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Capstone Project

One of the guiding principles of the Robins School is for students to become valuable resources and active participants in our community. The Capstone Project provides that opportunity. The Capstone Project is intended to be the final piece of our MBA students' graduate studies with the objective to integrate concepts learned throughout The Richmond MBA program to address a strategic challenge facing a host organization.

To qualify as a Capstone Project, the issue being addressed must be closely tied to the strategic direction of the organization (or a major division or department). In developing recommendations for how the organization might resolve the issue, students are expected to synthesize business concepts learned in the program and demonstrate their real-world business applications. 

Through rigorous research and analysis, students develop and present customized, solutions-based recommendations for the organization. The core deliverable is a major report in good scholarly form with sound technical analysis, references, and bibliography. 

Over 500 organizations worldwide, from corporate headquarters to local franchisees, have taken advantage of the Capstone Project to increase revenues, implement projects, and recruit highly qualified talent.

Capstone Application

Capstone Project
Overview

Overview

Overview:

The Capstone Project courses (MBA 591, MBA 592 and MBA 593) are intended to be the final pieces of a student’s graduate studies; it is important that the nature of the Capstone Project be broadly integrative. The student’s objective is to incorporate concepts learned throughout the MBA program to address a strategic challenge facing a host organization. The Capstone Project's final written document and formal presentation to the organization’s key contact(s) must show that the student has:

  • significantly applied concepts from strategy and finance and at least two other disciplines related to the project (i.e., accounting, economics, information systems, marketing, operations, international business and organizational behavior)—every project requires financial analysis/projections;
  • demonstrated their ability to collect and analyze primary and/or secondary data from relevant and credible sources;
  • fully addressed the agreed-upon issue and provided novel recommendations that the organization can use in their ongoing work and/or decision making; and
  • exhibited excellent academic and professional standards.

Note:

  • All projects will be done in conjunction with a host organization. Host organizations may come from the corporate sector, the start-up community or the non-profit sector.
  • All projects are expected to be done individually. On rare occasions a project may involve two students, but only if the host organization’s need warrants it.
  • Business plans for hypothetical ventures are not allowed.
  • Projects involving primary data gathering for competitive intelligence are not allowed.
  • All three capstone courses are graded according to the standard scale of letter grades.  They are not pass/fail.
  • Once a preliminary topic area and organization host have been identified, students will be assigned a faculty advisor who will serve as a guide through the detailed development and execution of the actual project.
Deliverables

Deliverables

A typical Capstone deliverable spans at least 10,000 words, 30-60 pages (at least 30 pages of full text and additional pages may include charts and tables) and contains a thorough examination of the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It also includes a competitive analysis and an anticipation of industry trends. The deliverable will incorporate multiple references from the academic and business press, all of which must be appropriately cited. The bulk of the written document should focus on specific recommendations for addressing the core strategic issue. Each of these recommendations should be based upon solid justifications grounded in relevant research and the knowledge students gained during the MBA program. The final document will be shared with senior officers of the organization and therefore must be of the highest professional standard.

At the conclusion of the project, students deliver their recommendations to the host organizations’ leaders in a formal presentation attended by representatives of the Robins School. Students should expect a question-and-answer period to be a standard part of this presentation.

Students may begin working on their projects after completing the following steps:

  1. The general scope of the project has been approved by the Associate Director of the MBA Program.
  2. A faculty advisor has been identified and the host organization has identified their key contact.
  3. The student, faculty advisor, organization key contact and Associate Director of the MBA Program have met to discuss mutual expectations and a proposed timeline.

If you represent a company or organization that would like to host a Capstone project, please complete our online Capstone application.

For more information, please contact Debbie Fisher at dfisher2@richmond.edu or (804) 289-8012.

The Richmond MBA

Robins School of Business
102 UR Drive
University of Richmond, VA 23173
(804) 289-8553
mba@richmond.edu