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Capstone Project Options
Master of healthcare administration.
The capstone course is taken during your final semester of the Master of Healthcare Administration program. You can choose to complete this project with a Program-Sourced Capstone Partner, Self-Sourced Capstone Partner, or an Employer Capstone Partner.
Program-Sourced Capstone Partners
Through relationships in the community, the MHA program identifies and coordinates capstone project opportunities with various organizations. In some cases, multiple students will be working on the same capstone project (depending on organizational requirements). For program-sourced partnerships, students are expected to interview for the opportunities. Not all program-sourced partnerships are guaranteed.
Self-Sourced Capstone Partners
Students are encouraged to explore capstone opportunities that fit their preferences and career goals. If the student needs assistance approaching outside organizations of interest, and there is no existing relationship with the MHA program, the program director and faculty may be able to assist.
Employer Capstone Partners
Students are encouraged to explore opportunities for capstone projects that fit their preferences and career goals. If the student works at a healthcare facility and his/her employer is willing to offer an opportunity for the capstone project then this can be considered. It should be made clear that this capstone project will not conflict with the student’s current duties.
The capstone project and accompanying research paper serve as the culminating assessment in the MHA program. Examples of capstone projects:
- Create a marketing campaign for a healthcare facility
- Work with management to revise existing policies and procedures and maximize operational efficiency
- Plan and manage a fundraiser for a healthcare facility
- Prepare and lead a new social media marketing campaign
- Establish an international relations program for foreign physicians working at the facility
- Develop a leadership training program for healthcare administrators
- Establish a disaster drill procedure and program
- Pilot a new system for a healthcare facility such as the EHR
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What is a Capstone Project and Why Are They Required By Most Master’s Programs?
While researching potential graduate degree programs, students may become acquainted with the concept of a capstone experience and may wonder, “what is a capstone project, and why are they required by most master’s programs?” These projects are sometimes called a culminating project or capstone experience. Other programs call their projects senior exhibitions or senior projects. Most graduate school programs require students to write a thesis or complete a Capstone Project. Capstone projects vary from program to program and often are a requirement to provide students the opportunity to use what they have learned and apply it to a specific area of professional practice.
Related resource: Top 20 Health Administration and Healthcare Management Degree Programs Based on Overall Quality Measures
What Exactly is a Capstone Project?
A capstone project or capstone experience involves the identification of an existing problem in a real-world setting and the application of learned skills and methods to develop a solution that addresses the problem directly. In some cases, a capstone project will be geared toward research, while others are more oriented toward problem-solving. Solutions are usually interactive, meaning they can be implemented and used.
What Are the Goals of a Capstone Project?
Typically there are several goals for a capstone and they often include:
- Defining an information problem or opportunity
- Decide what techniques are required in order to master this information problem or opportunity
- Include all aspects of the information problem – using people, technology and information
- Make a positive difference for the community whether it is a business, school, library, hospital, or other organization
- Choose a topic or focus area the students are enthusiastic about
Who helps me to decide what Capstone is appropriate to select?
Most students will have an advisor who is a faculty member in their program who will help them select a capstone that is most relevant to their career goals. In some degree programs, the student may need to submit a proposal for their capstone and then wait for approval from their faculty advisor. Other programs may provide a static list of capstone topics or projects, and students will choose the option that aligns best with their personal interests. While researching potential graduate degree programs, students may find it beneficial to investigate the parameters of the capstone experience at their chosen school.
Are There Specific Types of Master’s Programs That Generally Require Capstone Projects?
Most master’s degree programs in public administration, social services, public administration, mass communications, and liberal arts require graduate students to complete a capstone project. This can vary from program to program and usually will be listed in general requirements to complete their masters’ degree. Capstone projects are geared towards working professionals to give students the ability to take knowledge and theory they have learned and apply in a real-world setting. Here are some examples of what programs might require a capstone project:
- Master of Public Health programs often require a Capstone because it provides an opportunity for students to work on public health practice projects that areas of Public Health that are of specific interest to them. A capstone allows the student an opportunity to synthesize, integrate, and apply the skills and competencies acquired to a public health problem.
- Master of Science and Master of Arts in Public Health programs often require either a Capstone or a Culminating Experience.
- Some Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs require student’s completion of a capstone and can be a long-term research project that addresses a specific business problem or opportunity.
- Many of the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) programs require Capstone projects, which allows students the chance to apply their coursework in organizational settings of their choice that might include hospitals, community health agencies, local, state, and federal public health agencies, non-profit organizations, research and health policy organizations.
Are There Generally Prerequisites Required For a Capstone Project?
Before choosing a capstone project, students (undergraduate or graduate) will be required to take courses providing them with the theory and skills-based knowledge needed to formulate an idea for a capstone proposal. These classes will be in areas such as research statistics, ethics, program theory, and leadership; they will be relevant courses based on the master’s program curriculum.
How long does a capstone project usually take to complete.
This will vary from program to program and can be as few as 10 weeks to as many as two semesters depending on the requirements of the program. It is most common for graduate programs to require a capstone project course that lasts for one semester.
What are the Benefits of Capstone Projects?
Capstone projects often fulfill several goals in modern education and are a welcome alternative for many students to the traditional thesis-based degree program. Capstone experiences often increase the rigor of the program by requiring extensive work conducted outside the classroom during internship experiences or time spent in scientific inquiry. The personal nature of a capstone project may also prove beneficial to students who have chosen a project that is particularly important to them. For example, according to an article on Newport Rhode Island , a high school student was recently inspired to complete a capstone experience relating to cancer after being inspired by her mother’s cancer fight.
Another benefit of a culminating experience is that it can offer a student a firm example of their experience and talents that they can offer to a prospective employer. A college degree is an excellent way to secure employment, but a capstone experience may offer the best example of a student’s talents and knowledge on a particular subject. Students who complete a capstone may also feel a sense of self-satisfaction at having finished a complex project on their own.
What Are Some Examples of Capstone Projects?
Capstone projects vary according to the subject matter of the student’s program and often require building something, designing a plan, or conducting a scientific study. Here are a few examples of capstone experiences in graduate programs.
Master of Business Administration: Participate in an internship at a local business where the student will experience real-life business practices and write a comprehensive essay on the experience.
Master of Agricultural Science: Conduct a scientific experiment that measures some facet of farming and determine the effects of a certain agricultural practice.
Master of Computer Science: Design and create a fully-functional computer application that demonstrates a computer science graduate student’s ability to apply the knowledge and concepts they’ve acquired in school.
Master of Theater Arts: Write and direct a stage play that will be performed by fellow students at the conclusion of the student’s final semester in the graduate program.
Master of Electrical Engineering: Complete a project that showcases the student’s ability to conceptualize, develop, design, manufacture, and test an idea, as well as create documentation for the project.
One of the deciding factors in choosing a graduate degree program might be the curriculum or overall format of the curriculum. Some students may pursue programs with thesis projects because they are most comfortable writing about what they’ve learned.
Other students may gravitate toward schools that offer capstone experiences because they have an interest in fieldwork or the creation of a project that may benefit them on their resume. Understanding what a capstone project is and why they are required by most master’s programs can help students make a final decision on their graduate degree program.
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University of Washington
Health Systems and Population Health
School of public health.
- MHA Capstone
- Academic Experience
- Academic Programs
- Master of Health Administration
- Program Experience: Master of Health Administration
The capstone project is the culmination of the UW Master of Health Administration (MHA) studies. It is designed to give students meaningful hands-on experience in solving real-world health administration problems.
Working in teams of three to four students, teams tackle projects submitted by health care provider organizations in the Seattle area and present recommendations to the participating organizations.
Capstone Project Examples
Examples of MHA student capstone projects:
- Addressing Impacts of Systemic Racism in Mental Health and Wellness at Kaiser Permanente Washington
- Addressing Workforce Challenges in Rural Washington – Washington State Hospital Association & Health Workforce Institute
- Analysis and Recommendations for Developing a Quality Metrics Dashboard – Puget Sound Health Partners
- Coordinated Quality Improvement Program Plan Revisions – UW Medicine
- Reducing 30-Day Readmission Rates for Patients with Congestive Heart Failure: A Pilot of Acute and Post-Acute Care interventions – Swedish Medical Center, Cherry Hill Campus
- Strategic Plan for the Virginia Mason Lewis & John Dare Center and Executive Health Programs – Virginia Mason Medical Center
MMHC Capstone Strategy Project
The Capstone Project engages teams of students on projects of significant importance to their organizations. The student team is responsible for diagnosing the critical problem, defining an appropriate scope of work, managing institutional expectations, and producing a suitable recommendation in both written and presentation form.
Your Capstone Team
It takes many managers, healthcare practitioners and other executives to care for a patient and to manage a healthcare organization. Having the skills to manage a team, evaluate critical problems, and execute solutions is required to be an effective business leader. This is why your Capstone Team will be comprised of a cross-functional group of 4-5 executives, each with a diverse set of backgrounds and industry experiences, giving you an experience that emulates the work environment of a healthcare delivery organization. Support includes coaching on team dynamics and the progress of your work together, checkpoints to ensure you’re on track, and guidance for projects that serve as a real-world learning lab.
The Capstone Strategy Project complements the classroom instruction and is defined as learning by construction. It is a total immersion experience in which students are challenged to use all of the tools and concepts learned to date to tackle a current business problem for a healthcare organization.
With faculty oversight, you demonstrate rigorous application of business concepts and disciplines. Leading a project of utmost importance for your organization provides immediate impact that benefits the student and the sponsoring organization.
Your team will kick off the Capstone Strategy Project in Mod 3 by meeting with the client sponsor to outline and discuss the initiative at hand. Your team will spend the next six months working on all aspects of the project, including:
As the class makeup represents a very diverse talent pool within a healthcare organization, it promotes working outside of our comfort zones and valuing the skills and experiences of others. There is no doubt that the biggest thing I will miss after graduation is the weekly (and often several times weekly depending on team project deadlines) camaraderie experienced by the class. Gaelyn Garrett MMHC 2015
The Benefits For You
For the students, the Capstone Strategy Projects are opportunities to exhibit the healthcare business management knowledge you’ve acquired. You will demonstrate, to yourself and your organization, your ability to problem-solve creatively, make strategic decisions, and manage as part of a high-level executive team. Learn More .
The Benefits for Your Organization
For an organization, the Capstone Strategy Projects is an opportunity to have a team of experienced mid-level health care professionals conduct an intense engagement to address a current business need. Learn More .
See how MMHC students' capstone helped improve Emergency Department wait times and efficiency at VUMC.
How MMHC benefits your organization
A closer look at the program through the eyes of students, faculty and sponsoring organizations
MBA Healthcare Management
Your guide to getting an MBA in Healthcare Management
What are Some Popular MBA in Healthcare Management Capstone Projects?
The culmination of master’s degree programs in healthcare management is often the development of Healthcare Management Capstone Projects. If you are approaching this milestone in your education, you might wonder what some of these projects look like.
What are Healthcare Management Capstone Projects?
“Capstone” is defined as the crowning achievement. Students who have invested six or more years in their higher education use the skills and the knowledge they have acquired to research and address real-world problems. The project is presented as a formal research paper. This often leads to practical solutions implemented in the communities and systems they address. Colleges and universities have different requirements concerning Healthcare Management Capstone Projects, but the studies generally involve oversight by a mentor or faculty advisor.
Some Capstone Projects Address Local or Community Issues
In recent years, capstone projects at Brattleboro Hospital have made real impacts on the healthcare systems there. According to the Marlboro College website, one problem the hospital had was nurse retention. One out of four new nurses left the hospital after one year. Information learned in one capstone project showed that a major cause of this attrition was that the new nurses felt they lacked team support at the hospital. They also felt unwelcome by the current staff. The student researcher recommended beginning a nurse-mentor program that has resulted in the attrition rate dropping to one out of eight.
Another capstone project addressed the inefficiency of incident reporting at the Brattleboro Retreat, an addictions recovery facility. The reporting system they were using resulted in duplication of entries and confusion in documenting the interventions for the incidents. The student, in her capstone paper, addressed the creation and implementation of an information technology system. The resultant system cut down on duplication in data logging and gave the staff a secure and quick way to access incident data.
Resource: What is a Health Information Manager?
Students at the University of California at San Diego developed a fictitious community health center to study the effect that integration of high-tech information systems would have on delivery of services. The three-month-long program looked at a variety of healthcare issues in the light of the implementation of the technical systems.
Capstone Projects also looked at National and International Issues
The website for prestigious Johns-Hopkins University showcases many Healthcare Management Capstone Projects. Graduates from this school are encouraged to think about issues that affect the country or even the world. One recent capstone project researched the practicality of using farmers’ markets to address the problem of obesity and inadequate diets in Baltimore. The study goal was to connect the results of the study with nutrition problems in other countries as well.
Another project at Johns Hopkins studied Direct Portable Reuse systems to remedy the scarcity of drinking water in some areas. The systems introduce treated waste water into the drinking water treatment process to provide a source of safe and sufficient drinking water. Both of these research papers could have global impact.
Graduate students in healthcare management work with many issues from cost effectiveness in healthcare facilities to raising the standard of healthcare for the US and other countries. Healthcare Management Capstone Projects are the first step in a professional life with the potential to change the way we at look at healthcare delivery as a world community.
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Healthcare Administration Capstone – BUSI 691
CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023
This capstone course for all healthcare administration majors seeks to integrate the concepts, techniques, and knowledge of all areas of healthcare administration. Its focus is strategic management, which is studied in theory and then rigorously applied. This course is designed for final semester seniors.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog .
A major component of the healthcare administration program is the capstone course that requires students to apply what they have learned throughout the curriculum. The overall objective of the capstone course is to enable students to build upon their theoretical preparation. Students, working collaboratively as they would in an organization, will enhance their leadership skills and systematic problem/issue analysis skills, etc. through direct participation in case analysis and other focused experiences.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations , the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Each student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 800 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, each student is required to reply to 2 other students’ threads. Each reply must be at least 300 words. Each student will discuss the prompt and will post the thread and replies within the Discussion. Each thread and reply must include a biblical integration and at least 2 peer reviewed source citations in current APA format in addition to the text.
Assurance of Learning Assignments (3)
The student will read each respective case from the Walston Strategic Healthcare Management: Planning and Execution text. Each student will respond to the case questions. Supplemental reading from the Wayland and McDonald Strategic Analysis for Healthcare: Concepts and Practical Applications text will provide the student with additional information for each case. The student will demonstrate their ability to diagnose strategic issues, evaluate alternative solutions, and recommend actionable plans. Each student's analysis must be a minimum of 5 pages and supported by at least 5 peer-reviewed sources cited in current APA format.
Assurance of Learning Exercise: Case Study of Safety Net Hospital Assignment
The student will read “The Struggle of a Safety Net Hospital” case in the Walston Strategic Healthcare Management: Planning and Execution text. The student will individually respond to the case questions in at least a 5 page paper. Supplemental reading from the Wayland and McDonald Strategic Analysis for Healthcare: Concepts and Practical Applications text will provide the student with additional information for each case. The student’s analysis must be supported by at least 5 peer-reviewed sources, the course text, plus the Bible cited in current APA format.
Field Activity Assignment (2 parts)
Each student will complete a field activity project related to a healthcare organization. The field activity may be part of current employment, a formal or informal internship, apprenticeship or consultant. The student may use his/her current healthcare organization or an organization within the healthcare industry for which he/she is not currently employed. The specific name of the organization will not be revealed in the assignment to maintain anonymity. Current APA formatting must be used.
Part 1: The student will provide the type of healthcare administration organization selected, the summary of the field activity, role, and the timeline of the project/activity. The student will receive feedback and permission to proceed from the faculty member.
Part 2: The student will provide a 15-20 page summary of the completed Healthcare Administration field activity that includes the following: overview of the activity, research support of the strategic impact on a healthcare organization with a minimum of 15 scholarly, peer-reviewed sources (less than 5 years old), as well as recommendations for the organization as a result of the activity findings.
Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and has also attained ACBSP international accreditation for many of its business programs (for a listing of specific programs, please visit our School of Business page). Accreditation requires classroom learning to be measured and analyzed. That means Liberty must measure and report learning progress of its students. One way to do this is to measure a student two times throughout your degree program: at the beginning and the end. In the assessment for BUSI 691 you are at the final assessment. For this assessment, your score will be compared externally with the scores of students from other accredited schools, other regional schools, and internally within the various cognates. Thus, we need you to take this assessment very seriously and for you to do your best in each assessment, as we believe you can score as high as, or better than, the students from other comparison schools. We want to be able to proclaim with great joy that Liberty University students consistently score at the highest levels when their knowledge, skills, and abilities are tested at regional, national, and international levels of comparison.
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