The Capstone Experience (3 credit hours) is designed to integrate, synthesize, and apply knowledge as developed through a student's academic program. Students are eligible to begin their capstone after completing five semesters of university coursework. There are five options for completion of the capstone requirement:
SPHU 4540 Senior Seminar Capstone The seminar involves discussion and reflection on issues related to the practice of public health as well as a survey of job opportunities, and includes professional development. The goal is to facilitate individual growth and career development through a series of guest lecture presentations, reflection essays, and the development of a professional public health portfolio. BSPH seniors can register themselves for this option.
SPHU 4550 Capstone Independent Study Working one-on-one with a faculty member, the student will complete a high-level research paper. Students should seek out a sponsoring faculty mentor and speak to the program manager to register for credit.
SPHU 4560 Capstone Internship This option can build professional skills through real world experiences. There are many great opportunities in New Orleans, or students can do an internship out of town during the summer. This Capstone includes a weekly internship seminar taught by current PhD students. Students apply to this program through the Center for Public Service. Students receive Capstone and service-learning credit.
SPHU 4580 International Capstone The BSPH program offers Summer International Capstones, or the student can do a semester-long study abroad program that includes a Capstone. Tulane's Office of Study Abroad Abroad works with international programs that provide academic research or internship projects that can count as a public health Capstone. To complete this type of Capstone, the experience needs to be approved by the department program manager or faculty. Upon returning, students present their work at the BSPH program’s International Scholar Symposium and are graded by faculty before credit is given. Tulane-taught summer international capstones include The Health Systems of China and Public Health Threats in Suriname.
SPHU 4990 & 5000 Honors Thesis During the senior year students may write an Honors Thesis or complete an equivalent Honors project that may be used to fulfill the BSPH Capstone. To be eligible to write an Honors Thesis, a student must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher, and a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major or majors for which the thesis is to be written. The Honors Thesis requires two semesters of work with a three-member faculty thesis committee. This option can be very rewarding for students planning to go on to graduate school. Interested students should speak to a faculty member during their third year at Tulane about this option, as well as to administrators of the Honors Program. Students receive 7 total credit hours as well as writing intensive credit for completing an Honors Thesis.
General Capstone Guidelines:
Students must be more than half-way through their degree program to start a Capstone. Students will typically reach this point as a second -semester junior, but please consult with your advisor to be sure. Students must resolve any incompletes before registering for the capstone.
Except for SPHU 4540, students may not register for a Capstone without receiving departmental approval; please seek advising before proceeding.
Students are responsible for initiating and following through with their Capstone.