Frequently Asked Questions About Senior Capstones (2024)

Can I fulfill my Capstone requirement by completing a portion of one Capstone and then transferring to a different Capstone? No. All six credit hours must be completed in one Capstone course in order to graduate. Switching courses mid-quarter or after completion of part of the credits will not be permitted.

Can I create my own Capstone? No. A Capstone course is an approved University Studies course with faculty-designed class sessions, grading, coursework, etc. and you register for it just as any other University Studies course. There are over 200 UNST 421 Capstone courses available. (NOTE: Student may be able to register for a course tiled CAP: Effective Change Agent which allows students a great deal of freedom in framing their community experience).

Do I choose my instructor for my Capstone? Capstones are just like regular courses in this respect. You will register for this course like any other course; the Capstones will be listed with the instructor's names and contact information.

How do I select a Capstone course? How do I know if it is best suited for what I want to do? You should meet with your academic advisor to discuss the skills and interests you bring to the Capstone project, the type of work you would like to pursue in the future, and to make the best choice based on your areas of expertise. It's also recommended that you attend the Capstone Fair to learn more about course offerings and to meet the instructors. Contact the University Studies office for this year's Fair schedule. In addition, we encourage all students to research Capstone courses via the Capstone page on University Studies website:
This site will provide thorough course descriptions, sample syllabi, video clips, and sample assignments so that students have in-depth information available for most Capstone courses offered.

How will my Capstone be graded? As a graduation requirement, Capstones require A-F letter grades. Capstones will be graded by the faculty member overseeing the Capstone. Each instructor will inform students of the grading procedure for that particular Capstone. Grading criteria should be found in each Capstone syllabi.

If I volunteer for an organization, does that count for my Senior Capstone? No. University Studies Senior Capstone is a required general education 6-credit course. No prior or current volunteer project, internship, paid work experience or community involvement can be used to substitute for this required course.

Is a Capstone one or two terms long? All Capstones are 6 credits. However, Capstones can range over one, two, or three terms depending on the project. See the Schedule of Classes to determine the length of a particular course. If a course is listed as 6 credits, than the project is only one-term long.

What is the time commitment involved in a Capstone? Capstone time commitments vary. As a rule, it will be three hours of academic learning and applied community work for one hour of course credit. As a 6-credit course, the time commitment is significantly greater than the traditional 4-credit course at PSU. Capstones will frequently require additional time for collaborative projects with peers and direct contact with the community.

What should I do if I have an idea, community partner suggestion, or topic for a Capstone? Most years the Capstone office has far more ideas for courses than we could possibly fund or staff, but any student, staff, faculty member, or community member is welcome to contact Dr. Seanna Kerrigan, the PSU Capstone Program Director, to discuss any ideas related to Capstones

Does my Capstone have to correspond with my Upper Division Cluster? No, students may choose a Capstone related to or different from their junior cluster.

Can I use my Capstone to count toward a Minor? Possibly. While this is not the case across the board, most Capstones only count for Capstone credit. In some cases, select Capstones can count for additional credit - like a minor. However, this is entirely up to the department offering the minor, and what their specific requirements are. Capstone courses, while grouped into themes, do not automatically count toward a related minor.

If you did not find the answer to your question, contact the Capstone Office in University Studies, Cramer Hall 117 or call 503.725.5890.

Frequently Asked Questions About Senior Capstones (2024)


What are the common questions in capstone project? ›

Capstone Projects FAQ
  • What is the Capstone Project/Course? ...
  • What are some of the advantages for students? ...
  • How big are the project teams? ...
  • Where do projects come from? ...
  • What background will the students bring to the Capstone Project? ...
  • What is the process for getting a project submitted as a potential Capstone Project?

What makes a good capstone? ›

The capstone should be a culminating set of personal, academic, and professional experiences. In a capstone course, students synthesize, integrate, and/or apply their previous knowledge, rather than acquire new knowledge or skills. Students demonstrate mastery, not learn new knowledge/skills.

Is it possible to fail capstone? ›

Yes, you can fail a capstone course. However, failing a capstone course at some universities could disqualify you from graduating from that particular major or program. Other schools could require you to revise your capstone project until it's approved or you receive a passing grade.

What to do for senior capstone? ›

Prove an elaborate math theory; study the history of joint-stock companies; invest in the market; do a case study of a local company's finances; get an internship and undertake a project with the company.

What are the 5 questions for a project? ›

The five W questions are important because they help establish the framework of any project. Once you have established the answers to the 'who, what, when, where and why', you'll then have a clear picture of the tasks in front of you. With all the basic information you need, you can tackle the project successfully.

What are the 4 capstone project elements? ›

Capstone Resources
  • Parts of a Scientific & Scholarly Paper.
  • Title.
  • Abstract.
  • Introduction.
  • Methods.
  • Results.
  • Discussion.
Jun 20, 2023

What is the main goal of capstone project? ›

The capstone project is designed to consolidate final-year students' learning with valuable hands-on experience to help develop them into well-prepared and well-rounded graduates.

What are the core skills needed in research capstone? ›

Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, ...

What is the success criteria for a capstone project? ›

The key factors that make the student capstone projects succeed are effective communication, strong leadership, and match-up of student strengths and team roles.

What is a passing grade for capstone? ›

To pass the Capstone Exam course and earn a certificate, you need to achieve a total score of at least 50%.

What is a senior capstone? ›

A capstone might be called a culmination project, senior thesis, or a final exhibition. Don't be confused—under any name, the capstone is just a final assignment to help you synthesize and demonstrate what you've learned through your studies. Capstone courses vary in form depending on your major.

How many people fail capstone? ›

Fail rate: 87.03%.

How many pages is a senior capstone? ›

A capstone paper may be 25 pages, where a thesis could be 100 or more, and is a more demanding research paper. If an undergraduate student chooses to further their education and enter into a doctoral program, the capstone project could be an invaluable tool in preparing for a thesis.

Should you put senior capstone on resume? ›

A capstone, thesis or senior project can be included if your major had one. ←WORK EXPERIENCE: Use action verbs to describe your experience. State specific accomplishments and quantify measurable results with numbers.

How long should a senior capstone be? ›

However, most capstone projects are generally around 20-50 pages long when written as a research paper. For the undergraduate level, a capstone project is usually around 20-30 pages long, while graduate-level capstone projects tend to be longer, around 30-50 pages. Also, capstone project writing takes time.

What are the 7 essential questions? ›

The seven essential questions are: (1) The Kickstart Question; (2) The AWE Question; (3) The Focus Question; (4) The Foundation Question; (5) The Lazy Question; (6) The Strategic Question; and (7) The Learning Question. I have adapted them for the purposes of conflict coaching.

What are the 3 critical questions? ›

Answering your customer's three critical questions
  • Why should they change?
  • Why should they choose you?
  • Why should they act now?
Jul 1, 2020

What are the 4 essential questions? ›

Popularized by Rick DuFour, the four critical questions of a PLC include:
  • What do we want all students to know and be able to do?
  • How will we know if they learn it?
  • How will we respond when some students do not learn?
  • How will we extend the learning for students who are already proficient?
Aug 22, 2018

What is capstone format? ›

Everyone's capstone paper should contain the following elements: a title page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference list. Click on the link below to open and make a copy of the capstone paper template.

What should a capstone proposal include? ›

Recommended Capstone Project Proposal Format
  • Cover page with: Title. ...
  • Project Summary. A brief summary of the overall goal of the project and the final outcomes to be developed from. ...
  • Literature Review or Annotated Work to Support the Project. ...
  • Methods of Project. ...
  • Timeline. ...
  • Final Product. ...
  • Dissemination. ...
  • References.

What is Capstone project in simple words? ›

Capstone Project​ Definition. A Capstone Project ​is a multifaceted body of work that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students.

Are Capstones hard? ›

“Capstones are too easy.”

Rather, they are rigorous, well-rounded academic undertakings. Capstones require research, community input, analysis, experimentation, public speaking and a formal presentation. Many educators compare the project to a National Science Fair presentation—or better yet, a Master's dissertation.

Why is it called capstone? ›

The term derives from the final decorative coping or "cap-stone" used to complete a building or monument. In higher education, the term has been in common use in the USA since the mid-twentieth century, although there is evidence that it was in use as early as the late 1800s.

What are the two required components of the capstone project? ›

The Capstone Project consists of two components: (1) a written portion and (2) a presentation of the research in a public academic, professional, or creative forum.

What are competencies in capstone? ›

  • Communication I can…. ● Actively listen. ● Recognize different points of view. ...
  • Creative Thinking. I can… ● Generate new ideas through. ...
  • Critical Thinking. I can… ● Question and investigate situations. ...
  • Personal Awareness and. Responsibility. I can… ...
  • Social Responsibility. I can… ● Take action to benefit my community.

Is capstone harder than thesis? ›

Thesis and capstone projects synthesize your overall learning, taking the knowledge you've gained throughout your program and applying it to your own research. A thesis, which often requires more intensive research than a capstone, may span multiple years depending on the level of the psychology program.

What are three common project success criteria? ›

The three project success criteria are the triple constraints: Cost, scope, and time. Success hinges on these three elements, even though the specifics may vary depending on the project's industry, employer, or goal.

How long should a capstone take? ›

How Long Does a Capstone Project Usually Take to Complete? This will vary from program to program and can be as few as 10 weeks to as many as two semesters depending on the requirements of the program. It is most common for graduate programs to require a capstone project course that lasts for one semester.

What are two common project success criteria? ›

Here are seven common types of project success criteria:
  • Cost. This factor measures the total cost of the project against the expected budget that stakeholders establish at the beginning of a project. ...
  • Timeline. ...
  • Scope. ...
  • Deliverables. ...
  • Resource capacity. ...
  • Business goals. ...
  • Stakeholder satisfaction.
Mar 10, 2023

What happens if you don't pass Capstone? ›

If you have failed your capstone course, or a combination of a comprehensive exam and a capstone course attempt, you are no longer eligible for degree conferral.

Do colleges look at Capstone projects? ›

Still, if you take Capstone, aspects of the program—especially the long research paper—will likely look desirable to most colleges. The independent research AP Capstone requires could be the topic of a college essay or at least something substantial to talk about in an interview.

Do colleges look at Capstone? ›

The AP Capstone Diploma is increasingly recognized in admissions by higher education institutions around the world. Many colleges and universities offer credit and/or placement for a qualifying score in AP Seminar, AP Research, or both.

Does every senior have to do a capstone? ›

IS A CAPSTONE COURSE REQUIRED AT ALL COLLEGES? No, not all colleges require capstone research projects. Additionally, some schools and programs may only make them mandatory in certain instances, such as specific degree levels or majors.

What is the difference between senior capstone and senior thesis? ›

They both follow a similar basic format and represent a scholarly effort of high quality. However, practice-based programs can use a capstone project to emphasize preparation of the student for professional practice. In contrast, a thesis is an academic-focused research project with broader applicability.

How many hours is a capstone? ›

HOW MANY HOURS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE? The Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) requires the length of the doctoral capstone experience to be a minimum of 14 weeks (560 hours).

How long is the average capstone? ›

In most cases, the capstone project will be an interdisciplinary study of approximately 25-35 pages in length that demonstrates graduate level research and writing skills.

How long is the capstone test? ›

Duration of capstone assessment includes:

one full working day to complete, with the practical component representing about 70% of the whole test, e.g. written test 2-3 hours and practical test 4-6 hours.

How is capstone project graded? ›

Capstone Project grading

Other Capstone Projects are automatically graded or graded by experts. In some Specializations, you will be evaluated only on your final project submission. In other Specializations, you will get separate grades for each section of the project.

How long should a capstone presentation be? ›

1. Time: The presentation should be 5 to 7 minutes in length. 2. Multimedia: A PowerPoint or Prezi may be used to help structure the Capstone Experience Oral Presentation.

How many questions are on the capstone assessment? ›

What will the Capstone Experience Exam look like? Your Capstone Experience Exam will be composed of 125 multiple-choice questions, 100 of which are scored and 25 of which are not scored, that ask you to apply the knowledge you have gained in your designation courses.

How many chapters are in capstone? ›

At some colleges and universities, there is no difference between the words “thesis” and “Capstone Project”, but generally these are five-chapter papers that explore a new and original research topic. Nonetheless, both types of papers amount to the same writing process.

Do capstone projects count as experience? ›

A Capstone Project Enhances Your Resume

A capstone programme can help you gain practical work experience to add to your resume. This can be a great way to show off your skills, learn new ones, and get some experience working in a team environment.

Does capstone count as research? ›

The main difference between a capstone project and a Research is that a capstone project addresses a specific problem, issue or concern in your field of study, and a Research attempts to create new knowledge.

What is a capstone rule? ›

Capstone rules allow your business rules to be applied across all reviewed bills. No bill should leave the shop without your re-pricing logic or medical resources reviewing the bill.

What are examples of capstone project? ›

Management Capstone Project Ideas
  • Evaluation of free clinic process.
  • The role of project management in effective political campaigns.
  • The practice of ethical thinking in administration.
  • Modern strategies for rate of return and capital investment.
  • The importance of conflict administration for big companies.

What should a capstone project include? ›

Components of a Capstone Project
  • Abstract.
  • Introduction.
  • Literature Review.
  • Methodology.
  • Findings.
  • Discussions.
May 23, 2022

What to expect in capstone project? ›

Capstone projects typically require students to take on new responsibilities, be more self-directed, set goals, and follow through on commitments. Completing such projects can boost self-esteem, build confidence, and teach students about the value of accomplishment.

How do you come up with a good capstone project? ›

For a capstone or thesis topic consider:
  1. Issues that are relevant to your workplace, classroom experience, or career goals.
  2. A topic that has caught your eye in your textbook, a journal article, or an issue that you explored for previous classwork or projects and would like to pursue further.

Is capstone class hard? ›

“Capstones are too easy.”

Rather, they are rigorous, well-rounded academic undertakings. Capstones require research, community input, analysis, experimentation, public speaking and a formal presentation. Many educators compare the project to a National Science Fair presentation—or better yet, a Master's dissertation.

How long is a capstone presentation? ›

1. Time: The presentation should be 5 to 7 minutes in length. 2. Multimedia: A PowerPoint or Prezi may be used to help structure the Capstone Experience Oral Presentation.

What should a capstone look like? ›

A capstone is similar to a thesis in that the starting point involves strengths that one needs for a thesis or dissertation work. A student needs to think about the skeletal structure of research and form their theory, hypothesis, and problem statement.

What are deliverables in a capstone project? ›

Your capstone requires execution of a project in which the final product is a potential deliverable for a work- place audience accompanied by a rationale report. Example deliverables include a training manual, a set of public relations materials, a website (design and content), or a usability assessment.

How long should a capstone proposal be? ›

The length of a good capstone project proposal should be between 1 and 4 pages. Anything longer is discouraged unless your instructor says otherwise. Thus, refine it until it is concise, clear, and direct.

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