MGNT 4900 Research Project Option


The senior research project is an alternative capstone experience to an internship in the Bachelor of Science in Management and Administration program. It allows students to explore academic areas which they've found especially interesting, engage in the process of discovery, and contribute in their areas of interest and expertise.

As the project earns credit for a semester course, it will obviously involve more work that of a term paper. It will probably be the largest single project that students will undertake in their undergraduate careers. A critical feature of the project involves close associations between the student and the members of the faculty, particularly with the professor supervising the work. Wherever possible and practical, students should explore research options with which various faculty members prior to the beginning of the capstone semester; the research advisor need not be the faculty member supervising the senior seminar in any given semester.


The final product can take one of several forms, depending on the interests of the student:

  • Research paper- This paper uses established methods to analyze first-hand data from experiments and surveys. It may include laboratory or field-work and/or research including human subjects (with the guidance of an adviser trained in human subjects research and formal approval of the research project). (roughly 15-25 pages)
  • Scholarly paper- A paper that uses original and secondary published sources to formulate a thesis question and make a creative and sound contribution to the literature. The paper may be a review and synthesis of the literature or an original paper. (roughly 20-30 pages)
  • Business Plan- The student conceptualizes a business, including a plan for marketing, finance, and implementation. Students interested in entrepreneurship often choose this format. (roughly 20 pages)
  • Business Enhancement Plan- The student develops a detailed plan for enhancing an existing business or nonprofit organization. Students working at an existing business or nonprofit organization may find this an attractive format (roughly 20 pages)
  • Pedagogy- Students create educational "units" which include lesson plans, pedagogical instructions, and a formal reflection paper. Student interested in business education may find this option attractive. (roughly 15-20 pages)

In addition to the written paper, the student will make a 15-20 minute presentation to an audience selected by the student and the advisor.


No later than three weeks after the semester begins, the student should submit a project proposal covering the following topics as appropriate to the specific format chosen:

1. TENTATIVE PROJECT TITLE: This should be a concise, tentative working title, subject to change as your understanding of the project changes.

2. A statement of the project's central issue: What do you want to find out in this project? What questions are you asking? What do you expect to learn?

3. A hypothesis that answers that question tentatively - a guess: What conclusion do you think you will reach? How do you think the project will turn out?

4. A description of the major task involved in working on the project? What kinds of things do you imagine you will have to do to complete the project? What kind of work activities will the project entail?

5. An initial review of resources that the project will draw upon: What do you want to bring to the project? Have you taken any courses related to the topic of this project? What resources will you depend on your advisor to provide? What will you have to go out and find?

6. A calendar or work plan. What do you imagine you will do at each stage of the work? What due dates have you set for each stage and the final project?

7. An explanation of any special concerns you or our advisor might have about this project?