The capstone experience blends professional skills training with an applied policy or research project that bridges theory and practice. Students normally take the capstone course in their final semester. They may select to do either a practicum or a substantial research paper (SRP). The Practicum provides students with applied experience in project design, teamwork, and client relations. Students are organized into small consulting teams and assigned a substantive, complex, policy-oriented project. Student teams research, analyze, and make recommendations, resulting in a final, formal report and presentation. An SRP can also satisfy the capstone requirement, subject to approval. The SRP requires students to undertake a serious and sustained integrative exercise in original research and writing, based either on secondary or primary material or both, working closely with a faculty member.
Students should work with their academic advisor in advance of their final semester to identify which capstone option they intend to pursue.
Learn more about the details and requirements of the Practicum and Substantial Research Paper here.