Capstone Timeline

Academic Programs
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Sarah French
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 2021

April 6, 2020: Capstone and Professional Paper Information Session #1

Join us for a Q&A session on spring 2021 capstones and professional papers. In advance, check out the informational webinar to learn about capstone sections/instructors, how projects/partners are identified, team formation, examples of previous projects, the PA 5080 Capstone Prep Workshop prerequisite, and how to create a student-initiated capstone project. For professional papers, students will learn about selecting a topic and advisor, paper format, registration requirements, and examples of previous papers.

Spring 2021 capstone sections:

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

April 9, 2020: Fall 2020 registration begins

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

April–September 2020

  • 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.

September 9, 2020: 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 projects. There will be many projects organized by the capstone faculty and introduced at the September Information Session.
  • The feedback form will gather information on the proposed project, allow for feedback for the project's development, 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 21, 2020: Deadline for all student-initiated capstones to be accepted by the faculty into a spring capstone section

  • If a student-initiated capstone needs additional teammates, it will be added to the capstone options presented at the Information Session for student ranking.

September 28, 2020: Capstone and Professional Paper Information Session #2

  • This session will provide an overview of spring 2021 capstone projects & partners, the capstone prep workshop (PA 5080/MDP 5100), and the process for assigning students to capstone projects, teams, and sections.

October 9, 2020: Deadline to submit the capstone project ranking form

  • Choose your top 3 preferred capstone projects for spring 2021, plus provide additional information on skills and project goals to assist with team formation.

October 30, 2020: Announcement of the capstone teams

November 2, 2020: Last day to register for fall PA 5080 to complete a spring 2021 capstone

  • PA 5080 is a requirement to complete a capstone workshop in spring 2021.
  • All MDP students must register for MDP 5100 instead of PA 5080.

November 6, 2020: PA 5080/MDP 5100 Capstone Prep Workshop for spring 2021 capstones

  • First synchronous class session to kick-off team activities. There will be ongoing asynchronous work through the end of the semester.
  • Capstone faculty will be available for the first synchronous class session to kick-off team activities. There will be time to meet with the students either by teams or as a section to begin client introductions and team organization.

November 10, 2020: Spring 2021 registration begins

  • Register for your assigned capstone section.

January 19, 2021: Spring semester and Capstone Workshop begin

May 20, 2021: Deadline to submit a digital copy of the final paper to UMN’s Digital Conservancy and Academic Programs

  • The capstone paper must be submitted to Humphrey Graduate Student Services to 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."
  • Submit a digital copy to Sarah French ([email protected]) with Academic Programs.

Completing capstone in summer 2021

November 10, 2020: Spring 2021 registration begins

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

February 2021: Projects for summer PA 8081 are announced

February 25, 2021: Summer 2021 registration begins

  • Register for PA 8081 Capstone Workshop – Planning and Public Affairs

March 29, 2021: Last day to register for spring PA 5080 to complete a summer 2021 capstone

  • PA 5080 is a requirement to complete a capstone workshop in summer 2021.

March 30, 2021: PA 5080 Capstone Prep Workshop for summer 2021 capstone

  • First synchronous class session to kick off team activities. There will be ongoing asynchronous work through the end of the semester.
  • Project teams are announced for summer PA 8081.
  • Capstone faculty will be available for the first synchronous class session to kick off team activities. There will be time to meet with the students either by teams or as a section to begin client introductions and team organization.

May 17, 2021: Summer semester and Capstone Workshop begin

August 20, 2021: Deadline to submit a digital copy of the final paper to UMN’s Digital Conservancy and Academic Programs

  • The capstone paper must be submitted to Humphrey Graduate Student Services to 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."
  • Submit a digital copy to Sarah French ([email protected]) with Academic Programs.