Cornell University

Capstone Program

The CIPA Capstone is a semester-long program designed for second-year Fellows.

As a participants in this program, you will engage in rigorous team-consultancy projects. At the same time, you create a substantive report that will ultimately meet CIPA's professional writing requirement, necessary for conferral of the MPA degree.

Through the Capstone, you can apply the knowledge and skills that you have acquired through your coursework and internship to craft policy or program improvements for public agencies and non-profit organizations.

For each Capstone project, Fellows form consulting teams that propose relevant and actionable solutions to the problem at hand. The Capstone projects are multidisciplinary and experiential in nature, and Fellows have opportunities to learn from each other and from resources across the University, as well as from CIPA's contacts in the field.

During the course of the program, you will learn about managing projects and undertaking policy analysis within the constraints of various political environments and organizations. You will also gain professional and public service experience and learn how to manage a team project.

three students CIPA Capstone with GAO

Domestic -vs- International Capstone Courses

Each semester, several Capstone projects are offered, some addressing a public service initiative or policy issue posed by domestic clients, and in the other, by several possible clients. Each Capstone project requires experiential learning and teamwork; all will provide opportunities for Fellows to hone their abilities as public affairs professionals and leaders. Students interested in the domestic experience, should plan on registering for: CIPA Domestic Capstone (PADM 5910). Those with a desire to work for an international organization should register for: CIPA International Capstone (PADM 5950).

Fellows form consulting groups within each class, focusing on an agreed-upon public service initiative or policy issue and proposing solutions that are relevant and actionable. The Capstone courses require Fellows to collaborate effectively.  Together, Fellows manage a consulting project, with guidance from the instructor, which results in a substantive professional report.


Capstone clients: Please click on the name of any of the clients below to see a PDF of the final project proposal

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