NEW FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2024-2025
Beginning Fall 2024, Capstone and Synthesis courses will be merged into a new category — Mason Apex. All students admitted Fall 2024 and beyond will be required to complete a Mason Apex course as part of the Integration tier of Mason Core.
Students admitted prior to Fall 2024 can use either a Capstone or a Synthesis course to satisfy this Integration requirement for Mason Core.
For more information on the upcoming enhancements to Mason Core, please see the Enhancements FAQ page.
The newly named Mason Apex courses or in some cases, sequence of courses, will provide Mason students with a high-impact culminating experience, requiring students to utilize critical thinking skills and preparing them for life-long learning. Students are challenged to draw connections across their Mason undergraduate academic experience. Mason Apex courses provide students opportunities to apply and communicate their knowledge, and involve integrative, applied or experiential projects.
Required: A minimum of 3 credits at the 400-level. Students enroll after completing 85 credits. These courses maintain a faculty/instructor/mentor-to-student ratio of no more than 1:35.
Upon completing a Mason Apex course, students will be able to:
- Integrate skills, abilities, theories, or methodologies gained across a Mason student’s undergraduate education to explore complex issues in original ways.
- Communicate effectively the results of the student’s work with awareness of audience, purpose, and context using an appropriate modality (for example: written, oral, visual, material, embodied, multimodal).
Some additional notes regarding the implementation of this enhancement:
- The new category pertains only to students entering the University during the 2024-2025 academic year and beyond. It is not retroactive.
- Existing Capstone and Synthesis courses will transition to the new category and will be re-designated with the new category name. These courses do not need to be resubmitted at the current time.
- Existing 300-level courses will transition initially but will need to go through a renumbering process that will be facilitated by the Mason Core Committee.
- Departments are not required to add a course to existing degree programs.
- Departments are not required to create a new course to meet the requirements.
- The Mason Core Committee, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning (OIEP), and the Stearns Center will work with departments prior to the Mason Core assessment period for this category to ensure courses are meeting the revised learning outcomes.
Course Approval Process
The anticipated date for accepting submissions for new courses through CIM is May 1, 2023. Please check back for more updates or sign up for our newsletter. Remember that existing Synthesis and Capstone courses do not need to be resubmitted.
To prepare to submit a course for Mason Core Committee approval, please complete this proposal worksheet, which will then be uploaded to CIM once available.