Watson Institute at Brown University
International Relations

Capstone FAQ

How do I know which seminars count?
See the approved list on the IR website.

Does my capstone have to be on a theme in my track or on the region I am using for IR? No. For many students, this will happen naturally—students with particular regional interests will likely write a paper on that region in a theme-based seminar. Students taking a seminar on a particular country or region will likely want to work on an IR theme in their track. Alternatively, you may want to use your acquired knowledge in IR to explore a new theme or geographic region.

Do I have to do extra work in the seminar for it to count as a capstone?
No, just complete the seminar assignments. The only difference is that we require documentation of research in two languages.

Research in two languages – what does that mean exactly?
We suggest reading at least five pieces in the second language across several types of sources – perhaps a chapter in a book, a journal article, a newspaper article. Interviews and documents from a government website, for example, are excellent primary sources in the original language. You'll document this in your footnotes and Works Cited. Be sure to indicate in the footnote that the translation is yours.

What if my project doesn't match my language – for example, I'd like to work on Latin America, but my language for IR is Chinese?
No problem. You can always find scholarly work and news articles in any language on any topic. For example, there is a lot of great research on Latin America in Chinese.