Where Are We Now? Statistics on Capstone Courses Nationwide


Capstone design courses are an increasingly common component of engineering curricula nationwide, but how much do we really know about the current practices? How do capstone courses differ across departments and institutions? How have capstone courses changed in the past 10 years? This paper highlights data from a survey of engineering capstone design courses conducted in 2005, based on responses from 444 programs at 232 institutions. Particular focus areas include respondent profile, course/project logistics, faculty involvement, funding details, industry sponsorship, and success. The 2005 data are also compared with results from the comparable survey by Todd and Magleby et al. in 1994 (Journal of Engineering Education, April 1995), thus providing both a snapshot of recent practices plus an indication of trends over the past decade.

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Susannah Howe
Design Clinic Director
Smith College

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