Illustration by Shahd Nigim

Breaking: Capstone Could Introduce Changes to Provide Flexibility

In an exclusive email to The Gazelle, Vice Provost Chuck Grim revealed that potential changes could be made to the capstone project starting next fall, pending final decisions.

Feb 13, 2022

On Feb. 8, Vice Provost for Institutional Research, Assessment and Academic Affairs Chuck Grim revealed in an email to The Gazelle that there may be changes made to capstone that would offer more flexibility to students.
Since the university’s inception, every student is required to complete a capstone project in their major field as part of NYU Abu Dhabi’s graduation requirements. According to the NYUAD website: "The capstone project is one of the culminating experiences for all students at NYU Abu Dhabi.”
"Every student at NYUAD will conduct capstone research in their fourth year, a demanding, year-long endeavor aiming at a significant piece of research or creative work; a historical narrative, musical composition, performance, invention, documented experiment, scholarly thesis or other form appropriate to the student’s goals."
On Aug. 31, a rumor surfaced on NYUAD’s Facebook page, Room of Requirement, regarding capstone projects.
"Hey guys, Heard that capstone will become optional for the class of 2024 and after. Is this to be determined, true or false? Thanks!" read the post.
No substantial evidence or comments were provided to verify or negate the rumors at that time.
With the incoming Class of 2025, the question of capstones was brought up again, with current freshmen discussing and theorizing on whether or not they would be required to do their capstone as part of the university’s graduation requirements.
"My best guess is that there will be changes that provide students more flexibility in the nature of capstone activities," Grim revealed in his email. "However, it really is not yet possible to intuit whether the ultimate decision will make capstones fully optional in any majors. Nor can I responsibly shed any light on whether existing cohorts of students would be permitted to take advantage of any flexibility."
He wrote that a detailed set of observations and recommendations were presented to the Provost last fall by a multi-year task force. Faculty members are expected to provide input on the issue this semester and any subsequent changes are most likely to be announced in the fall.
"No final decision has yet been made as to what changes, if any, will be made to capstones," Grim emphasized. "If/when any changes are made, a decision will be made as to the degree to which those changes apply to which existing cohorts of students."
Charlie Fong is Senior News Editor and Sara Vuksanovic is Senior Features Editor. Email them at
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