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Capstone Project Master's Paper
 

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Description

An original Master’s Paper on a significant public health or community health issue or topic will be the primary component of the Capstone Project. All papers are required to contain a comprehensive literature review. The Master’s Paper can take many forms and may include:

  • Program Development. Students work to develop a program in areas such as health promotion or a community intervention.
  • Program Evaluation. Students conduct an evaluation of a public or community health program to determine effectiveness and outcomes.
  • Community Assessment. Students conduct various aspects of a community health assessment.
  • Community Health Planning. Students develop various aspects of a community health plan.
  • Public Health Policy. Students research and develop a public policy analysis or an advocacy statement related to a significant public or community health issue.
  • Applied Research. Students conduct research on a public or community health topic of interest.

 

 

Expectations

Presentation:  Sections of the Master's Paper (PDF)

Formatting Standards of Capstone Paper

The paper should be of publishable quality and include the following:

  • Title Page – Include name, title of project, Faculty Advisor’s name, and project’s time frame.
  • Abstract – Provide an overview of the paper. The abstract should not exceed 300 words.
  • Introduction – A brief overview of the paper including a summary of the background leading to the research question or purpose of the paper.
  • Purpose Statement or Research Question(s) – If more than one purpose or question is applicable, limit the description to one brief paragraph each.
  • Literature Review – Identify and review literature and previous research applicable to the paper topic. This section should include a synthesis and discussion of the reviewed literature to identify strengths, weaknesses, trends, opportunities, etc. The review should provide the basis for the paper.
  • Methods – Describe the methodology utilized in the development of the paper. This might include the design, setting, participants, intervention, and main outcome measures of the Capstone Project, or it might provide details regarding sampling, measurement, data collection, and analysis of research.
  • Results – Present the results of the Capstone Project. Explain the product of the effort put forth.
  • Discussion – Discuss, in detail, the results. Place the results in the context of the existing base of knowledge on the topic, and discuss limitations.
  • Conclusion – Provide discrete conclusions supported by evidence. Express any further study or effort implied by the conclusions, and give equal attention to positive and negative conclusions.
  • References – Properly and consistently cite references in a reputable format of the student’s choice.
  • Appendices – Support materials may include IRB letters, survey/interview instruments, letters of support, data analysis coding sheets, or others.

 

Deadlines

The student is required to submit sections of the Master’s Paper to the Faculty Advisor, Second Reader, and Program Coordinator as outlined on the Capstone Project Timeline of Responsibilities unless otherwise specified and agreed upon in the Capstone Project Proposal.

Unless otherwise specified in the Capstone Project Proposal, the student will submit the following sections as outlined in the timelines below.

First Submission:
- Outline
- Title Page
- Introduction and/or Background
- Statement of Purpose or Research Question(s)
- Methods
- Properly cited sources

Second Submission:
- Revised Outline
- Revised First Submission
- Literature Review
- Results
- Properly cited sources

Third Submission:
- Revised Outline
- Revised First and Second Submissions
- Discussion
- Conclusion
- Abstract
- Properly cited sources

 

Master's Paper Submission Schedule for Students Enrolling in Spring 2014

Activity Graduating Student Deadline Non-Graduating Student Deadline
Student submits outline and first section to Faculty Advisor, Second Reader & Program Coordinator Jan. 17 Feb. 7
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student Jan. 31 Feb. 21
Student submits revised outline, revised first section, and preliminary second section Feb. 14 Mar. 7
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student Feb. 28 Mar. 21
Student submits revised outline, revised first and second sections, and preliminary third section Mar. 14 Apr. 4
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student Mar. 28 Apr. 18
Student submits graduation paperwork (Confidential Report & Degree Application) to Program Coordinator Mar. 28 N/A
Student submits final draft of Master's Paper and PowerPoint Presentation to Faculty Advisor & Program Coordinator Apr. 11 May 2
Student submits Graduating Student Final Competency Self Assessment Apr. 14 N/A

Note: During the Spring semester, submission deadlines are different for graduating students and non-graduating students. Because graduates’ projects must be submitted to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences several weeks prior to the graduation ceremony, graduating students work on a condensed timeframe during the Spring semester.
 

Master's Paper Submission Schedule for Students Enrolling in Summer 2014

Activity Summer 2014 Deadline
Student submits outline and first section to Faculty Advisor, Second Reader & Program Coordinator June 13
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student June 20
Student submits revised outline, revised first section, and preliminary second section June 27
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student July 9
Student submits revised outline, revised first and second sections, and preliminary third section July 18
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student July 25
Student submits graduation paperwork (Confidential Report & Degree Application) to Program Coordinator Aug. 1
Student submits final draft of Master's Paper and PowerPoint Presentation to Faculty Advisor & Program Coordinator Aug. 1
Student submits Graduating Student Final Competency Self Assessment Aug. 4

Note:  Because the summer semester is only 8 weeks (as compared to 16 in the fall and spring semesters), the Capstone Project is severely condensed.  Therefore, most students would benefit from enrolling in Capstone Project during a fall or spring semester.
 

Master's Paper Submission Schedule for Students Enrolling in Fall 2014

Activity Fall 2014 Deadline
Student submits outline and first section to Faculty Advisor, Second Reader & Program Coordinator Sept. 26
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student Oct. 10
Student submits revised outline, revised first section, and preliminary second section Oct. 24
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student Nov. 7
Student submits revised outline, revised first and second sections, and preliminary third section Nov. 19
Faculty Advisor & Second Reader provide feedback and recommendations to student Dec. 3
Student submits graduation paperwork (Confidential Report & Degree Application) to Program Coordinator Dec. 1
Student submits final draft of Master's Paper and PowerPoint Presentation to Faculty Advisor & Program Coordinator Dec. 12
Student submits Graduating Student Final Competency Self Assessment Dec. 19

 

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