MPH Program

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Background Information for Capstone Project

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Introduction and Purpose

The Capstone Project is an essential aspect of the MPH curriculum. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) requires that, “All professional degree programs identified in the instructional matrix shall assure that each student demonstrates skills and integration of knowledge through a culminating experience.”

A culminating experience is one that requires a student to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice. It will be used as one means by which faculty judge whether the student has mastered the body of public health knowledge and can demonstrate proficiency in the required public health competencies.



Specific learning objectives include:
• Apply appropriate public health theory, skills, and knowledge to a public health or community health issue.
• Complete a major written paper on a significant public health or community health issue or topic.
• Demonstrate proficiency in the required public health competencies.
• Demonstrate professional writing and presentation skills.



Students should have completed all MPH coursework, including the Field Placement, before enrolling in the Capstone Project. However, due to the uniqueness of the Capstone Project and opportunities that may arise, exceptions may be made. Students must submit the Early Capstone Project Request Form, which can be found on the Capstone Project Forms page, to the Program Director in these instances.

Students are required to maintain CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) certification in the Protection of Human Research Subjects throughout the Capstone Project. The course may be accessed at, and students must register for one of the following groups.
- Group 1 – Biomedical Investigators, Co-Investigators, and Study Coordinators
- Group 3 – Appropriate for all IRB, DSMB, DSMC, and GCRC members and everyone involved in Both Biomedical & Social/Behavioral Research
- Group 4 – Social/Behavioral Research PI’s, Co-PI’s, Study Coordinators
A copy of the Human Research Curriculum Completion Report should be submitted to Laura Conklin, MPH, Program Coordinator via email at or by fax to 414-955-6529.


Timeline of Responsibilities 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015


Relationship to Other Courses

This course will provide the application and integration of public health theory, knowledge and skills acquired in the academic coursework. The Field Placement and the Capstone Project are two distinct MPH curriculum requirements. However, the two experiences can be linked. The Field Placement could lead to a topic that can be further explored within the development of the Capstone Project proposal, but combining them is neither required nor expected.
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 03/04/2014