James Madison University

Capstone Project Description

Throughout the didactic portion of the curriculum, students will be guided towards the goal of completing a capstone project.  The project begins to take shape in PA 551 Managing Medical Information I: Clinical Biostatistics; where an emphasis is placed on bio-statistical concepts and literature search/analysis.  The project continues to develop in PA 653 Managing Medical Information III: Research Design & Implementation; where students are paired together and begin to formally outline and propose the concepts for their project.
There are several project options:

  • a systematic review of the literature of a topic of community clinical interest
  • an on-going previous research project
  • a community engaged service learning project

For the first option, research questions may come from community sourced questions from clinicians in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham area.  Local clinicians are asked to provide clinical questions commonly seen in medical practices to determine "best practice" guidelines.  Student pairs will choosea question of interest.  The students devise a strategy to identify appropriate literature searches, read and review the literature, and synthesize data/information.  Finally, in PA 654 Managing Medical Information IV: Directed Project; students present conclusions and make recommendations in the form of a paper suitable for publication and a poster presentation.  The posters are displayed and presented both on-campus for JMU faculty and students and at Sentara RMH Medical Center for local clinicians.  The capstone project is completed prior to students leaving for their supervised clinical experiences.

Visit JMU Scholarly Commons to take a look at PA student capstone projects from previous years.