"The student team produced a cost-benefit analysis on par with what I would expect from professional consultants. They are overseen by experts in their field and produce professional quality analyses."Kate Battiato, Vice President of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Health Care Association
Types of projects
Capstone policy project
Clients submit proposals in the fall; students work on projects each spring.
Clients receive a final report with policy recommendations and supporting documentation, along with recommendations for additional studies or next steps, if appropriate.
Best suited for
Program evaluations, policy analyses, literature reviews, and comparative analyses that have a sufficient amount of existing data to inform the research.
Cost-benefit analysis project
Clients submit projects in the spring; students work on projects each fall.
Clients receive a cost-benefit analysis of proposed policy alternatives, along with recommendations for additional studies or next steps, if appropriate.
Best suited for
Projects requiring a pure cost-benefit analysis to determine the least-cost or highest-cost alternative among identified policy options.
Is my project a good fit?
What makes a good project?
- Clearly stated problem, challenge, or opportunity and clearly defined deliverables that can be accomplished in approximately 14 weeks
- Dedicated point person with capacity to respond to the student team (time commitment of point person is approximately 4-6 hours during weeks 1-4, 10-12 hours during weeks 5-10, and 6-8 hours during weeks 11-14)
- Available data and/or documentation
- Support of organizational leadership
- Openness to unexpected analysis results
- Interest in sharing results with policymakers and public
Questions teams helped answer
- Would a community court model be advantageous to implement in the City of Milwaukee?
- What are different heat mitigation strategies the City of La Crosse should explore?
- Is there a difference between the estimate and actual revenue collected from the extractive industries in Cambodia?
- What is the feasibility of consolidating municipal water utilities in Dane County?
- What are the long-term costs and benefits of investment in universal child savings accounts for Wisconsin residents?
- Which areas in sub-Saharan Africa should be prioritized for immediate electrification investment to improve health outcomes?
Let us know about your project idea and organization by submitting a project proposal.
First-time applicants are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting project proposals to determine if the project scope and focus is a good fit for our courses.
Selection and timeline
This is a competitive recruitment process. Our faculty select projects based on several criteria including student interest; clearly stated problem, challenge, or opportunity; and clearly defined deliverables.
2023-24 capstone timeline:
- October 27: Deadline for proposals
- Mid-December: Clients notified of proposal status
- December 2023 or January 2024: Client intake meeting with faculty advisor
- Mid-January 2024: Initial meeting with organization and student team members
- February–May 2024: Client works with student-consultant team
- May 2024: Final presentation to organization and promotion of reports to policymakers and public
2023 cost-benefit analysis timeline:
- May 15: Priority consideration deadline
- June 16: Clients notified of proposal status
- September 6: Fall semester instruction begins
- December 19: Analysis delivered
Stories about partnerships
- October 16, 2023