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Texas A&M University places a strong emphasis on cross-disciplinary capstone projects that allow students to integrate knowledge and skills from multiple fields to solve real-world problems. These types of projects provide invaluable experience for students as they prepare to enter a workforce that increasingly demands collaboration and innovative thinking.

One example of a large cross-disciplinary capstone project undertaken by Texas A&M students in recent years was developing accessible technology solutions for people with disabilities. A team of students from computer science, engineering, industrial distribution, and spatial sciences came together to design and prototype new assistive devices. They conducted user research, developed prototypes using 3D printing and other methods, and tested their solutions with people who have disabilities. The project addressed real needs and pushed the students to think beyond their individual disciplines.

Another notable project involved designing off-grid renewable energy solutions for rural communities in developing nations that lack access to traditional electricity infrastructure. Students from fields like mechanical engineering, construction science, agriculture, and geospatial science worked as an interdisciplinary team. They proposed customized energy systems combining solar, wind, biomass, and battery technologies that could provide power for vital community services like schools and medical clinics. Part of their work involved researching the technical specifications needed as well as evaluating socioeconomic and environmental sustainability factors.

Texas A&M students have also taken on ambitious global health challenges through cross-disciplinary collaboration. One capstone project brought together students from fields such as biomedical engineering, architecture, nutrition, and health promotion. They partnered with a non-profit organization helping rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal was to develop an integrated approach for addressing multiple health issues like waterborne diseases, malnutrition, and limited access to medical care. Their proposed solutions included designing inexpensive water filtration systems, educational programs on hygiene and nutrition, and preliminary plans for a multi-purpose health clinic. Getting input from local community members was also a key part of their work.

Yet another example of an impactful cross-disciplinary project involved developing flood prevention and response strategies for parts of India that regularly suffer damages from seasonal monsoon rains and river flooding. An international team of civil engineering, geoscience, hydrology, agricultural, and public policy students worked on this challenge. They created sophisticated hydrological and risk modeling to map flood-prone areas and help with evacuation planning. The group also proposed more permanent solutions such as improved drainage systems, flood walls, raising homes on stilts, and implementing agricultural best practices to reduce erosion during heavy rains. Coordinating with local governments was a significant aspect of validating their recommendations.

Staying within the state of Texas, one capstone brought together students from disciplines like construction science, landscape architecture, urban planning, and business administration. They partnered with the city of Bryan to develop a strategic revitalization plan for its downtown area aimed at improving economic, social and environmental sustainability. Proposals included renovating historic buildings, introducing mixed-use redevelopment projects, upgrading parks and public spaces, developing the arts district, enhancing walkability and bicycle infrastructure, recruiting targeted businesses and entrepreneurs, and capitalizing on events and cultural amenities to drive visitation to the area. Careful financial modeling and buy-in from key local stakeholder groups were crucial dimensions of the project.

Moving to a more technology-focused example, computer science and electrical engineering students teamed up with kinesiology and sports management majors on a project centered around developing new performance analytics and training tools for athletes. They designed smartphone apps, wearable sensors, and data visualization dashboards to help quantify physical metrics like speed, distances covered, jumps completed, heart rate variability, and more during games and practice. Machine learning algorithms were also applied to identify patterns and optimally target areas for improvement. Coaches and athletes testing the prototypes found them highly useful for gaining new data-driven insights into physical performance, injury prevention and developing personalized training regimens.

This covers just a sampling of the extensive cross-disciplinary work undertaken in capstone projects at Texas A&M University. As this overview illustrates, bringing together diverse areas of expertise to address complex challenges mirrors real-world problems that do not fall neatly into single disciplines. These collaborative experiences provide immense value in preparing Aggie graduates to be innovative leaders capable of driving meaningful change.


Biological Sciences Capstone: Investigating the Effect of Neonicotinoid Pesticides on Bee Colonies
An honours student in the Biological Sciences program studied the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honeybee colonies. She designed an experiment to monitor the health and productivity of bee colonies exposed to different levels of neonicotinoids through ingestion of pollen and nectar. Over the course of a year, she recorded colony population levels, weighed honey yields, and analyzed pollen samples to measure pesticide residue levels. Her findings provided insights into how commonly used pesticides may be harming bee populations and wider ecosystem health. The student presented her work at a campus research symposium and published a paper in the University’s student research journal.

Business Management Capstone: Strategic Plan for Expanding an Independent Bookstore Chain
A final year Business Management student completed a capstone project developing a three-year strategic plan for a small regional bookstore chain to support expanding into new locations. Through competitive analysis, market research, and financial forecasting, the student evaluated the opportunities and risks associated with different expansion options. The recommended strategy focused on opening two new stores in adjacent towns, increasing the online presence, and developing a book club membership program. The bookstore owners were impressed with the thoughtful analysis and have started implementing aspects of the strategic plan.

Computer Science Capstone: Development of an Accessible Mobile App for Organizing Volunteer Events
A Computer Science student developed a mobile application over the course of their final year that allows organizations to easily list upcoming volunteer opportunities and allows individuals to browse, sign-up, and receive reminders for events. The capstone focused on designing an intuitive interface following principles of accessible and inclusive design. User testing was conducted with organizations as well as volunteers with varying needs and abilities. The open-source application has now been adopted by multiple local charities and received praise for lowering barriers to community participation. The project was highlighted at a disability advocacy conference for its efforts to promote digital inclusion.

English Literature Capstone: Representations of Madness in Victorian Detective Fiction
Through a close reading of short stories and novels from the late 19th century, an English Literature student analyzed how descriptions of mental illness in authoritative detectives both reinforced and challenged prevalent notions of criminality and social deviance. The capstone examined the semiotic role of madness within the emerging genre of crime fiction and how these texts navigated debates around institutionalization, spiritualism, and psychological theories of the time. The student was commended for their insightful literary analysis as well as consideration of wider historical and cultural contexts. Their research was published in the department’s undergraduate journal.

History Capstone: An Oral History of Essex Dock Workers
For their final year project, a History student conducted a series of in-depth interviews with retired dock workers from the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe who had been employed during the post-WWII period of industrial development. The aim was to capture personal memories and perspectives on the working conditions, labor unions, impact of technological changes as well as cultural and social life in Essex’s dock communities during the mid-20th century. By preserving these first-hand accounts through audio recordings, transcripts and a published essay, the capstone helped document this recent piece of local maritime industrial history that might otherwise be lost.

Psychology Capstone: Evaluating a School-Based Program for Promoting Emotional Intelligence in Adolescents
A Psychology student evaluated the effectiveness of a pilot social-emotional learning program through mixed-methods research at a local secondary school. Quantitative data was collected using pre- and post-testing of students’ emotional intelligence and well-being. Qualitative interviews were also conducted with teachers, support staff and adolescents to understand experiences of the program. Results showed significant gains in self-reported emotional skills, though certain components proved more engaging than others. Recommendations were made to adapt future rollout based on the integrated findings. The capstone provided valuable insight for improving social and emotional development services within the education system.

These represent just a small sample of the diverse final-year research projects undertaken by University of Essex students across different disciplines. The capstone allows undergraduates to demonstrate self-directed learning through independently investigating a topic of personal interest and relevance. It provides authentic experiences of planning, project management and communicating findings that mimic real-world work environments. The capstone showcases the multifaceted skills and knowledge students gain from their studies in bringing together theory and practice to address issues within their chosen field.


The Rutgers capstone project is an important culminating experience for senior undergraduate students at Rutgers University that allows them to apply the knowledge and skills gained from their entire college education through a substantial project or research experience. By providing students with this real-world, hands-on learning opportunity, the capstone project makes a significant contribution to strengthening Rutgers’ excellence as a research institution and enhancing its reputation among employers, graduate programs, and peers.

The capstone experience helps showcase the outstanding work being done by Rutgers students across diverse fields of study. Through capstone presentations, research posters, multi-media projects, performance productions, and other public dissemination of results, the quality of student work is put on display for the broader Rutgers community and beyond. This highlights the depth and breadth of learning taking place at Rutgers and the advanced capabilities of its graduates. When employers, graduate admissions officers, accrediting bodies, and university ranking organizations see evidence of the high-level research and creative accomplishments coming from undergraduate capstone work, it boosts perceptions of Rutgers as a top-tier public research institution.

The capstone experience also allows Rutgers to strengthen community and industry partnerships through many applied projects completed in collaboration with off-campus organizations. Local non-profits, government agencies, schools, and businesses partner with Rutgers classes and individual students to work on real problems of practice. In the process, these external stakeholders gain valuable insights and solutions while Rutgers students obtain rich experiential learning opportunities. These mutually-beneficial community-engaged projects aid Rutgers’ economic development and civic engagement missions. They foster goodwill that bolsters the university’s reputation outside of academia as a prestigious school making important contributions to the state and region.

The capstone provides evidence to accreditors that Rutgers is successfully assisting students in developing advanced competenciesbefitting of their undergraduate educations. Through capstone requirements and assessment rubrics, each school and department at Rutgers ensures that graduating students can apply higher-order cognitive skills like critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, communication abilities, ethical decision-making, and field-specific technical proficiencies. When accrediting bodiestasked with periodically reviewing Rutgers programs see clear structures and outcomes demonstrating the holistic education offered through the capstone experience, it strengthens the university’s case for maintaining its full accredited status-a key indicator of quality.

Completion of the capstone signals to employers and graduate programs that Rutgers undergraduates have gained genuine research training and hands-on experience that readies them for future success. Most Rutgers students complete some form of original research, data analysis, design project, performance, public scholarship or other intensive faculty-mentored work. Having the opportunity to delve deeply into an area of interest translates directly into enhanced career preparation andpost-graduate readiness. Employers seeking well-trained, job-ready candidates recognize the benefits of a “Rutgers education” that includes completion of a rigorous capstone at the culmination. Graduate programs also view capstone experiencefavorably as evidence applicants have effectively begun bridging the gap between undergraduate and advanced levels of scholarship.

The capstone experience further boosts Rutgers’ national prominence through the dissemination of student work in competitive off-campus venues. Each year, a number of Rutgers undergraduate capstone projects receive regional, national or international recognition through prestigious awards, special journal publications, gallery exhibitions, Broadway-style performances and other high-impact placements. For example, engineering teams progress to the final rounds of international design competitions, social work research finds its way into legislative policy briefings, and scientific discoveries lead to provisional patents. When Rutgers students effectively showcase their capstone work on big stages, it raises the profile of the university and its commitment to sparking transformative student-driven work.

Collectively, through requirements for significant faculty-mentored projects tied to real-world problems, the capstone experience provides clear evidence to all oversight bodies and stakeholders that a Rutgers degree represents a rigorous, well-rounded education culminating in advanced research skills. This enhances perceptions of Rutgers as a top public institution and reduces doubts about the worth of an undergraduate degree from the university. For all these reasons-from showcasing excellent student work to strengthening community partnerships to preparing competitive graduates-completion of the capstone experience makes an immense impact on continually elevating Rutgers’ prominent place in higher education and bolstering its excellent reputation.


Northeastern University prides itself on providing students with experiential learning opportunities through their capstone program in the final year of study. The capstone is designed to allow students to integrate the knowledge and skills gained throughout their undergraduate studies by completing a substantial project that addresses a real-world problem or issue. Students work closely with faculty advisors and often externship partners in the community to design and implement their capstone projects.

Some past capstone projects from Northeastern students include:

Design and development of a mobile application for a nonprofit organization that supports refugees resettling in Boston. The app helps refugees locate important resources like housing, education, healthcare, and employment assistance. It was designed based on user testing and feedback from refugees and the nonprofit’s caseworkers.

Analysis of food insecurity and lack of access to nutritious food options on college campuses. The student conducted surveys and interviews at Northeastern and other local universities. Their capstone project report offered recommendations to schools on partnerships with local farms/grocers, strategies for increasing EBT/SNAP acceptance on campus, and designs for improving campus food pantries.

Development of workplace training programs and materials for a growing technology startup in the education space. The student analyzed the company’s current products, identified skills gaps for different employee roles, and created online and in-person training modules focused on pedagogy, instructional design, and role-specific tech platforms.

Research and policy proposals around increasing the energy efficiency of older buildings in Boston. The student performed an audit of energy usage data from city-owned buildings, identified retrofitting opportunities, and drafted recommendations for regulations, incentives, and pilot programs to scale up energy efficiency upgrades citywide.

Design and prototyping of adaptive switch devices to improve independence for individuals with limited hand mobility due to conditions like arthritis. The biomedical engineering student worked with occupational therapists and patients to understand needs and gathered anatomical data to 3D print prototype switches in different sizes, angles, and textures for testing.

The capstone experience at Northeastern takes place over two quarters (6 months) during a student’s senior or penultimate year of study. Students follow a structured process of selecting their project, conducting background research and literature reviews, developing detailed project plans and timelines, getting requisite IRB approvals if working with human subjects, implementing their work, and reporting out results.

Capstone projects can take the form of applied research studies, needs assessments, program/product designs and development activities, policy analyses and recommendations, business/nonprofit consulting projects, and more. The common thread is that they allow students to engage in authentic professional work that puts their accumulated learning to practical use.

Students work under the guidance of both a capstone faculty advisor from their department as well as an external advisor or mentor from the partner organization if applicable. Throughout the capstone period, students meet regularly with their advisors for feedback, submit interim deliverables and progress updates, and ultimately produce a final capstone report, presentation, and documentation of their process and outcomes.

The capstone holds special significance as the culminating experience of a Northeastern education. It allows undergraduate students an early opportunity to take on a professional project from start to finish, building skills in self-directed learning, collaboration, project management, critical thinking, and communication that will serve them well as they transition to post-graduate roles or further study. Faculty and organizational partners also value the opportunity to engage with soon-to-be graduates who can help address real problems through their applied work.

Through intensive, experiential capstone projects, Northeastern University ensures its students integrate classroom learning into thoughtful, impactful approaches to issues facing communities locally and globally. The model continues Northeastern’s commitment to providing a practice-centered education that prepares graduates for lifelong success across all career fields and sectors.


One student in the Bachelor of Science in Business Management program completed a capstone project examining strategies for improving employee retention at a small manufacturing company. For their project, the student conducted interviews with 20 current employees to understand their reasons for staying or considering leaving the organization. They also did benchmarking research on employee retention best practices at similar companies. In their capstone paper and presentation, they proposed a combination of improved management training, competitive compensation and benefits packages, enhanced opportunities for advancement, and expanded work-life balance programs. Some of their key recommendations that were later implemented included the introduction of flexible work schedules, an annual employee satisfaction survey to gather ongoing feedback, and the creation of internal mentorship and development programs.

In the Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity program, a student focused their capstone project on enhancing the security of a mid-sized financial services firm’s cloud infrastructure and applications. Through vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, they identified several gaps in access controls, authentication protocols, and network security that could expose sensitive customer data. In their project report and presentation to IT leadership, they recommended an integrated solution involving Multi-Factor Authentication, increased encryption of data in transit and at rest, regular security awareness training for all employees, and deploying cloud security tools to monitor for malicious activity and abnormal behavior. The company was so impressed with the findings and proposed roadmap that they hired the student as their new Cloud Security Engineer after graduation to help implement the changes.

A student in the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program completed a program evaluation capstone to assess the effectiveness of an after-school tutoring program at a local Title 1 elementary school. For their project, they developed surveys to collect feedback from students, parents, and teachers on perceived strengths and weaknesses of the existing tutoring model. They also analyzed standardized test score data from past years to see if program participation correlated with improved academic performance. Their final paper presented both qualitative and quantitative findings. Some of the major recommendations included tailoring tutoring sessions to individual student needs based on formative assessments, involving parents more directly in the program through volunteer opportunities, and securing additional grant funding to expand the scope and resources available. The school district was pleased with the comprehensive evaluation and subsequently implemented several of the proposed improvements.

In the Master of Science in Information Technology program, one capstone involved developing a proof-of-concept prototype for an innovative mobile application aimed at helping parents easily locate and connect with local babysitters, nannies, and childcare providers. Through user interviews and competitor research, the student identified pain points in existing solutions and opportunities to address unmet needs. Their prototype application included customizable family profiles, real-time availability calendars for care providers, secure payment processing capabilities, parental controls, and integrated background check verification. Their project report contained a full business plan outlining user acquisition strategies, pricing models, partnerships, staffing requirements, and financial projections. Investors were impressed with the clarity of vision and early validation findings, resulting in seed funding being secured to further develop the concept into a product.

These are just a few examples of the diverse, impactful capstone projects completed through Capella’s competency-based programs. A hallmark of Capella’s model is developing applied research and evaluation skills to address real-world organizational and community issues. Students successfully collaborate with industry partners and stakeholders to design solutions informed by evidence and tailored to specific needs. By completing rigorous projects with measurable outcomes, Capella graduates gain proven ability to effectively problem solve, communicate recommendations, and drive meaningful change in their respective fields and workplaces.