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Capstones and Honors

Confused about capstones?

Every student at TCNJ is expected to participate in at least one capstone experience, typically in the senior year, although the English Department allows both juniors and seniors to enroll.

If you are an English Liberal Arts major (with or without another major such as Elementary Education) or English Secondary Education major, you will have two capstones, and at least one of them must be LIT 499.  Here are your options:

LIT 476/477 Honors Thesis (Departmental Honors). Under the guidance of a department faculty member, you will design, carry out, and present an independent project. This is the only route to receiving Departmental Honors, and requires a GPA of 3.5 (or permission of the associate chair) and a full proposal at the end of the junior year. The Honors Thesis counts as two courses (one English elective and one capstone), and is typically completed over two semesters. For more information and the application form, see For previous topics, see  For seniors only.

LIT 497 Seminar in Critical Theory. If you are looking for a broad background in literary theory, either to help you in a LIT 499 or to extend what you have learned in 499, this might be a good choice. This class meets once a week in the evening, both fall and spring semesters. Since it meets with a graduate class (whose students will be expected to complete additional assignments), you must have a GPA of 3.0 and permission of the associate chair. For more information, contact the instructor or the associate chair. For juniors or seniors.

LIT 499 Seminar in Research and Theory. In both fall and spring semesters, multiple sections are offered, each featuring one literary theory or more applied to a specific topic. For next semester’s topics, see the English Department website or PAWS. For juniors or seniors.

To enroll in any of the LIT capstones, you must have completed LIT 201 Approaches to Literature with a C or higher.