Capstone Project

For the capstone project the student will join a lab and train directly with the research mentor. The project should apply Biomedical Data Science techniques learned while in the MSBDS program. Students will work directly with their Capstone Advisor to develop the subject of the capstone project. Students must submit a written capstone document and give an oral presentation of the project to the program co-directors and the capstone advisor. It is recommended the student have the capstone advisor review the written document before submission.

The Written Document

The document should be reviewed by the capstone advisor prior to orally presenting the project to the program co-directors. The following structure and guidelines are suggested:

Title and Capstone Advisor


Abstract: Provide a summary of your capstone project. Present the major elements of the work in a condensed form.

Introduction: Provide a critical review of the literature that is most pertinent to the work performed. It is important in this section to develop the rationale for the work performed. It should make obvious the basis of the questions addressed by the work. It should describe the basis for the approach taken to answer these questions. It should also provide insight into the relation of the thesis to the current state of knowledge in the field. Critical evaluation of the literature is a necessity. Finally, the introduction should clearly state a hypothesis that will be tested by the studies.

Methods: Describe the primary techniques used. Do not repeat details of published methods. This is not intended to be a recipe book of the methods used. Instead it is a general overview of the procedures used and details of elements that are specific to the work.

Results: Describe what has been accomplished, accompanied by appropriate figures and tables.

Discussion: Examine the results, explain their significance, and answer the question posed in the Introduction. Place the findings in the context of what is currently known in the field, demonstrating how the understanding of the field is extended by the work.

Conclusion/Summary: Summarize and state the significance of the results.

References: In the text, cite all references in the name-and-year system (e.g. Strong and Jones, 1991). The reference list should be arranged alphabetically by the last name of the first author in a standard format with titles. The student should consult standard reference publications for appropriate citation styles.

Oral Presentation

  • When the student is ready to orally present the capstone project, the student will work with the program manager to set the day and time.

  • Students must send the program directors a copy of the written document 1 week prior to presentation date.

  • The presentation will last approximately 60 minutes with the first half will have the student presenting, then a short Q & A with the audience and about 20-25 minute discussion with the student, the capstone advisor, and the program directors.

Capstone Deadlines

Students should submit their written capstone document and orally present their project during the last term before graduation. Please see deadline dates for graduation below.

Degree conferral dateStudent must present by

September 30th

September 10th

January 30th

January 10th

June 30th

June 10th

Required Forms

Last updated