Capstone Project

All students acquiring the Certificate will need to complete a capstone project.

The capstone project is the final requirement for the Certificate and should be undertaken only when all of the other requirements have been satisfied.

What is a capstone?

Capstone projects give students the opportunity to reflect upon what they learned as they completed the various components of the Certificate (e.g., course work, experiential learning, co-curricular activities, language learning and intercultural training).

In the capstone, students should demonstrate their achievement of the CIL learning outcomes, such as:

  • Knowledge of international and global issues and systems.
  • Understanding of the interconnectedness of systems and of local and global issues.
  • Knowledge of other countries and cultures and understanding of one’s own culture as one worldview in a global context.
  • Ability to apply one’s awareness and understanding of culture and language skills to communicate and interact with people of other cultures in local or international contexts.

Students are expected to analyze and not just describe their experiences. Some questions worth considering might be:

  • What have I learned from completing the Certificate? What did I learn about myself? What did I learn about the world?
  • What is my biggest takeaway? What was the highlight of the Certificate for me? Why was that experience/learning so powerful?
  • What most surprised me about _______________? (Fill in the blank with: studying abroad, learning another language, exploring global issues and/or interacting with different cultures). In retrospect, why was that surprising?
  • Has my study answered old questions? If so, how so? Has it raised new ones? If so, what are the burning questions that I’m left with?
Some students found it helpful to keep a journal throughout their CIL experience for ongoing reflection. This helped them look back on their experiences as they completed their Capstone project.

What form can the capstone project take?

A capstone can take a variety of forms. Students have submitted everything from traditional essays to PowerPoint presentations, to posters and poems. Students interested in submitting a non-traditional project must first seek the permission and advice of the Academic Director. Capstone projects that are predominantly visual require a written explanation of approximately 750 - 1000 words. This written explanation may be the script of the video or play, or it may be an essay noting the points you have made visually. 

Here is a list of Dos and Don’ts to successfully submit your Capstone project:



  •  Reflect on your personal experience
  •  Write an academic paper
  •   Analyze your experiences. Tell us what you leaned and how you’ve changed.

  • Describe your experiences. Tell us what you did.
  •  Be specific, give examples and use lively language to illustrate your points.
  •  Use vague generalizations and opaque, hyperbolic language (i.e. wonderful, awesome, amazing).
  •  Consider the array of activities.
  •  Focus on a single requirement.
  •  Honour the uniqueness of your experiences. What are your CIL takeaways? 
  •  Follow a formula or copy a model Capstone we have provided.

How long should my capstone project be?

A written capstone (with no visuals) should be approximately 1000–1500 words.

When is it due?

Capstone deadlines depend on the student's date of convocation.

Coursework finished by:

Convocation date:

Capstone project due:

April 30, 2017

June 2017

March 15, 2017

August 30, 2017

November 2017

August 15, 2017

April 30, 2018

June 2018

March 15, 2018

August 30, 2018

November 2018

August 15, 2018

Capstone projects should be submitted as a Word or Google document to

CIL students are expected to present their capstone projects to program staff and fellow graduands. An email invite will be sent to students, after capstone projects are marked.