Engineering Capstone FAQs

Engineering Capstone Program
Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Capstone Program? Who comprises a Capstone Team?

Capstone is learning in action. Part of the core curriculum of the STEM program at UW Bothell, it provides students with a critical learning experience. Over the course of two quarters, students work in teams to solve a business problem - conduct research, design a solution, and build a prototype.

Capstone teams are comprised of 4 UW Bothell senior undergraduate students completing the Capstone Project as a part of their STEM degree.

What is the program timeline?

Upon completion of a minimum of specific courses, student may elect to work on a Capstone Project. There is no specific timeframe, except that the work must be completed within two consecutive quarters.

Capstone Project presentations will be scheduled throughout the year, for students, faculty, and industry sponsors to attend.

What types of projects have been done in the past?

We have two examples of past capstone projects for you to look at:

How does my organization apply for a Capstone Team?

You must complete and submit our project proposal for consideration.

What can my organization expect from a Capstone Team? What will a Capstone Team expect of my organization?

All teams will develop and negotiate a scope-of-work agreement with their sponsors once their proposal has been selected. Project teams will use their best efforts to produce the deliverables described in the work plan and will inform the sponsor of any potential problems which would change the scope of the project. The sponsor agrees to provide mentoring assistance and access to information necessary for the Capstone Project team to perform effectively.

Organizations should also read our Mutual Expectations document, which explains the roles and expectations of the various project stakeholders – sponsors, students, faculty, and UW Bothell – that are understood during a Capstone project.

Is there a fee associated with engaging a Capstone Team?

There is no fee associated with a UW Bothell Capstone Project. However, the sponsor is expected to supply any logistical support necessary. This usually includes the cost of parts and fabrication of PC boards, etc.

What makes a good Capstone Project?

The best Capstone proposals are important but not urgent; achievable within the academic time frame and with the resources available; provide a clear definition of the problem or issue to be addressed; have a realistic scope; and specify tangible deliverables for the Capstone team to provide. We look for organizations that have been operating for at least three years, have at least three full-time employees, and can offer a mutually beneficial opportunity for the sponsor and the student team.

What is the project proposal selection process?

Submitted proposals are first vetted for feasibility and fit within Capstone's guidelines and UW Bothell’s learning objectives and curricular areas of focus. Then, approved proposals are distributed to the Capstone faculty for review, who may contact prospective sponsors for clarification on the scope of projects. The faculty select projects that will be presented to their classes where the students choose which projects they are interested in working on. Sponsors are then notified whether their projects have been chosen by a Capstone Team.

What is a project mentor? How much time should a project mentor expect to put towards a Capstone Team?

All Capstone sponsors must designate one person in their company who will act as the project mentor. Project mentors are expected to act as the main organizational contact to the Capstone Team and to respond to the Capstone Team as appropriate. The time that a Project mentor will devote to the project will depend on the size and scope of the Capstone project as agreed to by both the organization and team.

Who owns the work produced by the Capstone team?

The final work product and any associated Intellectual Property are owned by the Capstone sponsor organization. Sponsors have editorial control over what students may disclose in a public forum and in their final reports. All project work is subject to non-disclosure as per an NDA signed by students and faculty.

UW Bothell may ask for permission to publicly list the organization as a Capstone sponsor, to keep copies of the Capstone teams' final reports for review by the UW Bothell community, and to include a brief project description in Capstone promotional materials.

Furthermore, students may ask for permission to use the work produced for their Capstone sponsor in pursuit of their educational or professional careers.

However, the above is entirely at the discretion of the Capstone sponsor.

Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

Should you have any additional questions about the Capstone Program, please contact Arnie Berger at