Capstone: Learning In Action

What is Capstone?

The Capstone program is a unique learning opportunity at NYU Wagner. Over the course of one academic year, you will work in teams with faculty oversight to identify opportunities for a client organization or to conduct research on a pressing social question. The course is designed in a weekly structure to facilitate reflection and learning in class, where you will collaborate with teammates, other classmates, and your faculty member—all to help you grow from this real-world experience.

Download our 2023-24 Project Summaries Booklet

Explore Our Database of Capstone Projects


NYU Wagner NYCDOT Capstone Program Partnership


Capstone in an Academic Context

Regardless of program/specialization, all students share the same learning goals for Capstone:

  1. How to design and execute an extended project for a client organization

  2. How to successfully work with a client and relevant stakeholders

  3. How to function as a member of a consulting team working for a client

  4. How to conduct and present effective applied research

We hope that among the projects presented in your section, you find a project related to your interests. However, keep in mind that Capstone’s purpose is about skill-building and synthesizing learning from your Wagner experience.

  1. Capstone is not an internship.

  2. Capstone is not about getting on a project for an organization you want to work for after graduation.

  3. Your Capstone project will not necessarily be specifically tailored to your primary area of interest. It is, however, a chance to gain useful experience informative to your career.

The “Advanced Research Projects in Quantitative Analysis” section of Capstone is an option for students interested in pursuing a PhD or a career in research. It entails advanced statistical analyses of large datasets as part of experiencing the entire research process from beginning to end. In teams, students develop a research project based on their interests, ensuring the availability of data. Research teams operate on the same timeline as students in the client-based Capstone program.

Brief Overview of Applied Research Projects in Quantitative Analysis

Capstone Course Timeline

Year Preceding Capstone

Fall term: Review your Program Requirement Checksheet to ensure that your course schedule prepares you to fulfill Capstone prerequisites by the beginning of the following fall. Consult with your Student Services Program Advisor.

Spring term: In early April, complete Capstone Application Form.

Summer: Eligible students receive Capstone enrollment permission numbers from Academic Services and enroll via Albert.

Capstone Year

September-October: In class, students and prospective Capstone clients undergo selection and matching process to finalize student teams.

October-December: Students negotiate client agreement, develop work plan, and enter into team charter.

February: Students submit Capstone project abstracts to be included in the Capstone booklet.

End April-Early May: Students finalize report and present their findings to the client.