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Capstone Project Policy

All Fletcher students must complete a capstone project during their final year. The capstone project must evidence scholarly and/or professional analysis informed by the sustained and appropriate application of analytical methodologies. The capstone project is a significant analytical piece of work: it represents work of a higher standard than what is normally expected of a term paper and provides an opportunity for students to draw on their methodological, analytical, and substantive learning in a comprehensive written study.

While all capstone projects are alike in that they must build on significant analytical work and consist of a written final product, the specific form of the final product can differ widely. Students and faculty may choose these different forms in pursuit of their different pedagogical aims, specific career goals, etc. Students are encouraged to make clear arrangements with supervising faculty early on about what the mutual expectations are of the capstone project.

The detailed requirements for any capstone project are determined by the supervising faculty member and can take a wide range of forms, including but not limited:

  • A traditional academic research thesis (note that students who intend to apply to the Ph.D. program must choose a traditional academic research thesis for the capstone project).
  • A policy paper (whether for a government, an NGO or an international organization, whether or not for a real client)
  • An operational plan (in development, in business, in public diplomacy, etc.)
  • A case study
  • A business plan

Capstone Project Projection Form

All students must submit a capstone project projection form to the Office of the Registrar with an endorsement by the supervising Fletcher faculty member. All MIB and MALD students must submit the capstone project projection form by the course drop deadline of their third semester and all MA and LL.M. students must submit the form by the course drop deadline of their second semester.

Process of Submitting your Completed Capstone Project

Upon completion of the capstone project, students must complete the following steps to ensure that the capstone report is processed and the grade is submitted accordingly:

  1. If you are emailing your advisor the capstone project, send a copy of the report to the Registrar's Office as well. Or, if you are submitting a hard copy of your capstone project to your advisor, also submit a copy of your capstone project cover page to the Registrar's Office. In doing so, the Registrar's Office will be made aware that the capstone project is complete and with the professor for review.
  2. Upon completion of your Capstone, complete the submissions survey

Your Capstone Project Title Page should contain the following information:







In (partial) or (full) fulfillment of the (MALD, MA, MIB, or LLM) Capstone requirement