Senior Capstone Descriptions

The Capstone Experience, completed near the end of baccalaureate studies, integrates liberal learning with specialized knowledge. Each Capstone emphasizes sharing of ideas, synthesis, and critical, informed action and reflection, and each includes student initiative in defining and investigating problems or projects.

Capstones may be completed in or outside student's majors; in some departments, for psychology majors, the Capstone Experience is a requirement. All Capstones presume a significant scholarly background of specialized study in a major as well as in liberal education course work. In other words, a Capstone does more than culminate years of baccalaureate study: it culminates a student's liberal education.

Ordinarily, a Capstone Experience is taken at Miami and completed in the senior year (minimum of 96 hours registered or earned). Students who plan to transfer any course to meet the Capstone requirement must obtain permission from the Office of Liberal Education before they take the course.

Senior Capstone/Senior Course Titles and Descriptions

Spring Semester 2021

PSY 410D Section A 

Capstone Cognition: Psychology of Medical Decision Making

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Wolfe

Monday/Wednesday 2:40 PM - 4:10 PM

This course explores the psychology of medical decision making. Medical decisions are among the most important that a person will ever make in his or her lifetime, and the decisions made by  physicians and other healthcare providers can be matters of life and death. Thus, efforts to understand and improve medical decision making are potentially valuable to medical practice and the broader society. Moreover, medical decisions provide an excellent real-world domain to test psychological theory. We will explore the professional  medical decision making literature and consider a number of issues related to medical diagnosis and the comprehension and communication of medical risk in the context of shared medical decision making between patients and healthcare providers. This course draws on basic research in cognitive psychology with an emphasis on judgement and decision making. Online class with designated meeting days/times.

PSY 410F Section A

Capstone Social Psychology

Instructor: Dr. Heather Claypool

Online Asynchronous Meetings

This capstone will explore many social-psychological factors that shape how we evaluate political candidates, the values that underlie our political stances, and our decisions to vote (or not). Specific topics will include, among others: how do stereotypes influence our views of candidates, what role does social belonging play in determining our reactions to election outcomes, and which types of political messages are persuasive and why? 

PSY 410K Section A 

Clinical Psychology

Instructor: Dr. Terri Messaman-Moore

Tuesday/Thursday 1:15 PM - 2:35 PM

Online class with designated meeting days/times Capstone seminar on the role of trauma in psychopathology. Are you interested in becoming a provider of mental health services? Becoming a clinical psychologist, counselor, social worker, or substance abuse counselor? If so, you will encounter many patients who have experienced trauma in their lifetime. This course will focus on trauma and the context of clinical psychology. The content will cover definitions of trauma, patterns of exposure, different psychopathological responses and clinical intervention, and how responses may differ by gender. We will discuss trauma-informed care and trauma-focused interventions. You will be asked to read case material that focuses on trauma, which may include but are not limited to the following: child abuse/neglect, sexual assault/rape, domestic violence, motor vehicle accidents, combat/war, refugees, etc. The entirety of this course is built around the textbook, Trauma and Recovery, and supplementing this text with the most updated contemporary research. You will be reading research articles that are "hot off the press" published in the past few years, and that will provide a significant updated complement to Herman's book in terms of the latest findings in neurobiology, psychology, and psychiatry.

PSY 410U Section A 

Capstone in Developmental Psychology 

Instructor: Dr. Brooke Spangler-Cropenbaker

Monday/Wednesday 1:15 PM - 2:35 PM

How do children become social partners in their world? The 'social' in social cognition related to the ways in which children become social beings - how they are shaped by their social world and in turn shape it. This course is designed to provide you with an overview of contemporary research and theories about the development of children's thinking and their social world. Both biological factors (e.g. brain plasticity) and socio-cultural factors (e.g. family) will be emphasized. Online class with designated meeting days/times.


PSY 410X Section A

Psy of Dogs Cognition 

Instructor: Dr. Carrie Hall

Wednesday/Friday 10:05 AM - 12:25 PM (Sprint Course begins 3/8)