Trail Capstones


Upon completion of a Bethany degree, each student will complete a senior project in the major as well as a set of comprehensive exams.  These requirements demonstrate proficiency in fieldwork and course material and show the world that a Bethany student is ready to make their mark. 

Senior Capstone Project 

Each student must successfully complete a project consistent with the guidelines and requirements of the department of the student’s major. Guidelines are available from the chair of each department. A student may propose a capstone project earning two, three, or four credits as determined through consultation with the faculty of the major department. Projects are proposed, scheduled, and evaluated in accordance with guidelines established by each major department. The project is supervised and evaluated by the student’s capstone project advisor and by at least one additional faculty member. The project grade is submitted by the department chair. The completed project is filed in the library archives. 


Senior Comprehensive  

The culmination of the Bethany education is the Senior Comprehensive Examination. Comprehensive examinations assure the College of qualitative accomplishment and lead the student to a sense of self-confidence and achievement.  

A student who has attained senior standing, has completed all the requirements for a major, and has a grade-point average of at least 2 .0 in the major is eligible to take the Senior Comprehensive Examination. To take the Examination, the student must register for the appropriate zero credit 495 placeholder course. Students must submit a Comprehensive Exam Registration Form in the spring semester prior to the academic year in which they will take the exam period. The application form can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar or online and requires the signature of the department chair, and a copy of the student’s most recent Degree Audit must be attached. The Examination, which is offered in the fall and spring semesters, includes both written and oral sections. In some majors, portions of external examinations may be part of or prerequisite to the Senior Comprehensive Examination. A full description of the policy governing the administration of the Senior Comprehensive Examination may be found in Bethany College Policy Manual, Vol. VI, Academic Policies. 

Students who wish to take the Comprehensive Examination must resolve their financial obligations to the institution at least one week prior to the first day of the written section of the examination. Examination dates are listed in the College calendar which appears in this Catalogue. Students who have completed all requirements in their majors except the senior project may take the examination in January with the consent of their advisors.  

Students who do not pass the examination in the fall semester may take it again at the end of the spring semester or at any time that it is regularly given within the following twelve months. If the student fails a second time, the student may petition the faculty for a re-examination during the following year. No student may take the examination more than three times. Students who do unusually well in the Senior Comprehensive Examination earn a pass with distinction.