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Undergraduate PHS


BSPH Capstone and Internship Information

Lydia Onimo

Kensington, South Africa

Lydia Onimo stops for a photo with her group of secondary students.  Lydia took part in Tulane's Center for Public Service South Africa summer program and worked with the University of Cape Town's SHAWCO (Students' Health and Wellness Centres Organisation).  Her program tutored local students in the Kensington area.


The Capstone experience, SPHU 456 Capstone (3 credit hours), is designed to integrate, synthesize and apply knowledge as developed through a student's academic program. Students are eligible to complete their capstone after completing five semesters of university coursework. The undergraduate student has four options for completion of the capstone requirement:

  • Public Service Internship and a weekly internship seminar at the Center for Public Service. This option is a great way to build professional skills through real world experiences. There are many great opportunities in New Orleans, or students can do an internship out of town during the summer. experiences.
  • Student Independent Research - Working one on one with a faculty member, a student does a high-level research paper.  Students should seek out a sponsoring faculty mentor and speak to the Program Manager to register for credit.
  • Study Abroad Experience -Tulane's Office of Study Abroad works with several international programs which can count for a capstone.  To complete this type of capstone, their experience needs to be approved by the department faculty.  Students should first speak with the Office of Study Abroad and the Program Manager to enroll in an international capstone credit.
  • Honors Thesis  - This option, is open only for students who are part of Tulane's Honors Program. The Honors thesis requires two semesters of work with a three-member faculty thesis committee. This option can be very rewarding for students who are interested in graduate school.  Interested students should speak to a faculty member during their third year at Tulane about this option, as well as the Honors Program.

The student must resolve all incompletes before registering for the capstone.

Students may register and begin the capstone only after they have completed four semesters of coursework.  Usually the capstone experience takes place in the semester before anticipated graduation. However, it is never too early to start thinking about and investigating opportunities to fulfill this requirement. 

All capstone experiences must be approved before a student starts their work or leaves the country.

Common Questions About the Capstone and Internship  

1.    If I am doing the internship, how do I find a placement?

Contact the Center for Public Service for more information and to get an application.   

2.    Should the internship be paid or unpaid? What about my GPA?

If you want this to be considered your public service, it must be unpaid.  The work done should be fairly clearly "public service".  Students must have a 3.0 GPA to sign up for a Public Service Internship.   

3.    Will I graduate if my capstone is not completed?

No.  You will be unable to graduate and your degree will not be granted until all documents are completed and approved.   

4.    Are there guidelines available for the Honors thesis?

Yes.  You can find Honors Thesis guidelines here.   

5.    I'm not sure what I'm doing this summer, but I want to get my capstone done. Can I register for the capstone after I find an internship or take an  international class?

You need to have your capstone approved before leaving Tulane for the summer.

**Please note that students are responsible for initiating and following through with this process**  



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