Capstone project

Capstone project

The Master of Global Affairs creates opportunities for its students to work with clients developing real-life solutions for global problems.

Second-year capstone projects are a true reflection of the real world – our students provide genuine insight on global problems for real clients. Students work together in a team, across geographies, to provide a client with value-added analysis and innovative solutions.

In preparation for the GLA2000H Capstone Seminar in the winter term, year two students enroll in GLA2011H Research Methods for Global Affairs in the fall term. Both are required courses.


There are currently five Capstone sections: 

  • Global markets
  • Global security
  • Innovation policy
  • Global justice and human rights
  • Global development

These sections are subject to changeThe Capstone course is offered in the winter term of year two.

During the summer before year two, students will be asked to rank their Capstone choices. While most students will end up getting their first choice, due to space constraints, some students will be assigned their second choice. 

Each section of the Capstone is led by a different faculty who secures client-based projects that fit their section. For example:

  • In Innovation past and current clients have included the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, MaRS (social innovation, the solution lab, Data Catalyst), Sustainable Development Technologies Canada, Anzu Partners, and Global Challenges Canada.  Project Example: Assessing whether the eligibility criteria for a startup funding program align with the financial realities that cleantech entrepreneurs face in Canada
  • In Markets, past and current clients have included the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Cultovo, CD Howe, StatCanada, and the Ontario CleanTech Industry Association. Project Example: Analysis of the Development of Major Projects in Canada Across Four Industries (Oil and Gas, Mining, Power Generation, Power Transmission)
  • In Security, past and current clients have included Global Affairs Canada (e.g. projects on the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, security sector reform, conflict mediation, advanced analytics), Ottawa Dialogue (conflict monitoring), the Global Center on Cooperative Security (racism in counterterrorism and countering/preventing violent extremism policies, community policing), and the Centre for Security Governance (politics of fear). Project Example: Threat Nexus: Collaboration between the Russian Federation and Armed Non-State Actors
  • In Development past and current clients have included Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Building Markets, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Invest Toronto (City of Toronto), Nutrition International, The Rumi Initiative, and The World Bank. Project Example: Positioning Nutrition International within the Humanitarian-Development Nexus
  • In Justice, past and current clients have included the RCMP (Strategic Research Division), International Association of Chiefs of Police, Digital Inclusion Lab Global Affairs Canada, Peace and Stability Operations Division Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety Canada (National Security Division), Journalist for Human Rights,  and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Ontario. Project Example: Protective Mechanisms for Afghan Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Seeking Relocation