The capstone project is a unique and innovative feature of the MAGA Program, providing an important component of the students’ learning experience and training. Undertaken in the spring semester of the final year, the capstone project is intended to provide students with the opportunity to work directly with a specific professional agency/organization/corporation on a topic of policy relevance. A mentor from the agency/organization/corporation is assigned to students, as is a faculty supervisor from the MAGA Program. The project deliverables entail a written product demonstrating excellent research and writing skills of publishable quality. Students present their projects at the end of the semester, with a grade assigned for the written product and the presentation. The capstone project provides students with unprecedented real-world experience as well as enhanced research skills, bridging academia and policy-making.
Successful capstones to date have included partnerships with the United States Department of Agriculture—Foreign Agricultural Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of the Treasury, Defense Intelligence Agency, United States Special Operations Command, United States Southern Command, United States Africa Command.