In the fall semester of the senior year, students complete the Independent Study Semester. Following the procedure laid out in the Independent Study Semester Proposal (see Junior Program), seniors embark on a curriculum and location of study that they will have chosen in consultation with their advisors. While this choice is open, students are encouraged to locate their Independent Study Semester at or near a LIU Global center in order to take advantage of the available advising and support. The core of the semester rests in the Independent Study Project worth between four and six credits. The rest of the curriculum may consist of independent study that supports the Independent Study Project (e.g., language learning, directed reading) or investigates unrelated areas. Students may also take regular courses to complement their Independent Study Project, either through an LIU Global center or externally.
In the spring semester of their senior year, students complete the Capstone Semester in New York City. The required curriculum includes seminars on cross-cultural understanding, work and labor issues, and a writing workshop. Seniors must also complete an internship and write a Senior Thesis (see below). Additional electives are available through LIU Global and LIU Brooklyn.
New York Center
The Senior Thesis stands as the culmination of at least the last three semesters of a student’s LIU Global Career, showcasing the student’s learning in their Area of Concentration (see [link] B.A. Program). Students design their thesis in conversation with their Capstone advisors. The thesis can be produced in various ways:
- As a continuation of the Independent Study Project. In this case the student would build on the data gathered during the independent Study Semester, particularly as it is presented in the research report summarizing the findings of the project at the end of the fall semester. The thesis could set the findings of the project within a larger context by analyzing implications for relevant theories, comparing the project to similar work done by others, investigating possible applications of the findings in other cases and areas, and/or otherwise expanding or deepening the project.
- As a new investigation within the Area of Concentration. This could be a traditional research paper on any topic relevant to the AOC and could draw upon data gathered during the Capstone Semester, the Independent Study Semester, and/or earlier semesters. This option would make sense if the Independent Study Semester resulted in a fully finished product.
- As a theoretical reflection on the Area of Concentration. This could be a thesis comparing and contrasting, in at least two different traditions or cultural areas, an issue and a set of experiences relevant to the AOC. Such a thesis would relate the AOC to the experience of encountering radically different worldviews with respect to a particular topic, and would investigate how the AOC could be conceived and approached differently depending on the cultural lens applied to it.
- As an alternative pursuit within the Area of Concentration, as approved by the Capstone advisor.
Regardless of the option chosen by the student, the Senior Thesis must evidence a substantial amount of work not previously performed, whether in terms or reading, writing, field research, or time otherwise devoted to the thesis. Theses should be between twenty-five and thirty pages in length, with standard font and margins.
LIU Global offers four awards to honor selected graduating seniors.
Global Citizenship Award
The Mission and Vision Statement of LIU Global lays out the intention to help students “become socially responsible, engaged leaders in a richly diverse and increasingly complex world,” and to demonstrate “an appreciation of diversity, …sensitivity towards the human and ecological impact of examined issues, and …creativity and commitment to explore a peaceful and sustainable future for all peoples and the world.” The Global Citizenship Award recognizes outstanding achievement in fulfilling this intention. While the other Senior Awards highlight specific dimensions of the mission, the Global Citizenship Award recognizes substantial achievement across the breadth of the goals. Given these criteria, the recipient of this award also serves as the Symbolic Recipient and receives the diploma on behalf of LIU Global’s graduating class during commencement ceremonies.
Community Service Award
This award honors a graduating senior’s service to the community, including the LIU Global Community, local community and/or global community. Criteria for selection are based on the student’s demonstrated accomplishments the following: Activities related to increasing specific knowledge, problem-solving, teamwork, taking initiative and good communication. Examples include internships carried out during the semester or summer and extended extra-curricular activities. Service is any activity, trip, or program that a student undertakes that involves learning through direct action about an issue, people, place, and which provides a benefit to that community. Examples have included participation on conservation projects, working in impoverished neighborhoods, teaching or working in a health clinic, soup kitchen, neighborhood improvement, working on crisis hot lines, participating in inter-group dialogues.
This award honors a graduating senior’s leadership in the LIU Global Community, local community and/or global community. Criteria for selection are based on the nominee’s demonstrated leadership accomplishments, including the ability to motivate and organize others into an effective group, and taking initiative across a range of activities. Leadership and teamwork skills involve creative problem solving, building consensus, promoting inclusion and helping others to develop skills. Activities may include student leadership positions, participation in community programs or taking initiative to organize and lead organizations and events such as a cultural study/excursion, group activity, mediating disputes, and disseminating information by email or print.
*Note: Nominees for the Global Citizenship Award, Community Service Award, and Leadership Award are also evaluated based on their length of enrollment and their academic and disciplinary standing.
Council of Overseers Award
Each year during the Capstone Semester, the Council of Overseers Award honors a graduating senior for production of an outstanding Senior Thesis. Capstone advisors nominate a number of completed theses and forward them to the Dean and the Council of Overseers (see [link] Governance) for review and evaluation. Criteria for selection are based in [link] the Mission and Vision Statements of LIU Global and LIU, with a thirty-page limit for length.