Capstone Timeline

Academic Programs
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Humphrey School students in the MPA, MURP, and MDP programs are required to take the Capstone Workshop (PA 8081/MDP 5200). It is optional for MPP, MHR, and MS–STEP students, who can choose a professional paper or a capstone.

The Capstone Workshop is intended to serve as a culminating project to draw upon the knowledge and skills you have gained throughout your program. Most students enroll during their final semester; however, with advisers' permission and under certain circumstances, students may enroll before then.

Please note: fall capstone sections are no longer offered.


Completing capstone in spring 2024

April 21, 2023 from 2:00-3:00 pm CDT: Capstone & Professional Paper Information Session

Join us for a Q&A session on completing a capstone or professional paper in spring 2024. This will be an opportunity to have your questions answered about the process for either option.

In advance, review the capstone website and informational timeline to learn about possible capstone sections, when projects/partners are identified, how team formation works, examples of previous capstone reports, the PA 5080 Capstone Prep Workshop prerequisite, and how to create a student-initiated capstone project.

Planned Spring 2024 capstone sections:

  • Global Policy
  • Human Rights
  • Leadership and Management
  • Science, Technology & Environmental Policy
  • Social Policy
  • Transportation Planning & Policy
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Development Practice (MDP 5200)

Review the professional paper website to learn about selecting a topic and advisor, paper format, registration requirements, examples of previous papers and informational timeline.

April 13, 2023: Fall 2023 Registration Begins

  • Register for fall PA 5080 Capstone Prep Workshop. PA 5080 is a requirement to complete a capstone workshop (PA 8081).
  • All MDP students must register for MDP 5100 in lieu of PA 5080.

April – September 2023:

If capstone is an option for your degree program, use this time to consider your choice of capstone versus professional paper. You can also explore possibilities if you want to initiate your own capstone project.

August 15, 2023: Deadline for the Student-Initiated Capstone Feedback Form

  • Students have the option to partner with an organization and create their own capstone project.
  • This deadline is only for students who want to create their own project. There will be many projects organized by the capstone faculty and introduced at the Capstone Project Session in September.
  • The feedback form will gather information on the proposed project, allow for feedback for development of the project, and assist with the capstone being paired with a capstone faculty sponsor.
  • A student-initiated capstone MUST be placed within a capstone section with the agreement of that faculty member.
  • Information captured by the form will indicate general focus, partner organization, and team members or expertise needed. Feedback is provided promptly to inform the proposal.

September 22, 2023 from 1:30-3:00 pm: Capstone Project Session

This session will provide an overview of the spring 2024 capstone projects & partners, describe the process for assigning students to capstone projects, teams, and sections, and provide details on the work that will happen in the Capstone Prep Workshop (PA 5080/MDP5100).

October 6, 2023: Deadline to submit the Capstone Project Ranking Form

  • Choose your top 3 preferred capstone projects for spring 2024 plus provide additional information on skills and project goals to assist with team formation.

October 27, 2023: Announcement of the capstone teams

October 30, 2023: Last day to register for fall PA 5080/MDP 5100 in order to complete a spring 2024 capstone

  • PA 5080 is a requirement to complete a capstone workshop.
  • All MDP students must register for MDP 5100 in lieu of PA 5080.

November 3, 2023 from 2:00-4:00 pm CDT: PA 5080/MDP 5100 Capstone Prep Workshop

  • First synchronous class session to kick-off team activities.
  • There will be ongoing asynchronous work modules and assignments through the end of the semester.

November 14, 2023: Spring 2024 registration begins

Register for your assigned PA 8081/MDP 5200 capstone section.

January 16, 2024: Spring semester and PA 8081/MDP 5200 Capstone Workshop begins

May 20, 2024: Deadline to submit a digital copy of the final paper to UMN’s Digital Conservancy and to Academic Programs

  • The final capstone report must be submitted to Humphrey Career and Student Success ([email protected]) and your degree program coordinator so that it can be permanently housed in the University of Minnesota Libraries Digital Conservancy. Further details are provided on the Capstone Workshop page under “Documenting completion of professional paper”.
  • Also submit a digital copy to Academic Programs ([email protected]).

Completing capstone in summer 2024

November 14, 2023: Spring 2024 registration begins.

  • Register for the spring PA 5080 Capstone Prep Workshop. PA 5080 is a requirement to complete a capstone workshop.

December 29, 2023: Deadline for the Student-Initiated Capstone Feedback Form

  • Students have the option to partner with an organization and create their own capstone project.
  • This deadline is ONLY for students who want to create their own project. There will be projects organized by the capstone instructor.
  • A student-initiated capstone MUST be placed within the capstone section with the agreement of that faculty member.
  • Information captured by the form will indicate general focus, partner organization, and team members or expertise needed.

February 22, 2024: Summer 2024 registration begins.

  • Register for PA 8081 Capstone Workshop - Leading Org & Community Change

March 18, 2024: Last day to register for spring PA 5080 in order to complete a summer 2024 capstone.

  • PA 5080 is a requirement to complete a capstone workshop in summer 2024.

April 2, 2024: PA 5080 Capstone Prep Workshop for summer 2024 capstone

  • First remote synchronous class session to kick-off team activities, Tuesday, April 2 from 6:00-8:45 pm.
  • Projects are announced for summer PA 8081.
  • Project teams are organized.
  • There will be ongoing asynchronous class work through the end of the semester.

May 13, 2024: Summer semester and Capstone Workshop begins.

August 20, 2024: Deadline to submit a digital copy of the final paper to UMN’s Digital Conservancy and to Academic Programs.