior approval must be received by the concentration advisor. The research/reflection paper should 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. 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 faculty sponsor.