UNDERSTANDING CAPSTONE PROJECT IN PHD AND MASTERS PROGRAM
The requirements for a capstone project can vary depending on the program of study, but for all capstone projects there are a few common prerequisites. The student must have an acceptable number of relevant courses completed so that a suitable body of information may be drawn from in order to properly execute the project. Many capstones have a GPA requirement as well, and there may be leadership or intern requirements.
WHAT ARE PREREQUISITES FOR CAPSTONE PROJECT
Once the prerequisites have been ascertained the student is required to write a proposal for the project. Capstone proposals are quite comprehensive and include an introduction, a thesis, a hypothesis, research methods, proposal alternatives, literature reviews, and any other information that may be relevant or important to the completion of the capstone. Once written, the proposal is then reviewed by a professor or instructor. It is advisable that prior to submitting the proposal for review, the student consult with an advisor in order to be certain the proposal meets all the requirements.
WHAT IS A CAPSTONE PROPOSALS?
The types of capstone projects a student may choose are as wide as the breadth of the school of study. They include everything from case studies, to mass surveys, focus groups or single product creation. The only limit to what a capstone project may be is the field of study to which the student has dedicated her/himself.
HOW LONG DOES CAPSTONE PROJECT TAKE?
How long a capstone project is expected to take can also vary and depends on a number of factors. They are all however, large scale and expected to take significant periods of time to complete. A typical capstone project will take between 10 and 20 weeks. It is not unusual for a single capstone project to span the majority of two semesters, though many schools only require one. The important thing is to properly allow for an appropriate amount of time for the project and the supporting presentations. Be sure to include an realistic time expectancy in your proposal.
If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program with a capstone requirement keep in mind that is is never too early to begin thinking about your project. If you have an idea, even a rough one, early on in the program it will help you in making course selections so that when it comes time for the project you will have already met the course requirements. While the capstone project is most often required during the last year of graduate school, the preparation for it begins much earlier.