Capstone Details

Global Affairs majors are required to complete a Capstone project in their final year at Yale-NUS College. Please see details regarding the Capstone requirements for Academic Year 2017-2018 below.


  1. Identification of project and supervisor: Students should consult with their advisor throughout their third year on possible Global Affairs’ Capstone subjects. Students should notify the Head of Studies (HoS) no later than 1 July whether they intend to pursue a large-scale research project or an experiential policy outcome document Capstone option. Students pursuing the experiential option will need to have secured a pre-approved internship in advance of the start of Semester 1, Year 4. See also “Capstones in Global Affairs” available from the Global Affairs Website.
  1. Range of topics and formats: There are two kinds of Global Affairs Capstone projects. The first option is a large-scale research project of 10,000 words, which involves an exploration of some aspect of a transboundary social, political, and development challenge as addressed from an interdisciplinary perspective. Such projects should represent a thorough theoretical and empirical analysis, and not merely summarise the works of other scholars. The second option is for students to produce an experientially based policy outcome document relevant to field research they have completed as part of an internship conducted in Semester 1 of Year 4. The outcome document is a written research paper of 7,000 words.

Examples of possible topics for both options include but are not limited to the following:

Natural Resource Endowments and Political Conflicts; US Foreign Policy in Southeast Asia; Power Transition and Regional Security; Global Challenges to State Sovereignty; Electoral Violence; Regionalism, ASEAN, and Global Governance; Greening the Global Shipping Industry; International Education Standards in Southeast Asia; Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia; The Arab Spring, Umbrella Revolution, and Conceptions of Democracy.

  1. Activities as part of project: In the Semester 1 of Year 4, all students attend a weekly research seminar colloquium. This culminates in the submission of a full research proposal inclusive of a literature review and methodology submitted toward the end of Semester 1 by each student regardless of which outcome document the student is pursuing. Students pursuing the experiential learning option will also complete a bi-weekly journal entry detailing their practical work and industry-specific reflection in Semester 1.Semester 2 of the Capstone will continue the research and writing process under the supervision of the relevant GA faculty. Students will complete their writing in Semester2, culminating in both a written paper and a presentation of their research results. Presentations of the final products will take place after submission of the capstone in Week 12. See standards of formatting and citation criteria in “Capstones in Global Affairs” available from the Global Affairs website.
  1. Expectations for students/supervisor interactions and work on the project: All students are expected to attend the weekly research seminar colloquium in Semester 1. Students should meet with their GA Capstone supervisor at least once a month in Semester 1 and twice per month in Semester 2, with the student providing a summary of recent activities and progress to the supervisor at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
  1. Format(s) of final product: The large-scale research project Capstone option should not exceed 10,000 words. The experiential policy outcome document should be no more than 7,000 words. The final product should include a Cover Page; Table of Contents; Abstract; Introduction; Methodology; Literature Review; Main Argument – case study assessment or theoretical and empirical analysis; Implications; Conclusion; Annex (if needed); and a Bibliography.
  1. Assessment(s): Participation in research seminar during Semester 1 (10%); Proposal inclusive of literature review and methodology submitted end of Semester 1 (20%); Presentation/defense of final project (20%); and final outcome paper (50%).


FAQs about Capstone in Global Affairs