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Honors in the Arts – FAQs


What is the format of the program?

Admitted students will participate in small, yearlong workshops during senior year to develop their capstone project. Workshops will be led by an instructor, will be offered for two units of credit, and will be taken for a letter grade. Students will be paired with an advanced graduate student mentor for their project and, where further expertise is necessary, will also be directed to faculty members who can provide supplemental guidance. Capstone projects will be graded by the workshop leader, and will be informed by input from the graduate student mentor. Students must receive at least an A- on the capstone project in order to receive honors.

What is a capstone project?

Capstone projects are typically creative projects involving an arts practice element. Capstone projects may also be scholarly research projects involving a multidisciplinary approach. The capstone project should be informed by a student's major and scholarly experience. The capstone project can be completed individually or as part of a team, with team projects receiving priority during the admissions process.

I am a Computer Science/Biology/Engineering/Economics/Other major. I would like to compose music/write a play/make a piece of visual art. Does my capstone project have to be about Computer Science/Biology/Engineering/Economics/Other?

Your project does not have to be about your major, but it should connect to your major through themes, methodology, discourse, or subject matter. As with any capstone project, the Honors in the Arts capstone should build on your previous studies, integrating them with art practice.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students in any major will be able to apply during the winter of their junior year. Students can apply individually or as part of a team-based project, but team-based projects that have the potential for real world impact will be given priority in the admissions process.

I'm interested in pursuing the Honors in the Arts capstone as part of a team project. Is this possible?

Yes, team-based projects with the potential for real world impact are encouraged. If you are applying as a team you will be asked for additional information in your application regarding the roles and responsibilities each team member will take on during the project lifecycle. Each team member will need to submit their individual transcript, preparation courses, and academic reference. However, team members can submit the same project abstract, project proposal, and mentor possibilities. Please contact Devin Garnick (dgarnick@stanford.edu) if you have questions regarding team-based projects.

I’m interested in this program, but I’m not a junior yet. What should I do to prepare?

Students wishing to participate in the Honors in the Arts program will be required to take at least three courses identified as preparing them to successfully execute an interdisciplinary capstone project. You should plan to complete at least two of these courses prior to entering the program. However, upon approval of the program director, students may take these courses while pursuing their honors project. Courses will normally be at least two units and will have been taken for a letter grade.

What do I need to apply?

To apply you will need to submit a project proposal of 500-750 words, a portfolio of relevant work, an unofficial transcript. Be prepared to list your three introductory/preparatory courses, to provide a brief abstract of your project, and to provide the name of an academic reference. If your GPA is below 3.4, you will also need to submit a GPA petition.

My GPA is below 3.4. Am I ineligible to apply?

A minimum overall GPA of 3.4 will normally be required for admission into the program. However, we understand that while GPA is one indicator of assessing overall merit, innovative thinking does not necessarily get reflected in GPA. We want applicants who are interested in excellent, searching work. Applicants will be able to provide additional information demonstrating how their qualifications can be judged outside of their GPA.

Can I do this capstone project along with a different capstone or Honors program?

Yes. However, you should plan to complete two separate projects.

Can I do the Honors program and go abroad?

Unfortunately, no. One of the core requirements of the Honors program is participation in the yearlong workshops.

Devin Garnick headshot


Devin Garnick
Program Manager, Stanford Arts Institute

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