What is the Capstone Program?
Capstone is learning in action. It is sometimes described as a project, an experience, or a program that is integrated within a school course(s). It’s similar to the ‘senior thesis’ used toward the end of your education but involves more ‘experiential’ and multi-faceted projects. There are a variety of types including case studies, surveys, focus groups, and other projects that apply theory to a real-world setting.
Capstone programs can sometimes be developed with AP High School students but is usually the last class in a degreed program of study – which could be at the Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate level.
Who comprises a Capstone Team?
Part of the core curriculum of NYU Wagner’s Masters’ program provides students with both a critical learning experience and an opportunity to perform a public service. Over the course of an academic year, students work in teams, either to address challenges and identify opportunities for a client organization or to conduct research on a pressing social question. Ultimately, Capstone contributes not only to the students' education, but also to the public good.
Capstone teams comprise three to five NYU Wagner graduate students completing the last two semesters of their Master of Public Administration degree or their Master of Urban Planning degree. Students come to NYU Wagner with a wide variety of professional and educational backgrounds: they are seasoned professionals with years of public service behind them, recent college graduates committed to bettering the future, or mid-career professionals who want to advance or shift their career paths. Yet for all their differences, they are united by the common desire to acquire the skills necessary to transform their personal commitment into public leadership.
After completing their final, most rewarding course – their ‘Capstone’ project – Students feel they are truly ready for the Real World.