Capstone course

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A capstone course, also known as a synthesis and capstone project, senior synthesis, among other terms, is a project that serves as the culminating and usually integrative praxis experience of an educational program mostly found in American-style pedagogy. Although somewhat different from an industry-oriented capstone project, case study, case method, or praxis commonly used in American-style higher education; in the Commonwealth of Nations, Bologna Process, and in other parts of the world influenced by their education systems, a senior thesis (thesis) usually takes its place as a culmination of an educational program but is much more theoretical and academia-oriented rather than the praxis and industry-oriented synthesis and capstone project.[1]

It is a hands-on project, essay, research paper, or other document submitted in support of a candidature for a degree or professional qualification, written in a professional writing format, presenting from the perspective of a professional in the field as opposed to the perspective of an academic researcher or student who typically use an academic writing format.[1]

Some universities and colleges award a Capstone Award[2][3] or Capstone Prize[4] based on merit in the capstone course.

The term derives from the final decorative coping or "cap-stone" used to complete a building or monument. In higher education, the term has been in common use in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, although there is evidence that it was in use as early as the late 1800s.[5] It has gradually been gaining currency in other countries, particularly where attention has focused on student outcomes and employability in undergraduate studies.[6] National grant projects in Australia[7][8][9] and the U.K. have further raised the profile of the capstone experience.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Marcus Ford; Marcus Peter Ford (2006). Beyond the Modern University: Toward a C. IAP. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-59311-405-3.
  2. ^ "General Studies". Capstone Awards. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "Capstone Award Winners". University of Washington. Information School. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  4. ^ "Capstone Project Best Design Prize". University of Technology Sydney. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  5. ^ Hauhart, R.; Grahe, J. (2015). Designing and teaching undergraduate capstone courses. San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  6. ^ "Capstone Project Definition: What is Capstone". Archived from the original on December 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "Business Capstones". Australia. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Kift, Professor Sally (2013). Curriculum renewal in legal education: Capstone experiences in law. Australia. ISBN 9781921916670. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  9. ^ "Capstones across disciplines and the capstone network". Australia.
  10. ^ "Rethinking final-year projects and dissertations: Creative honours and capstone projects". U.K. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017.