All undergraduates matriculating as first-year students in 2021-22 or later and graduating in AY 2024-25 or later must complete a Senior Capstone Experience. Transfer students who enter during AY 2022-23 or AY 2023-24 and plan to graduate in AY 2024-2025 or later will also be required to complete a capstone.
Students can choose from the following capstone options:
- Honors Program in Biology
- The Senior Reflection in Biology
- The Independent Capstone in Biology
- Capstone Outside of Biology
Honors Program Requirements
- BIO 199/ 199X–10 units of research in thesis lab completed during junior and senior years
- BIO199W–3 unit course during Winter quarter of senior year
- Engage deeply with and appreciate the process of scientific research
- Design and implement an independent research project that contributes to knowledge in Biology
- Describe the research project, findings, and significance to a broad scientific audience in a variety of ways
Students will need to submit their Honors thesis (approved by readers) and present their work (poster or oral presentation) at the Achauer Honors Symposium in May as well as on our Virtual Showcase website. Students will also need a 3.0 GPA by graduation
- Engage deeply in a biological research project
- Communicate scientific information and their research findings in a variety of ways
- Drive an independent research project
How to Sign Up?
- Students will be required to apply to the Honors program and craft a research proposal that will be submitted near the end of Winter quarter of their junior year (exact dates are posted on the Honors website)
- In the application, students will have identified their readers, their plan for research units, and share their proposed project for approval
For any questions, contact Dr. Jamie Imam at jamiec [at] stanford.edu (jamiec[at]stanford[dot]edu)
The Senior Reflection
The Senior Reflection Requirements
- BIO 196A–3 units completed during Autumn quarter of senior year
- BIO 196B–3 unit course during Winter quarter of senior year
- BIO 196C– 3 unit course during Spring quarter of senior year
- Explore passions for science and the arts and bring those passions together into a single in-depth creative project
- Develop creative projects with the support of peers, mentors and instructors in a workshop environment, and curate them for presentation at an end-of-the year symposium.
- Deepen and refine the ability to give and receive detailed, constructive feedback and support in a workshop setting among peers.
- Reflect deeply in their Stanford careers and capstone experience through the writing and revision of a reflective essay.
- By the end of fall quarter, each student will secure a scientific mentor and a creative mentor, and complete a detailed project proposal.
- By the end of the winter quarter, having worked on their projects throughout the quarter, each student will submit a genre-appropriate “snapshot” of their project close to completion.
- Near the end of the spring quarter, each student will curate and present their complete project at the end-of-the-year symposium.
- By the end of spring quarter, having presented their final projects in the symposium, students will submit a 10-12 page reflective essay in which they describe and reflect upon their capstone experience, and on their Stanford careers.
The Senior Reflection is designed for those students who wish to combine an area of scientific interest with an in-depth creative project of their choice, which they will complete in a weekly creative workshop format. The Senior Reflection is a collaborative workshop-based program, in which students work closely with instructors, peers, and mentors.
Students will enroll in BIO 196A, commit to all three courses in the track (BIO 196A, B, C), and inform course instructors of their intention to do so.
How to Sign Up?
No preliminary materials are required to enroll in BIO 196A,B,C as the proposal, capstone project, and reflective essay are generated during the three courses, with support from fellow workshop participants, instructors, and mentors.
For any questions, contact Dr. Susan McConnell at suemcc [at] stanford.edu (suemcc[at]stanford[dot]edu) and Andrew Todhunter at andrew.todhunter [at] stanford.edu (andrew[dot]todhunter[at]stanford[dot]edu)
Independent Capstone Requirements
- BIO 199A–3 units completed during Spring quarter of junior year
- BIO 199B–1-3 units course during Autumn quarter of senior year
- BIO 199C– 2 units course during Winter quarter of senior year
- Explore passions for science, education, technology, business, community services, or other fields, and bring all those passions together into a single in-depth independent project.
- Develop capstone projects independently with the support of advisors, mentors, and instructors.
- Curate and present their projects at an end-of-year symposium.
- By the end of spring quarter of junior year, each student will secure a project mentor and complete a detailed project proposal.
- By the end of the fall quarter of senior year, having worked on their projects independently throughout the quarter, each student will submit a genre-appropriate “snapshot” of their project close to completion.
- By the end of the winter quarter of senior year, having completed and revised their independent projects, students will submit their final projects
- By the end of spring quarter, students will curate and present their projects in an end-of-the-year symposium.
Students who wish to complete an independent capstone project must enroll in the Independent Capstone in Biology course series. Such projects might involve creative works, research or business internships, travel-based study, teaching, or community service. Examples include the production of a teaching or business plan, a film or podcast, or a public education campaign.
In Bio199A, taken in Spring quarter of their junior year, students will identify mentors and develop project proposals. Students will begin their projects through Bio 199B in Fall quarter of senior year. In Winter quarter of senior year, students will enroll in Bio 199C to complete their projects and prepare for their presentation in spring.
The Independent Capstone in Biology is best suited for those students who wish to complete their projects independently, without close peer support and collaboration, while continuing to benefit from project mentorship.
Students will enroll in Bio 199A, commit to all three courses in the track (199A,B,C), and inform the course instructors of their intention to do so.
How to Sign Up?
No preliminary materials are required to enroll in Bio 199A, as the proposal will be generated during the course, with support from advisors, mentors and instructors.
For any questions, contact Dr. Ashby Morrison at %20ashbym [at] stanford.edu (ashbym[at]stanford[dot]edu) and Andrew Todhunter at andrew.todhunter [at] stanford.edu (andrew[dot]todhunter[at]stanford[dot]edu)
Capstone Outside of Biology
Outside of Biology Capstone Options
Notation in Science Communication
The program typically runs application periods in the Fall (for Juniors and Sophomores) and Spring (for Sophomores and First-Year Students). See more details about the timeline and requirements in the link above.
Science, Technology, and Society Honors program
Begin the process during Autumn of junior year by talking to the STS Honors program director. See more details about the timeline and requirements in the link above.
Interdisciplinary Honors in the Arts
Applications accepted during Junior year. See more details about the timeline and requirements. A separate petition must be submitted to the Biology student services office to share how the project will be related to the Biology major.
Undergraduate Honors in Education
Prospective honors students apply to the program in early spring quarter of their junior year. Admitted students begin the program autumn quarter senior year. A separate petition must be submitted to the Biology student services office to share how the project will be related to the Biology major.