Capstone Requirement

The capstone project is the culmination of the educational experience of the program. Each student’s capstone committee will have three faculty members, including at least one from the curriculum subcommittee. The capstone can be completed in one of two ways.  

A student may enroll in one of two courses that require a substantial course project that integrates knowledge from previous courses.  These projects are open-ended and have written and oral components   Completion of the course satisfies the capstone requirement.  Students may take both courses for credit toward their program requirements if desired.  

The student may also enroll in Data Science in Biomedicine Supervised Project (DSB 220), which will provide a structured environment to complete a capstone project either individually or as part of a team of students, with each student responsible for a distinct component.  The project will have a written and an oral component.  Students will typically take this course for 4 units.  However, students with a more substantial capstone project can take the course for up to 8 units per quarter or 4 units per quarter for two quarters. DSB 220 is a hybrid course that may be taken online or in person.  

The instructors will provide ideas for several potential projects and the students can choose one of these projects.  The course instructors will guide the student or student teams as they undertake the project.  Alternatively, the student can propose their own idea for a capstone project and recruit a UCLA faculty to serve as their sponsor.  In collaboration with the sponsoring faculty member, the student will submit a project proposal for evaluation by the capstone course instructors.  The capstone supervised project proposal will include a background paragraph, hypothesis, specific aims to be accomplished during the project and a mentoring plan involving the sponsoring faculty member.  The capstone course instructor must approve the project and mentoring plan. Capstone projects that are deficient will be returned to the student with comments and students will be given a chance for the student to revise the project to obtain approval.  We expect that most students who take the capstone course in person will choose their own projects and work closely with the sponsoring faculty.

The capstone course will provide didactic structured training on research communications.  During the course, students will make regular presentations of their project progress and obtain feedback from the instructors and other students.  The final product will be a paper and a public presentation of their projects with students and other faculty invited.