As part of the University of New Hampshire’s Discovery Program requirements, all students must complete a capstone experience during their senior year (after earning at least 90 credits). For students in catalog years AY 20-21 and earlier, consult your specific undergraduate course catalog for capstone requirements. For students in catalog years AY 21-22 and later, the capstone experience for students majoring in Biology, Zoology, and Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology consists of BOTH (1) an approved individual experience AND (2) the successful completion of the BIOL 780 Capstone Companion course. Students will not be approved for graduation until capstone certification has been granted. 

1) The individual experience 
The individual experience may be satisfied through various forms of experiential learning (e.g., Honors thesis, mentored research project, internship) or a course denoted with a “(C)” in the undergraduate course catalog. The individual experience must fulfill at least one of the University’s capstone criteria: 

  • synthesizes and applies disciplinary knowledge and skills 

  • fosters reflection on undergraduate learning and experience 

  • demonstrates emerging professional competencies 

  • applies, analyzes, and/or interprets research, data, or artistic expression 

  • explores areas of interest based on the integration of prior learning 

Before beginning any capstone individual experience, students MUST SUBMIT A COMPLETED CAPSTONE APPROVAL FORM to their Program Coordinator. 
Capstone Approval Form

Here they will describe their proposed individual experience and how it fulfills at least one of the University’s capstone criteria listed above. If the student is selecting a “C” course for their individual experience, they should obtain the course syllabus from the instructor for information about the course’s content and learning objectives.

2) Enrollment in BIOL 780 
Students will also be required to enroll in BIOL 780 Capstone Companion (1 cr.) during the semester of their individual experience. BIOL 780 is offered every Fall and Spring semester. 

  • If the individual experience is a two-semester thesis, BIOL 780 should be taken during the second semester. 

  • If the individual experience occurs during the summer (e.g., internship), BIOL 780 should be taken during the Fall semester that immediately follows. 

  • Note: Because BIOL 780 is not offered during the summer, students cannot complete their individual experience during the summer and graduate during that same August. Summer experiences could only be used as individual capstone experiences if completed the summer before the student’s senior year.