Capstone Project and Proposal Guide

Student at computer

All declared Communication majors must complete the Capstone course (COMM 196) before graduating. If you plan to take the course for Fall 2021, you should have submitted your proposal by April 23, 2021. But if you suddenly realize that you'll need to take the course next semester, please contact Administrative Assistant Lori Erokan ( We might still be able to squeeze you in. If you already know your topic, just write up your proposal by answering the questions on our handy Capstone Project Proposal Guide about the research project you plan to complete. If you need help focusing your interest into a proposal, you can email either Capstone advisor: Ellen Rigsby ( or Scott Schonfeldt-Aultman ( They'll be happy to help you. Then email your proposal to Lori.

Please note: you won't be able to register for the course by yourself. Leave room in your schedule (Monday & Friday, 1:00-2:35pm), and once your proposal is approved, our faculty committee will register you for COMM 196. 

The Capstone project you produce in COMM 196 represents the culmination of your experience studying Communication with our department. The Capstone course requires you to make a scholarly or creative contribution to the field of Communication Studies and should draw upon the work you have accomplished in your major courses.

Because the course is research-driven and requires students to be self-motivated, the Communication department expects you to prepare for your Capstone experience by producing a short proposal detailing the topic, method, and theories that you will use in your research or creative project. In the semester before you intend to register for Senior Capstone, you must follow these steps to secure a space in the course:

1) Review the Capstone Project Proposal Guide and prepare a project proposal that addresses all of the areas listed on the guide.

2) Submit the proposal as a digital copy to Lori Erokan, our Administrative Assistant in the Communication Department. Please email your digital copy to her at:

3) You cannot register for Capstone using GaelXpress. Department faculty will review all proposals and place you in one of the available sections of this course.

4) Students planning to produce a media-based project must have completed at least one upper division application course. For basic guidelines for producing a media-based Capstone project, see the Capstone Media Project Guide.

There will be two Capstone sections for Fall 2021, both on Mon/Fri, both at 1:00-2:40pm, with Scott Schonfeldt-Aultman (Qualitative Capstone projects) and Ellen Rigsby (Qualitative & Quantitative Capstone projects) as the advisors. Remember: make sure you leave space for the class time when you register for the rest of your classes.