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Capstone Experience

In order to better prepare students for their careers, a capstone experience is required of each student in all three of the majors in the Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) program: Agribusiness Management and Rural Development, Environmental and Energy Resources Management, and Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.

For Agribusiness Management and Rural Development (AMRD) majors, this capstone experience is 3 to 6 credit hours and generally occurs in the summer prior to his/her last year or semester or during his/her last year or semester. This capstone experience offers each student three options: (1) completion of a professional field experience internship (ARE 491), (2) completion of a senior thesis (ARE 496), or (3) completion of a study abroad experience (ARE 491).

For Environmental and Energy Resources Management (E*Quad) majors this capstone experience is an internship that meets a minimum of 5 credit hours (RESM 491) that take place during their junior and/or senior years or in the summer prior to their last year. E*Quad majors may use job shadowing for up to 2 credit hours of capstone experience (RESM 491). E*Quad majors may also substitute completion of a study abroad experience (ARE 491) or completion of a senior thesis (ARE 496) for up to 3 credits of the capstone experience. See Mr. Barry Stephens ( barry.stephens@mail.wvu.edu) for additional requirements and details regarding the E*Quad capstone experience.

For Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (ENRE) majors, this capstone experience is 3 credit hours for completion of a senior thesis (ARE 496).

Each student will be responsible for developing his/her own internship, senior thesis, or study abroad experience. Exploration of internship opportunities or senior thesis ideas is developed when the student is enrolled in the seminar class (ARE 494) during the fall semester of their junior year. If a student is considering the study abroad option, advance planning of at least one year prior to studying abroad is required in order to be prepared to complete this option. Each proposed internship (ARE 491), senior thesis (ARE 496), or study abroad experience (ARE 491) must be reviewed by the student’s undergraduate advisor and the ARE Undergraduate Coordinator prior to registration into the internship or senior thesis course. Each proposed internship or job shadow (RESM 491) must be reviewed by the course instructor prior to registration into the internship course.