The Difference Between an Internship and a Capstone Project

Internships and capstone projects are both common experiences for students in tertiary education, but they are distinct in their purpose and structure.

Internship: A workplace-based learning experience

An internship is a supervised work-based learning experience that allows students to apply the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom to a real-world setting. Internships are often unpaid work experience placements and are usually taken up by students in the later stages of their degree program. They often carry academic credit.

Internship placements are designed to provide students with hands-on experience in a specific industry or field of study. They can be a great way for students to gain valuable work experience and make connections in their chosen field.

Capstone project: A culminating problem-solving experience

On the other hand, a capstone project is a culminating experience that is typically completed by students in their final year of study. Capstone projects are usually research-based and require students to show the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout their degree program.

Capstone projects are often completed under the supervision of a faculty member and may be completed individually or in a group. They offer a great way to test and develop students’ problem-solving skills. The projects are designed to challenge students to think critically and apply their knowledge in a real-world setting, and they are often used as a means of assessing student learning outcomes.

Valuable work-integrated learning experiences

In summary, internships and capstone projects are different in their structure and timing. Internships provide students with hands-on experience in a specific field or industry, while capstone projects are a culminating experience that allows students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout their degree program.

Both experiences are valuable in their own right, and students should consider taking advantage of both opportunities if they are available to them. However, some institutions may require only one of these or may have different names for them. It is best to consult with your institution or program advisor for more information.