Your  Account:

Capstone Courses SOC 480/494/495

All the Capstone Courses in the Department of Sociology are designed for undergraduate students to demonstrate independent learning in their major. In part, that’s what a college degree symbolizes! The goal of the Capstone Project is to transform personal interests into researchable interests through a written project. Ideally, students enroll in a capstone course having reflected on the ideas and experiences that bring each of you to pursue a degree in Sociology and/or Criminology and Justice Studies in the first place.

Ultimately, a Capstone Project should demonstrate:

  • the ability to identify an original advocacy position for research and/or action;
  • the ability to find, engage, and critique peer-reviewed scholarly research, and as such, identify any “knowledge gaps” that need to be filled in; and,
  • the ability to articulate an informed vision on future research ideas AND practical actions.

By taking a Capstone Course, all students create their own platform of skills and ideas that propel the next chapter of life and career beyond college graduation.


Due to lingering challenges related to internships post-COVID-pandemic, Soc 494 and Soc 495 will accommodate students with and without internships. Every class includes classroom activities and assignments related to paths after graduation, such as career exploration and graduate school information/preparation.

Advising for SOC 494 and 495

 Dr. Clark-Ibañez, Internship Coordinator will be hosting 4 highly recommended advising meetings each semester to prepare for the following term.

SOC and CJS Internship Information Session

Spring 2024 Dates
Session #1: Monday, March 4 Session #2: Wednesday, March 13 Session #3:
Friday, April 12
Session #4:
Tuesday, April 23
  • Time: 8:00 pm
  • Location: Via Zoom
  • Time: 9:00 am
  • Location: Via Zoom
  • Time: 9:00 am
  • Location: Zoom and in-person (SBSB 4117)
  • Time: 12:00 pm (noon)
  • Location: Zoom and in-person (SBSB 4117)



Overview of SOC 494 and SOC 495

  • Both classes are capstone or culminating seminars for our majors, with a small class size of only 25 students. The goal for both SOC 494 and SOC 495 is to apply your knowledge in the major to real life issues.
  • Soc 494 or SOC 495 is required for the CJS major.
  • Soc 495 is an option for Sociology majors. (The alternative choice is Soc 480, a class that focuses on scholarly projects such as an extended literature review or research study proposal.)
  • At this time, the courses DO NOT require a minimum number of hours for in-person OR remote/ virtual volunteer placements.
  • How do you enroll in class?

    Enroll directly in Soc 494 (CJS majors only) or Soc 495 (SOC or CJS majors) at your appointed registration time. 

  • How do you choose an internship?

    This process takes several steps and ideally should start weeks if not months before you start class.

    1. Log onto the Office of Internships Database and review opportunities.

      1. If you want to work with a particular community partner that is not in the database, then you may need to complete a Request community partner form. Please contact the Office of Internships for support.

      2. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of the internship site, or any other concern about the placement process, please contact Dr. Suarez.

    2. Contact the site FIRST and inquire if the site is supervising undergraduates for the semester. Let them know of your interest in volunteering for your capstone experience and project. Contacting more than one site is ok just in case they have staffing issues and cannot accommodate you.
    3. If the site can work with you, then apply for the internship position by following the instructions detailed on the Academic Database of the Office of Internships website.
    4. The process for each site varies and might be a very lengthy the process (e.g., government, law enforcement, etc.) which is why advanced preparation is sometimes necessary.
    5. You may need to have an application, cover letter, resume, fingerprinting, background check or a formal interview.
  • How to Find Remote Internships
    1. Log onto the Internship database, choose CSUSM as your campus, and click on the Opportuites tab at the top of the page.
    2. Choose Internship under the Opportunity type box’s drop-down menu, then choose Remote in the Tags’ Boxes drop-down menu. You will see a list of remote opportunities.  Check to make sure the one you are interested in is not restricted to students of a particular major or graduate degree.
    3. Apply for the remote internship by following the information on the application instructions for the site you have chosen.

  • Advising for SOC 480

    The Senior Capstone in Sociological Research course (SOC 480) is an option for Sociology majors to fulfill the graduation requirement.  The SOC 480 course does NOT require volunteer/ internship hours as part of the development of a student's capstone project but is otherwise similar to the other capstone courses. SOC 480 is centered around an advocacy area of a student's own choosing and is deepened through a constructive critique of scholarly research. The goal is to strengthen a student's argumentation skills (oral and written) and sense of leadership. Students also consider ways to conduct community-based research with multiple publics to expand their career and/ or graduate education goals.

  • Please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Sociology Internship Coordinator Dr. Clark-Ibañez who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
  • Visit the CSUSM Office of Internships for additional updates and information