The Capstone Initiative, under the direction of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, originated from a 2003 UCLA campus report on Shaping Undergraduate Education via the Capstone Experience , which recommended that all UCLA undergraduates complete a capstone experience, defined to include not only research, but also creative performances, product designs, community service, and campus leadership projects.

Viewed as a “bookend” to UCLA’s earlier General Education curricular reform, the Capstone Initiative was subsequently identified as one of three special themes that formed the foundation for work and reporting in association with UCLA’s recent reaccreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC).

Primary goals and key questions that guided early stages of the Capstone Initiative along with anticipated results, are detailed in UCLA’s 2006 Institutional Proposal  to WSCUC. The 2007 Capacity and Preparatory Review Report  to WSCUC details efforts of the Capstone Workgroup to define capstone experiences for UCLA undergraduate students and to propose a model that could be implemented by departments. Initial stages of implementation and future plans are elaborated in the 2009 Educational Effectiveness Review Report  to WSCUC.