Capstone Project

Every student earning the MPC degree must complete a capstone project. In addition to developing a professional portfolio that highlights your best work, you will complete a field project. The field project requires you to focus your interests on an internship or a client-based project that incorporates the knowledge and skills you have learned throughout your studies. This is a great opportunity to concentrate on a communication field that is particularly interesting to you and to add a major component to your professional portfolio.

You may propose a project after you have completed 28 credit hours in the program. Once your project proposal has been carefully planned and approved, you may register for MPC 690. Field projects are as diverse as our students and their interests.

Past Projects

  • A user manual for a business database system
  • Advertising writing at a local ad agency
  • Feature writing for Utah Outdoors Magazine
  • An integrated marketing communication plan for a nonprofit organization
  • A writing and editing internship for an online arts magazine
  • A comprehensive handbook for event planners
  • A complete marketing package for the launch of a new business

Overview

Because MPC 690 serves as the culmination of the MPC program, students are expected to select a project that challenges them to apply a wide variety of theories and skills learned in the program.

  • The project should be different from projects you currently does at work and/or completed for other MPC courses.
  • The project should integrate a variety of skills you have developed in the MPC program.
  • The project must be an internship or be developed for a specific client.

  • An internship in a local business or agency that involves extensive application of principles and skills learned in the MPC program. (For example, policies and procedures manuals, survey and analysis reports, development of websites, applications of social media, etc.)
  • Any client-based project that involves substantive deliverables that incorporate theoretical knowledge and practical application of that knowledge acquired during the MPC program.
  • Major research studies conducted for a client and involving a significant amount of professional-quality writing and/or editing (for example, a feasibility study that identifies the best location for a new business, a recommendation report for the purchase of a new computer system, a manual that identifies how a business should use social media and provides best practices for its use, etc.)

Students may undertake a field project after completing 28 credit hours of course work. The nature and extent of the project is developed during a 2-credit class that focuses on the plan and design of the project. The capstone project is then completed during the following semester.

A faculty member of your choice will serve as the academic advisor for your field project. The ideal advisor will have expertise in the scope that you have defined for your field project. This faculty member will provide guidance and feedback on your project, evaluate your final project and determine your grade, and make site visits and/or consult with your field supervisor as necessary. You may also ask your faculty advisor to help you generate ideas and make decisions as you plan and design your project.

In addition to your academic advisor, you will have a field supervisor to oversee your project. Your field supervisor will be your internship supervisor or your client. This individual will be responsible for providing you and your faculty advisor with guidance and feedback on your progress towards completion of the project.

Completing a field project proposal serves several purposes:

  • It helps you clarify your project plans, goals, and scope.
  • It helps your academic advisor and your field supervisor determine whether your project will be feasible and acceptable given the purpose of MPC 690.
  • It serves as a planning guide when you begin your project.

The process of planning and designing (i.e., drafting, revising, reviewing, revising, finalizing) your project will take place in MPC 664, Field Project Planning and Design.

The faculty does not expect a specific proposal format. However, successful field project proposals will meet the requirements of any proposal and will include answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of project do you plan to do?
  • What are the project's objectives?
  • How will the project be used?
  • What is the scope of the project?
  • What resources will you use to complete the project?
  • What activities will you perform to complete the project?
  • When will each activity be complete?
  • What skills must you use to complete the project?
  • Why is the project appropriate for an MPC field project?
  • What final products will be submitted as evidence of your work on this project?
  • In what ways will this particular project be of benefit to you?

Your proposal should be logically organized, detailed, and persuasive.

Once your field project has been approved, you will be responsible for keeping your advisors informed about the progress of your project; scheduling site visits, consultations, or meetings between your field supervisor and academic advisor (if appropriate); writing status reports (if appropriate); and completing the project on time.

If you do not complete your field project during the semester you are registered for MPC 690, you have two additional semesters to complete the project. You must enroll in MPC 699, Continuing Registration, and pay a fee of $250 each semester until the project is complete. If you do not finish the project by the end of the third semester, you will be required to re-enroll in MPC 690.

After you complete the project, you must submit three copies of any documents written, edited, or produced as part of the project. Two copies will be kept on file in the library, and the other will be housed in the MPC field project library. Your grade will be based on your academic advisor's assessment of the project as a whole, as measured by the deliverables you submit and interviews (as needed) with your field supervisor.