The Capstone is a required collaborative project completed in partnership with a public, private, or non-profit institution. Projects will be conducted by small teams of 3-4 MENV graduate students. The Capstone Project sequence consists of the Capstone Innovation Lab course sequence - as well as five credit hours of applied work during the Summer Session.
Capstone participants are not traditional interns, but instead are highly motivated graduate students, generally equipped with prior professional experience who will provide innovative solutions and useful products to Capstone client organizations.
In addition, Capstone Projects provide MENV graduate students with real-world, hands-on, applications-based experiences embedded within the context of an organization's need and capacities.
The MENV course sequence will hone students professional skills, such as project management, community partner engagement, analysis, collaboration, and financial planning, that will be essential to success in their professional careers. Students will also develop valuable contacts and practical experiences through the networks they develop.
Capstone partners will span a broad spectrum of organizations involved in environment, energy, and planning. CU Boulder's MENV program will partner with organizations from the NGO community, the private sector, as well as local, state, and federal governments. For example, past partners include Aspen Snowmass, B Lab, Boulder County, City of Boulder, City of Denver, Hunger Free Colorado, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Institute, Rocky Mountain National Park, Schneider Electric, The Nature Conservancy, and Vail Resorts. Please view the video below to learn more about the Masters of the Environment program's Capstone partnership with Boulder Organic Foods in 2018.
See the full list of 2022 Capstone Partners here.
Partnering with CU Boulder brings a number of benefits to external organizations:
One important aspect of the MENV Graduate Program is to train students to become leaders and innovators. As such, once teams are selected and the research scope of the project is defined, the planning, research, and associated work are expected to be student driven. Faculty and partner input are critical, but ultimately student teams are responsible for managing the project and taking initiative to move the project forward. Successful MENV students:
Capstone Partner Expectations
Connection to CU
CU Boulder's MENV program will stay closely connected to each partner and Capstone Project. Full-time staff will be dedicated to working with your organization to assist in development of project ideas, recruitment of appropriate student teams, and to mentor MENV students. The MENV staff will be attentive to your needs, help ensure rigorous and thorough participation by students, and serve as your point-of-contact between your organization and CU Boulder.