STS 410 Capstone

Information for Students

STS 410 is the required capstone course for STS Majors. It is worth 3* and is to be completed in the students’ final year of their program. It is taught as a directed study or guided reading course, supervised by a faculty member associated with your subject and/or the STS program. While it is usually run as a one-on-one course between a faculty member and student, STS 410 may, in some cases, be run with two or more students working with one faculty member.

Course outcomes:

  • You will produce a 25-30 page research essay on the topic of your choice, and the topic will be reflected on your official transcript.
  • You may deposit your final capstone project to ERA - the University of Alberta Library's institutional repository, giving you a permanent, open access link for your CV.
  • You may have the opportunity  to submit your research to a suitable forum eg. FURCA, DiHuCON, Crossings Journal
  • Your supervisor will meet with you to discuss your research intent and produce a syllabus for the course.

Here is a general example of requirements, assignments, and grade distribution which may comprise your syllabus:

Weekly or biweekly meetings with supervisor to discuss an assigned reading

6-12 meetings in a term

Graded assignments:

Essay proposal 10%

Specific essay question, 500 word overview of topic, bibliography

Reader responses 20%

4 responses of 500 words x 5%

Discussion 20%

Research essay 50%

Primary and secondary sources, 25-30 pages not including apparatus such as bibliography, illustrations etc.

Student Instructions and Deadlines:

If you are a student nearing the end of your program you must:

Write a brief (minimum one-page) statement of intent about your proposed topic for STS 410. Your statement should be as specific as possible in describing your intended research for this class, and it should include citations if necessary.

Your statement should aim to answer the following questions:

  • What is your proposed topic? Be as specific as possible.
  • How does this topic relate to questions/themes in STS?
  • Do you have any specific research questions you have identified about your topic that you intend to explore?
  • What inspired your interest in this topic? (A certain class you took? A research presentation? Something you read? A discussion with a professor, or a volunteer or employment project?)
  • Why do you want to do this research?
  • Have you identified any faculty members who you would like to work with as your supervisor?

It is fine if you are not sure of the answers to any of the above questions; you can say that in your statement. One of the purposes of the statement is to help us match you with an appropriate supervisor in case you are unable to do it on your own. You may use your statement later in your class to build a full proposal.

Fill out this Google Form BEFORE MAY 1 to declare your intention to take STS 410 in the following regular academic year to get enrolled. This class is closed to web registration, so you will not be able to take the class unless a specific section is set up for you. STS 410 will normally be offered only in the Winter term. If you have compelling reasons why you need to take it in the Fall instead, we will try to accommodate you.