The capstone project has been designed so that students gain practical professional experience in the field of economic development and innovation. The milestone can be met by completing either:
A 4-month internship with an external organization related to economic development and innovation. Positions must be approved by the program prior to the start date. At the end of the internship, students must complete a final report describing the activities they undertook and the lessons learned in relation to published literature. This option continues to leverage the longstanding relationships the program has developed with external stakeholders (alumni, employers).
An applied research project with an external organization focused on an issue related to economic development or innovation. The research project would normally be completed in 4-months and involves the student working closely with an outside organization (ideally on site) to answer a defined research problem. Students are required to complete a research paper discussing the research they undertook and the lessons learned in relation to published literature.
Under special circumstances, students may complete a major research paper focused on an issue related to economic development or innovation under the supervision of a faculty member.