Tips on Coming Up With a Capstone Project
As part of your application, you will need to identify a topic for your capstone project. The courses you take will inform and help you refine your project so you’re ready to present it as part of your final examination. If you already have a topic in mind, great! If you’re not sure where to start, rely on your professional experiences and career aspirations to guide you.
Here are some tips to kick-start your thought process:
- Ask yourself, “Why am I interested in this degree?” What topic areas do you have a strong interest in or a problem that you want to solve? “Where do I see myself in five years?” Your capstone topic could be a used to demonstrate prospective employers of your new knowledge.
- Peruse scholarly journals in the fields you’re interested in. What questions remain unanswered that requires further information or investigation? What sparks your passion?
- Make sure you write down each idea—even the “shoot for the moon” topics.
- Are you finding any themes in your ideas? Start grouping like-minded ideas under one topic area.
For each topic area, take some time to explore all the sub-topics. For example, if you want to explore HIV prevention, sub-topics could include access to medication, stronger education initiatives or legislation to protect patients.
- Identify a group to focus on. This could be a certain demographic (men aged 24–40), a certain area (United States or abroad, or a subsection such as the Southwest), income status, etc.
- Ask yourself if this capstone topic is viable. Are the tools you need to conduct research available? Will you be able to gather enough good data? Will you have access to enough scholarly information to draw upon?
At this point, you should have only a few topics from which to choose. Which one gets you the most excited? I think you found your winner.
Remember, as you progress through the curriculum, your Capstone Project will become much clearer. You’ll receive guidance from program faculty so that you are better able to demonstrate your ability to define and offer solutions for problems or issues that arise at the intersection of health care and legislation. You should expect to spend about three hours a week outside of class time working on your Capstone Project.
Here are a couple of websites to help you brainstorm on ideas for the capstone project: