What is a capstone course?
All honours plans in Computing have a "capstone" course that integrates material from previous courses; only internship students are exempt from these courses. Each can potentially have a "customer" or co-supervisor from outside the School. This is a guide for potential supervisors and customers as to what sort of work is appropriate for each, to help you chose which course might be suitable for the work you would like to have done.
Which courses are capstone courses?
- CISC 495 for most honours plans, involves small teams of students making a moderate-sized change to a piece of existing open-source software over four months, involving a customer familiar with the software.
- CISC 496 for the Game Design option in the major and Computer Science specialization, involves small teams cooperating to develop a computer game over four months. Typically, these are all supervised by the instructor. Some other honours plans and options allow CISC 496 in place of CISC 499.
- CISC 498 for the Software Development specialization (SODE), involves three to five students developing an information system following a particular software development process over eight months, involving a supervisor from the School of Computing and an external customer. The course web page lists a few of the most successful projects of recent years. Proposals must be posted by the first day of classes.
- CISC 499 for most honours plans, involves one student over four months, with little constraint on the process other than what is agreed to with a supervisor. It can involve research or a software project or both, and can have a co-supervisor from outside of Computing. Sometimes a CISC 498 project can be cut down to roughly 1/6 to 1/4 of the original size to create a CISC 499 project. Students must negotiate an agreement with a supervisor for a specific project before they are allowed to enrol. Proposals will be posted in late Fall, to be carried out in the following Winter term.
- COGS 499 for the Cognitive Science specialization, is similar to CISC 499 but requires a supervisor from CISC, LING, PHIL, or PSYC.
- CISC 500 requires individual research by one student over eight months to produce an undergraduate thesis. Software development, if any, is incidental to the research. It is restricted to students with a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Students must submit a proposal by June 15.
Is there a substitution for a capstone course?
With the permission of the Undergraduate Chair, an independent study course can be substituted for CISC 499.
I have an idea for a research or development project. Who do I contact?
Please contact the appropriate coordinator: