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 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.

Completing capstone in spring 2022

April 16, 2021 from 2–3:00 p.m. CDT: Capstone and Professional Paper Information Session #1

Join us for a Q&A session on completing a capstone or professional paper in spring 2022. This will be an opportunity to have your questions answered about the process for either option.

In advance, review the capstone webpage 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.

Spring 2022 capstone sections:

  • TBD

Example of sections from spring 2021:

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

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

April 12, 2021: Fall 2021 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 2021

  • 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 10, 2021: 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 September Information Session #2.
  • 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 17, 2021: Deadline for all student-initiated capstones to be accepted by a capstone faculty into a spring capstone section

  • Please communicate with the capstone faculty connected to you to develop your project. You must receive approval from the capstone faculty to be able to move on with your project in spring 2022.
  • If a student-initiated capstone needs additional teammates, it will be added to the list of capstone options presented at the Information Session for student ranking.

September 24, 2021: Capstone Information Session #2

  • This session will provide an overview of spring 2022 capstone projects and 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/MDP 5100).

October 8, 2021: Deadline to submit the Capstone Project Ranking Form

  • Choose your top 3 preferred capstone projects for spring 2022, plus provide additional information on skills and project goals to assist with team formation.

October 29, 2021: Announcement of the capstone teams

November 1, 2021: Last day to register for fall PA 5080 to complete a spring 2022 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 5, 2021 from 2–4:00 p.m. CDT: PA 5080/MDP 5100 Capstone Prep Workshop

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

November 9, 2021: Spring 2022 registration begins

  • Register for your assigned capstone section.

January 18, 2022: Spring semester and PA 8081 Capstone Workshop begin

May 20, 2022: 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.