The Capstone Experience

Student laser tag

About Capstones

Capstone are senior-level project courses that allow you to solve a substantial problem with knowledge gained from many areas in computer science and engineering. Students work in teams to define a problem, develop a solution, produce and demonstrate an artifact that solves the problem, and present their work. Class time focuses on the project design and implementation, but it may also include lectures on the practical application of advanced topics. Interdisciplinary projects that require interaction with other departments are encouraged.

A Capstone course is not simply an advanced course in a particular sub-area, nor is it an unstructured project course. A Capstone is designed to be a culmination of your learning, and a chance to develop and express many skills at once: For example, techical expertise and communication ability.

Capstone Goals

  • Projects must be large enough to require teams of several students to work on over one quarter.
  • Students must apply concepts from more than one sub-area of CSE (at the 300-level and above).
  • The work must involve a substantial design effort.
  • Students must present their work using formal oral presentations and written reports.
  • Efforts must culminate in an interesting, working artifact.

Links of Interest

Capstone Registration

Capstone Registration is now open!  It will close on September 5th, 2016.

We'll notify people of their Capstone placement later in summer, and send add codes for Autumn Capstones. After this initial survey, any remaining space will open in the courses during normal registration. If you have further questions, please contact the advising staff at ugrad-advisor@cs.

Computer Engineering majors are required to complete a capstone course as part of their graduation requirements. Computer Science majors are encouraged to take a Capstone, although it is not required for CS. Every effort is made to assign students to one of their preferred capstones. An add code is e-mailed to all students signed up for a capstone prior to registration for the quarter in which the student is taking it.

2016-2017 Capstones



  • 460 Animation Capstone: Barbara Mones (note: requires application and admission in summer)
  • 481H Accessibility Capstone: Anat Caspi/Bruce Hemingway
  • 481SEC Security Capstone: Yoshi Kohno and Franzi Roesner:
    Student teams will be tasked with creating a computer security themed product. The work will progress from product conception to requirements to design to implementation to evaluation. Along the way, students will incorporate key computer security tools and practices, including threat modeling, penetration testing, and bug fixing. Examples include password managers, censorship resistance systems, and mobile payment systems.
  • CSE/EE 475: Taught by EE faculty


  • 481D Games Capstone: Zoran Popovic
  • 481C Robotics Capstone: Maya Cakmak
  • 481NLP Natural Language Processing Capstone: Yejin Choi
  • CSE/EE 475 Embedded Systems Capstone: Shwetak Patel.
    Most CSE majors who take 475 will take it in Spring, when it is taught by CSE or joint faculty. However, 475 is available to CSE majors every quarter, taught by EE in Autumn and Winter.