Capstone Project/Thesis

Elliott School master's students (except MIPP students) must complete a Capstone project as a culminating experience during the student’s final year of study at the Elliott School. 

Capstone Project

Elliott School Capstone projects allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired through their coursework to a current policy question. Students complete a Capstone that demonstrates the ability to take an idea from conception to final presentation, combining academic knowledge, research, and professional skills into a coherent product. 

Capstone project incorporate job skills like project management, negotiation, and policy briefings as they plan, implement, and present a group-designed, research-based project. Capstone teams often collaborate with an outside client to amplify the experience. Through a Capstone, Elliott School students prepare to take the next step in their professional careers by putting their policy skills to work.

Asian Studies, Global Communication, International Affairs, and Security Policy Studies M.A. programs participate in the Global Capstone program.

Learn about the Capstones offered by other Elliott School M.A. programs:

Master’s Thesis

Elliott School master's degree students (except MIPP students) are required to complete a Capstone project. Students wishing to continue to a Ph.D. program or pursue a research-oriented job may consider writing a thesis, which is an independent, in-depth research project that takes a year or more to complete. Those students who wish to complete a thesis must do so in addition to the Capstone requirement. Thesis credits will be counted as elective or specialization credits with Program Director approval. Students pursuing a thesis need a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and approval from the faculty member they wish to serve as their thesis director. Thesis students also need to complete at least one research methods course.