Capstone Experience

Biology majors complete a Capstone Experience in their senior year that usually involves a research-intensive experience. Planning for the Capstone Experience begins in the junior year.

Capstone Experience Planning Form – Class of 2021 (to be posted soon)

Completion of a capstone experience that includes either two of the following: Biology 457, 458, 460, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476, 477 (a research-intensive Short Term course may be substituted with prior departmental approval); or, with prior approval, Biology 460 plus a service-learning project. With prior departmental approval, a semester-long research experience in certain approved programs…combined with Biology 460, may serve to fulfill the capstone experience. (From the Bates College catalog.)

Amy Johnston’s ’12 thesis research explored growth line formation and aging of limpets found in an archaeological site in the Shetland Islands. (Ambrose lab)

In the Winter term of the junior year, each student is required to submit a plan (Capstone Experience Form) to inform their adviser as to how they will fulfill their capstone requirement. Early planning for the capstone is strongly encouraged, particularly if it will involve off-campus programs such as those mentioned above. The student should discuss her/his capstone plan with their adviser as early as possible in the junior year. If the plan includes thesis, students should, in consultation with faculty, prepare a brief description of the proposed project; this does not replace the formal thesis proposal requirement (see Thesis Guidelines) at start of thesis enrollment. Students should discuss possible projects with two different advisers/mentors – although every effort will be made to match each student with their first choice, this cannot not be guaranteed.


This form and the supporting paragraphs are due by [date TBD].
Hand in all paperwork in to Sonya Roderick at 521 Carnegie Science.

Students will be notified by [date TBD], about their options.

Students pursuing Biological Chemistry or Interdisciplinary Majors in Neuroscience, Environmental Studies, or other areas involving Biology are encouraged, but not required, to attend biology seminars.