The Council for Education in Public Health (CEPH, 2021) requires all Masters of Public Health (MPH) students to complete an Integrated Learning Experience (ILE), which we call the Capstone Project. The Capstone project represents the student’s culminating experience in which the MPH student synthesizes, integrates, and applies the skills they have acquired throughout the MPH program. The Capstone Project must allow for demonstration of synthesis of foundational competencies and concentration competencies.
This project serves as the basis for a professionally written paper and presentation. The capstone presentation is presented during the Public Health Day in the semester students take capstone and serves as the student’s Final Exam Milestone with the UF Graduate School. To graduate, students must receive a passing grade on both their presentation and paper.
Enrolling in Capstone
Prior to enrolling in MPH Capstone (PHC 6940), students must have successfully completed all public health core courses, all concentration core courses, and either completed the Applied Practice Experience (APE) or be approved to register for APE.
Although students register for PHC 6940 in their final semester, students are encouraged to begin conceptualizing and working towards the project prior to the final semester. Once the Capstone semester has started, students will realistically only have about 3-months to finish their entire project.
Types of Projects
Projects should be specific to the student’s MPH concentration but may take on several different structures and formats based on the specific experiences. Completed projects must demonstrate acquisition of MPH core and concentration competencies. Examples of project types are listed below. Students are not limited to these types of projects. No matter your project type, you can use one of the formats outlined in this Capstone Overview, Formats, & Outlines document.
- Literature review
- Secondary data analysis (analysis of existing data)
- Primary data analysis (collection and analysis)
- Program evaluation
- Community needs assessment
- Program proposal
- Policy analysis
- Research Proposal
How to Get Started
Start by talking with your Faculty Advisor about project ideas. We encourage you to start these conversations 1-2 semesters prior to your Capstone semester.
If your project will require IRB approval, you’ll need to secure this before your Capstone semester. Even if IRB approval is not required, you’ll want to solidify your idea prior to the Capstone semester.
The first assignment due in the Capstone course is a Project Proposal & Contract, however, students can begin working on this assignment prior to the Capstone semester.
The Role of the Faculty Advisor in Capstone
Prior to the Capstone semester, students should work with their Faculty Advisor to identify a Capstone Project that aligns with their interests and meets selected competencies.
During the Capstone semester, students are enrolled in the Capstone Project eLearning site with their Faculty Advisor. Students will submit written drafts and other assignments through eLearning, receiving grading and feedback from their Faculty Advisor. The student must be proactive in ensuring that the timeline is adhered to, and deadlines are met.
The Faculty Advisor will support the student through completion of the Capstone Project, including:
- Provide guidance, feedback, and evaluation of progress throughout completion of the Capstone Project, the paper, and the presentation
- Grade the Capstone Presentation
- Grade the student’s Final Capstone Paper, which includes both quality and competency alignment