Recommended Capstone Project Proposal Format


This proposal format should work for almost any piece of original research, scholarship, or
creative work. Depending on the needs of the project and the conventions of the discipline,
faculty sponsors might request different information or additional details to confirm the project
quality. Although there is no minimum length requirement for this proposal, it would be difficult to
address the requirements in less than two single-spaced pages. Proposals that are more fully
developed (e.g., literature review/methods) may also be used as the first draft of final papers to
be submitted later!


Cover page with:

  • Title
  • Student Name
  • NMSU Email


Project Summary
A brief summary of the overall goal of the project and the final outcomes to be developed from
the work.


Literature Review or Annotated Work to Support the Project
Although the capstone is an original project it is certainly based on, or influenced by previous
research, scholarship, or creative work in the field. To document the foundation for this work,
proposals should include a minimum of five references that establish the significance and
meaning of the proposed project.


Methods of Project
Although the nature of the work will vary widely depending on the project to be completed,
students must first provide a detailed description of the steps to be taken to complete the
project. This is an opportunity for the student and advisor to ensure that the steps in the process
from inception to completion are clearly identified in advance. For research projects, this will be
the procedures and nature of the analysis. For an original creative activity, this might be the
steps in the creative process to develop the final product.


From the initial development of the project (which could have begun even before the proposal)
to the final sharing of the end products, the timeline should spell out target deadlines for pieces
of the process to ensure timely completion.


Final Product
Regardless of the format of the work, all students are expected to submit a final written report as
part of their end product. The written report might be a major final paper itself but for other
students, (e.g., creative work) the report might be more like an artist statement or reflection on
the work completed. Although there is not formal page limit, almost all capstone papers will be
10+ pages in length but this is dependant on the discipline and the proposal (e.g., mathematical
proof, brief research report with poster presentation for conference, 100 pages of a novel).


All capstone work should be developed with a plan for dissemination - proposals should specify
where this work can be shared. Students can share on campus at URCAS, RCW, or structured
exhibitions, but everyone is encouraged to design their work to also share off campus in
professional settings, at research conferences, or other public exhibitions.


A reference list of work cited in the proposal must be included in whatever format is appropriate
to the discipline.




Capstone Approval
HNRS capstone credits cannot be added to the student schedule until the student has
submitted the proposal to the Honors College Office with verification of support from the advisor
(signature on the cover page next to name) or email from the advisor.


Criteria for Evaluation
Although the Dean of Honors will record the final grade for the capstone project, the faculty
advisor is the one to determine the grade. Students should clarify with their advisor how their
final grade will be assigned!


Although limited financial support for projects may be available from the Honors Office or other
University sources, students are responsible for ensuring that they have adequate resources to
complete their project before committing to the work. Please discuss the budget requirements
with your advisor in advance!


Course Substitution
It is possible to substitute a similar capstone project required in a major outside of Honors, but
students that wish to petition for this must meet the same standards of the Honors Capstone.
Petitions must be made with a proposal the semester in advance of the work. Please get
approval from your advisor and Dean Camarena in advance to ensure this can be approved.

Capstone Project Form