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About Capstone Courses

Capstone courses provide opportunities for students to work closely with senior faculty on projects that involve substantial research, leadership, and/or interdisciplinary components, so as to consolidate their academic experiences and prepare to move beyond undergraduate studies.

Program Contacts

Wanda Thorne
Academic Programs Liaison Officer (Acting) 
vic.academics@utoronto.ca

Chris de Barros
Academic Programs Liaison Officer (On Leave) 
vic.academics@utoronto.ca

Course Information

VIC451H1Y Capstone: Learning Communities and Higher Education

VIC451H1Y
Capstone: Learning Communities and Higher Education
Professor Ira Wells
M 2-4

The Colloquium provides instruction, support, and practical experience for developing and increasing leadership and mentorship skills, with in-course feedback and final roundtable presentation. Topics will include theoretical approaches to mentorship, isolation and mental health, the purposes and evolution of higher education, assessment and meritocracy, and what it means to participate in higher education communities in the 21st century. Since the Colloquium includes students working in a variety of Humanities and Social Science disciplines, the emphasis is on interdisciplinarity: you will have the opportunity to interact with first-year students in a variety of areas of study. This course will prepare you with strategies and skills for your practicum experience which will allow you to meet and work with a group of first year students assigned to you (the students will be enrolled in the VIC One Hundred series of courses (or similar).

Application Deadline: July 1, 2022

VIC476H1F - Capstone Seminar in Foreign Policy

VIC476H1F
Capstone Seminar in Foreign Policy
Professor David Wright
W 2-4


This senior seminar is offered as a capstone to studies in international relations and political science. It will focus on current issues in foreign policy from the perspective of the practitioner. Professor Wright was Canadian Ambassador to NATO and Assistant Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Europe. How are decisions taken in crisis situations and how are broad foreign policy directions determined? The period covered will be from the end of the Cold War to the present day. How has Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changed geopolitics? How can the rules-based international order be preserved and strengthened? What is the future of the struggle between democracy and autocracy? American and Canadian foreign policies will be analyzed and the role of domestic politics will be discussed. Any current crisis will be given historical and strategic context. There will be a good deal of debate and discussion in the class.

Application Deadline: July 1, 2022

VIC493H1S (L0102) Vic Capstone Research Colloquium | Humanities & Social Sciences

VIC493H1S (L0102)
Vic Capstone Research Colloquium | Humanities & Social Sciences
Professor Shaun Ross
W 4-6

The Vic Capstone Research Colloquium is intended for students undertaking Independent Studies, research projects, or senior essay courses in Humanities or Social Science subjects. Though running in the winter term, it is open to students doing year-long or single term projects. The Colloquium provides instruction, support, and practical experience through the various stages of your research project, from the project proposal to work-in-progress feedback to presentation of results.

Since the Colloquium includes students working in a variety of Humanities and Social Science disciplines, the emphasis is on interdisciplinarity. You will learn to communicate your research to a multidisciplinary audience and gain insight into how data, theory, case studies, literature reviews, and methodology vary by discipline.

The course will include a number writing workshops, providing detailed guidance on how to distill research compellingly in a longer format, as well as on how to compose effective grant proposals and graduate school applications. It will also provide the opportunity to learn from current graduate students, to explore the publication process, and to reflect on the undergraduate experience with accomplished peers in a range of fields. As part of the class, each student will lead a work-in-progress session and prepare responses to the work presented by other students. In the final session, participants will present their research in a student-organized symposium.

Application Deadline: August 1, 2022

VIC493H1Y (L0101) Vic Capstone Research Colloquium | Science

VIC493H1Y (L0101)
Vic Capstone Research Colloquium | Science
Professor Hakob Barseghyan
F 2-4

This course is for students who would like to get a deeper understanding of scientific research.  We will discuss the norms, practices and customs in research activities, from the point of view of those actually involved in research. We will examine the relationships among scientists, in the contexts of the publication system, competition and cooperation, ethics, and the application of science results. Relationships between scientists and the rest of society will be considered through questions of funding, public perception of science and public outreach. The starting point for all these discussions will be the individual research interests of the participating students. As a multi-disciplinary course covering all areas of the sciences, we will have the opportunity to compare research techniques, standards and customs across many different scientific disciplines in the physical, mathematical and life sciences.

Students will perform some research in parallel with this course, either by working in the lab of a Principal Investigator, or by themselves. They will present results in a mini-symposium and will engage in discussions about challenges and opportunities that arise in their work. This will give the opportunity to develop and improve scientific communication skills, an essential asset for a career in the sciences.

Application Deadline: August 1, 2022