Shadowing Capstone Instructions

Please read and be sure that you understand these guidelines before submitting your proposal. In developing your project and filling out all forms, ensure that you (and your mentor) are complete and descriptive to avoid delays. If you have any questions, contact the capstone coordinator:

You can download and print a checklist with due dates and abbreviated step by step instructions by clicking here.

A complete list of the required forms can be found by clicking here.

Shadowing Mentor

Start the process of identifying a  mentor early, at the latest halfway through the semester before the semester during which you want to perform your Capstone. Some guides to help you identify possible mentors can be found by clicking here. In identifying your  mentor, try to find someone who works in a field that interests you or is part of your career goals, and who seems to be enthusiastic about mentoring a shadowing student. Situations where either the mentor or mentee are less than enthused about the project are not likely to result in a worthwhile experience for the student.

Also, be sure that your mentor sees and agrees to the conditions of a Shadowing Capstone project as outlined in the Mentor’s Agreement Form. The mentor will be required to sign this form before the project begins, but it is advisable to make them aware of the form and requirements earlier in the process. The agreement form can be found by clicking here, or on the “Forms” page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Capstone projects cannot be supervised by a relation of the student, or by anyone else who might have a conflict of interest in assigning a grade. Nor can you be paid for a shadowing experience that you plan to use for a grade of any kind. If you have any doubts about a potential conflict of interest, please discuss the circumstances with the capstone coordinator before submitting the project.

Once you have identified a mentor, it is critical that both you and your mentor fully understand the guidelines and due dates of any project you wish to perform. When developing a proposal, ensure that clear expectations are set down between you, and written on the proposal form. This description should make it clear to the capstone administrator exactly what activities you will be involved in. Fine details of the activities themselves are not necessary at this time.

Be sure to get your mentor’s address and phone number to include on the proposal form. Start early enough to leave sufficient time to complete required paperwork before the due date for that paperwork.

Project Approval

The process of project approval works as follows:

1. After working out the details of your project with your mentor, you fill in the Online Project Proposal form and submit it to the Department of Biological Sciences for approval.
2. After review, you will either receive a notice that your proposal needs changes before it can be approved, in which case you will have to follow the instructions you receive to address the deficiencies, or you will receive a notice of preliminary approval. You then take your notice, along with the Shadowing Mentor’s Agreement Form (and the attached Mentor’s Evaluation Form), to your shadowing mentor for signatures.
3. You return the signed approval and agreement forms to the capstone coordinator BEFORE the start of classes. At that time you will receive final approval, and receive permission to register for the capstone. Your mentor will keep the evaluation form until it is time to submit a grade.


Once you have begun your project, you must keep a log of your activities, which you will use to write your final report. Note: patient information is confidential. You should not keep any identifying or personal information in this log, nor should you discuss any patient specifics with anyone either before or after your Shadowing project. Instructions for writing that report can be found by clicking here, or on the “Forms” page. Start writing the report early, it is worth 50% of your final grade and will be assessed based on its clarity, depth, and the quality of the writing. It must be submitted to the capstone coordinator for assessment BEFORE the start of final exams for the semester during which you performed your Capstone.

Your clinical mentor must also, before the start of final exams, submit the Mentor’s Evaluation Form to the capstone coordinator. This form will comprise the other 50% of your grade. If you require an extra copy, the evaluation form can be found by clicking here, or on the “Forms” page.

  Once both the report and evaluation form have arrived, a final grade will be determined. If either of the required items are late it may jeopardize your grade and graduation, so work to ensure that everything arrives on time.

Online Project Proposal

Once you have read and understood the above information, and developed your project plan with your mentor:

Click here to access the Online Project Proposal form.