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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

Chris de Barros
Academic Liaison Officer 
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).

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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 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. Current issues will include the impact of COVID-19 on international relations, challenges to liberal democracy, the return to confrontation with Russia under Putin, international intervention in human rights crises, and the impact of a more assertive China on world order. American and Canadian foreign policies will be analyzed and the role of domestic politics will be discussed. Any current issues will be given historical and strategic context. There will be a good deal of debate and discussion in the class.

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VIC493H1Y (L0101) Vic Capstone Research Colloquium | Science

VIC493H1Y (L0101)
Vic Capstone Research Colloquium | Science
Professor Emanuel Istrate
M 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.

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VIC493H1Y (L0102) Vic Capstone Research Colloquium | Humanities & Social Sciences

VIC493H1Y (L0102)
Vic Capstone Research Colloquium | Humanities & Social Sciences
Professor Shaun Ross
M 4-6

The Vic Capstone Research Colloquium is intended for students registered in Independent Studies, Individual Studies, or Senior Essay courses in Humanities or Social Science subjects. It is a half-course taught over the full academic year (12 x 2-hour sessions, with the final session extended into a symposium event). 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 first part of the course will focus on proposal-writing with an orientation toward professional purposes such as applications and conference proposals as well as transferable skills. During the year, each student will lead a work-in-progress session and prepare responses to the work presented by other students. In the final session on March 28, participants will present the results of their research collectively in a student-organized symposium.

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