The “capstone” of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree at the University of Colorado Denver represents the culmination of what the student has learned during the MURP program. A MURP Capstone is a real-world, client-based planning project. Completing a unique, self-directed project gives students the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have gained, integrate and synthesize what they have learned, and pursue their individual passions. Working with a real client enables students to apply their creativity and problem-solving abilities in a real-world context and demonstrate their professional competencies to both the faculty and potential employers.
Students work with a client organization or agency to complete a project that is of significance and practical use to the organization. By the end of the Capstone semester, the student will produce a professional-quality project deliverable that addresses the client’s needs and conforms to the MURP program’s expectations for quality graduate-level work.
A Capstone project is not merely a narrow technical exercise, nor a lofty theoretical undertaking. Rather, the project should reflect knowledge of relevant literature and precedents, exhibit urban planning competencies, demonstrate an awareness of potential impacts on multiple constituencies, and address the formulation of policy goals. It should be an in-depth project that is useful for the client, but narrow enough that it can be completed in a single 15-week semester.
Capstone projects are all unique, but each is expected to be a high-quality professional project, complete with excellent writing, accurate documentation of sources, and effective presentation of data. Through the course of the semester, the student will submit two drafts of the project and meet with their Capstone course instructor for feedback. The quality of the Capstone project will be evaluated by the course instructor and the client. Successful completion of a Capstone project (or master’s thesis) is a requirement for graduation from the University of Colorado Denver Master of Urban and Regional Planning program.