Personal tools
You are here: Home > Curriculum > Capstone or Thesis

Thesis or Capstone Seminar

 You will need to make the choice. If you have a particular project in mind and you want a tangible product from your degree, then the thesis may be the right choice. If you would like an excellent broad-based culminating experience and are concerned about extended time commitments, then perhaps the Capstone Seminar is the appropriate option. The Capstone Seminar is offered each year during the spring semester. The thesis  is offered every semester. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Karen King.

Some common misperceptions:

  • The capstone is easier.
    The capstone may be easier to complete in one semester, but many students who take the capstone find that it presents challenges of its own—beyond what they expected! The capstone is a synthesis of the theories, concepts, and methodologies that students learn in their core classes. Students who complete the capstone typically offer these words of advice—maintain your notes from your core courses and don’t take another class at the same time.
  • The thesis can be accomplished in a single semester.
    Most unlikely. Students who choose this route should start planning several semesters ahead. Coming up with a suitable proposal and refining it will take time—longer than most students expect. Students also must set aside adequate time to do a literature review, to collect data, and to draft the final product. There are no short cuts—well worth it for the right individual, but, all in all, a good chunk of time, perhaps one year from start to finish.

What should I consider in making my choice?

  • What kind of person am I?
    Am I a self-starter? Do I enjoy writing? Working on my own? Designing my own study? Is there something that has been nagging at me that I want to explore in depth? If so, then the thesis may be right for you. The thesis offers students the opportunity to work closely with an adviser who will help them to examine a problem or idea of their own. This can be very rewarding and exciting. Those students who complete the thesis often look back with a great sense of pride in their accomplishment!
  • What are my ambitions and career goals?
    Just as the thesis offers students the opportunity to examine a problem in depth, so the capstone provides synthesis and breadth. Current and future administrators, managers, and leaders will find the capstone to be a good way to hone the knowledge they have acquired throughout the MPA program. Because most students take only one or two classes each semester, there may be a need to pull things together at the end, to see how courses and concepts intersect, and, especially for those seeking leadership positions, to test management skills through group projects and individual assignments.

Whatever you decide, it’s primarily your choice. The MPA faculty are here to help.

Document Actions
by hindmd49 last modified Jun 06, 2011 09:18 PM