Liberal Arts Studies students may choose an original creative endeavor for their final capstone project. Write a short story(ies) or a collection of poems, compose a piece of music, stage a production, develop a design, create a work(s) of visual art, make a film, or some other creative possibility. In preparation, you must have taken a course or courses in the appropriate artistic practice and select a faculty advisor who works in that medium.


Complete the Creative Work Proposal form, obtaining signatures from your faculty advisor and the Program Director. Attach to the form a 250-word description of your proposed creative work (Word document, 12pt font, double-spaced).

  • Explain your choice of this genre of creative work.
  • Describe your plan and process for completing your creative work within the limits of a semester or summer term.
  • Describe the cultural, social, artistic, and/or personal context significant to the creative work you plan to do.
  • What are your intended learning outcomes? What do you hope to experience and learn that is new to you? What will you be attempting to gain from this creative process that will be helpful to your future endeavors?

“At the end of the course, I will …. [follow with bulleted list]”

Final Paper Guidelines

Write an approximately 5000-word paper (about 20 pages in a Word document, 12pt font, double-spaced), in a style appropriate for graduate-level writing, and following the format for title page and other introductory material for a Graduate School thesis (see Graduate School website). Your paper must accompany the submission of your original creation for evaluation by your faculty advisor and the Program Director.

Your paper should:

  • Define and describe the project.
  • Discuss the project’s generation and major influences in its creation.
  • Explain your motivations and rationale for the undertaking, including its intended audience.
  • Explore the cultural, social, artistic, and/or personal context that locates its purpose beyond the work itself; its place within current practice; artists and works both past and present that provide a constructive context for interpreting it.
  • Provide an annotated review of relevant literature, establishing the underlying thematic content and purpose of the project.
  • Describe the impact you hope it will have on the reader, viewer, or listener.

The paper is not a separate work or addendum to a creative project, but part of the whole presentation.


If you have questions about the Liberal Arts Studies M.A. program, please contact us so we can help you!