BBA Capstone Requirement

Students must elect at least one required capstone course in the Winter term* of their Senior year in the BBA program. Capstone courses make connections between academic learning and the professional world; they include topics that address complex concepts, require diverse skills and perspectives, and are relevant to future professional endeavors. Some capstone courses also include an Action-Based Learning (ABL) component, allowing students to have a direct interaction with a client/stakeholder and a deliverable product that integrates learning and analysis and applies it to a real-world situation. Most capstone courses are three credits. Students can discuss their course selection and planning for a capstone course with their academic advisor. Grades in capstone courses will be distributed according to the elective distribution guidelines.  Students can access the archive of previous course syllabi via the Kresge Library database for historical information on each capstone.

Capstone ranking will open at noon on October 26 and close at noon on October 31. Students may submit their rankings at any point during that window. Capstone ranking results will be available for viewing on November 10. The ranking system may be accessed here. More information on the Capstone ranking process can be found on the Senior Registration page on iMpact.

Current* Capstone Courses

*Capstone course offerings are subject to change each semester.

Professional Capstones

Capstone Action-Based Learning

Capstone Research/Thesis

Capstone Fund Courses

Professional Capstones

ACC 418

*Information for Winter 2024

Additional Information Provided by Faculty: The course presents an integrative framework for business analysis, business forecasting, and equity valuation using quantitative and qualitative financial information. In this important Capstone course, you will gain a rigorous understanding of the conceptual interdependencies between the various business theories you have been exposed to in other courses (for example, strategy, accounting, finance) and how to apply these concepts to make practical, real-world business decisions.

For example, we introduce state-of-the-art data analytics tools to analyze a firm’s financial performance to date, forecast its future performance and estimate its intrinsic value implied by these financial forecasts. Furthermore, we study the relation between a firm’s business strategy and accounting numbers reported in financial statements, illustrate the latest techniques and information sources used by Wall Street professionals, discuss the impact of global and domestic economic trends on financial ratios used in performance evaluation, review the effect of managerial talent on the future financial success of a business, and learn how to convert qualitative data into quantitative value estimates.

This Capstone course includes real-world, action-based learning, cases that demonstrate the process of integrating various business theories and large amounts of data in an applied manner. For example, you will engage in a “live” forecasting exercise where students forecast a company’s future quarterly performance. This project will involve retrieving real-time data about the industry, company, management plans, and analyst opinions, and apply the theoretical business analysis framework to construct financial forecasts. Once the company announces its financial results, we critically examine the reasons for any deviations between the forecasted and actual numbers.

As a final Capstone learning experience, students are engaged in a comprehensive final project. This project will require students to demonstrate the practical integration of several business disciplines to make an investment decision. This project has a written component as well as a short presentation in which the students demonstrate their ability to communicate complex business information in an effective manner.

The Financial Statement Analysis course is suitable for anyone pursuing careers in finance, consulting, accounting and is a must-take Capstone course for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the business world!

**Please note: It is strongly advised that students complete ACC 312 prior to enrolling in this course, or enroll concurrently in both courses.**

BL 404

*Information for Winter 2024 

Additional Information Provided by Faculty: Law provides entrepreneurs with many opportunities for competitive advantage. This course offers an examination of various legal issues every entrepreneur should understand to make good business decisions. This course will address legal concerns that arise when leaving your current employer to start a business, creating an appropriate ownership structure, funding the venture, negotiating and contracting with vendors and customers, assembling your team, and global issues. This course will assist you in your ability to work with legal counsel. This course will assist you in your ability to work with legal counsel.

Teaching methods include six projects to provide simulated hands-on experiences relevant to start-ups.

BL 405

*Information for Winter 2024 

Additional Information Provided by Faculty: This course focuses on conflict and conflict resolution in corporate America by providing students with both a theoretical and practical framework to help them negotiate conflict in their professional and personal lives. The course includes theoretical readings exploring topics such as sources of conflict, distributive justice, dealing with implicit bias in conflict, alternative dispute resolution, workplace and organizational conflict, ethics of conflict resolution, and others. There will also be a significant practical component to the course where students will have the opportunity to explore, discuss, and resolve conflicts in a classroom setting.

Teaching modes include lecture, group discussion, simulations, and guest speakers with significant expertise in aspects of conflict and conflict resolution. This capstone course is designed to be interactive and will afford students the opportunity to connect with the material in meaningful and creative ways.

As a capstone learning experience, students are engaged in a semester-long comprehensive group project that challenges students to critically evaluate a model conflict and engage their analytical and practical skills to facilitate a resolution to that conflict. There will be benchmarks throughout the semester that will allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the concepts and skills taught in the course.

Please note: There are no prerequisites to this course and it is not necessary that you have taken previous negotiation or conflict resolution courses to enroll in this course. However, students who have taken similar courses such as BL 410 are encouraged to enroll in this course as the material covered will serve to supplement your prior coursework quite well.

ES 414

*Information for Winter 2022 
**Students cannot get credit for this course if they have already completed ENTR 411.

Additional Information Provided by Faculty: ES 414 will provide you with first-hand entrepreneurial experience within a structured, supportive context. You will have the opportunity to draw upon and apply knowledge you have gained in previous classes. You will also learn – and put into practice – new tools and techniques that can help you to successfully identify, assess, and pursue attractive business opportunities.

During the team projects, you will learn about a broad range of important entrepreneurial activities, including: Identifying significant unmet needs; Solution ideation; Business model generation; Marketing and selling; Negotiating; and more.

In addition to team project work, ES 414 will include lectures and guest speakers, discussions and exercises designed to help you understand and apply these tools and techniques.

The Entrepreneurship Practicum will require creativity, resourcefulness, and hard work. But our goal is to make it a rewarding (and hopefully enjoyable) experience for those who participate. By the end, you should be able to identify/assess attractive business opportunities and have a better sense of how to foster an “entrepreneurial mindset.” Most importantly, you will have a deeper understanding of how to create value for your customers, for other members of the value chain/ecosystem, and for your company.

Should you take this course? Only if you…

  • Might one day want to start a business or social venture
  • Are interested in working for an existing startup, now or in the future
  • Plan to work at a large company or nonprofit organization and want to contribute to innovative projects that help drive the company’s growth

FIN 430

*Information for Winter 2024

  • Course Description
  • Skills Gained: Gain an understanding of the nomenclature in venture capital and private equity; Learn how investors operate from sourcing deals, to diligence, to negotiating terms, and managing investments. 
  • Final Deliverable(s): Develop and present an investment committee memo on a venture capital investment.

MKT 470

*Information for Winter 2024

An organization’s performance on social and environmental responsibility can influence its reputation, its ability to attract and retain employees and customers, its relationships with its stakeholders, its economic performance, and even its ability to attract investors.

This course will cover interactions between society and marketing and marketing’s role and responsibility (in both environmental and social issues) in society. We will take a triple bottom line (People, Planet, Profit) perspective when evaluating these interactions. As such, the impact of social and environmental concerns on marketing actions, consumer behavior and company performance will be discussed in detail. Diverse perspectives from business ethics, strategy, economics, psychology, and sociology will help students adopt different lenses while analyzing a complex array of contemporary marketing issues. We will be using case studies throughout the course and students will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with peers and to discuss a broad set of interesting topics. Course topics will include Social Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Consumer Attitudes toward Sustainable Marketing, Social Influences on Responsible Consumer Behavior, Corporate Social & Environmental Initiatives, Marketing & AI, Brand Activism, and Brand Purpose.

By the end of this course, students will gain a deep understanding of the core concepts, strategies, and practices of socially and environmentally responsible marketing. They will be able to identify different stakeholders, assess situational factors that surround a company and analyze the consequences of a company’s marketing decisions in terms of their social, environmental, and economic impact. In the process, students will improve their analytical and integrative thinking skills.

MO 437

*Information for Winter 2024

  • Course Description
  • Skills Gained: strengthened skills and confidence in your ability to lead from any seat, skillfully requesting and synthesizing feedback, analyzing and navigating challenging organizational dynamics, and written and verbal communication
  • Final Deliverable(s): A personal leadership profile of mission, vision, and values. You will have improved your profile iteratively throughout the semester using course content, guided personal reflection, application to live business cases, and feedback from others including senior executives.

Additional Information Provided by Faculty:

This capstone aims to deepen your mindset and toolset to lead positive change in organizations throughout your career. This course will further your self-awareness through targeted feedback and reflection. You will analyze and integrate inputs to draft your personal leadership framework of mission, vision and values. You will then refine your draft through a series of practical action-learning workshops with diverse, inspiring and effective leaders from all levels of organizational hierarchy. 

The plan of the course
Leadership is performed by many people throughout the organization. It is not the responsibility of a select few titled people. You will be a leader in many situations through your career. As you conclude your degree program, it is important to clarify your leadership profile – your mission, vision, and values – in a way that it is actionable in different contexts. Your leadership profile will then evolve with you as you advance throughout your career. In the first phase of the course, you will gather and integrate structured feedback. The inputs will inform your draft leadership profile. In the middle phase of the course, you will be invited to engage in “live cases” with four diverse, inspiring and effective leaders from different career stages. Each is trying to advance a social innovation. You will learn both from the individuals and their initiatives. As you learned in MO300, initiatives can be of several types: products (selling goods and services whose value extends beyond profit), practices (making how we do it more sustainable), people (making the workplace more just and rewarding), and public (building the community beyond the walls of the institution).

In the final phase of the course, you will gather and integrate a further round of structured feedback. The inputs will help you refine your draft leadership profile. We will conclude by revisiting your most important learning points of the semester. We will support you in the behavioral change required to turn insights into action in your own career and life.


  1. Understand the elements of a personal leadership profile: your Mission, Vision and Values.
  • Understand the different components and their respective use cases.
  • Apply the concepts in practice by drafting a Personal Leadership Profile. 
  1. Seek out and interpret qualitative and quantitative inputs to refine your personal leadership profile.
    • Build self-awareness through feedback and structured reflection. 
    • Learn from the experience of others: diverse leaders who have put their mission, vision, and values into action in the workplace. 
    • Test drive your personal leadership profile in action by role-playing live case scenarios: make recommendations to advance both organizational objectives and broader social impact. 
  1. Synthesize a complex data set to create an actionable plan for personal growth and impact. 
    • Strengthen your ability to perceive opportunities for impact by deepening your ability to identify and categorize social innovations.
    • Analyze feedback while demonstrating self-awareness and growth mindset to refine Personal Leadership Profile and development plan.
    • Learn and apply a framework for sustainable behavior change.
    • Integrate learnings and build persuasive communication skills through presentations to classmates and business executives.

TO 412

*Information for Winter 2023

Additional Information Provided by Faculty
Course Overview: The need to access, gather, manage and analyze data has become an essential part of any business decision process.  Whether working in finance, marketing, or consulting, the ability to combine specific discipline knowledge with advanced data tools is clearly a sought after skill.  In this course students learn how to work with large data sets in order to derive business insights in a variety of business disciplines.  To do so, students get hands-on practice with a number of software tools that are often used by companies to access, manage, visualize and explore real data in a range of business contexts.

Tools Taught: This course teaches basic tools used for the acquisition, management, and visualization of large data sets.  Students learn how to:

  • Create, manage, and query databases via SQL;
  • Quickly construct insightful visualizations of multi-attribute data using Tableau;
  • Use the Python programming language to manage data as well as connect to APIs to efficiently acquire public data (e.g., from Twitter).

Unique Setup: This course includes a large portion of hands-on work.  After learning new material in a lecture, students will work in teams during class time on an assigned list of tasks.  A final team project will enable students to integratively apply all the covered tools to a real-world context.

Programming: As the so-called digital economy grows, there is a growing need for analysts and managers who can either code by themselves, or understand enough of coding to have meaningful conversations with their programmers.  TO 412 is a great introduction to programming.

Who Should Take This Course? The tools and concepts taught in this course would be very useful for students going into consulting, marketing, product managementand business analytics.  Students going into these jobs will be expected to know how to retrieve data from companies’ databases and then query and analyze the data in order to make the right business decisions.  This course teaches students how to approach situations requiring the use of data, how to acquire the needed data, query it, and present the results visually in a way that is easy to communicate to other managers.

TO 433

*Information for Winter 2024

  • Course Description
  • Course Syllabus
  • Skills Gained: Course aims to provide students with a conceptual introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a broad understanding of AI’s basic techniques, how AI is applied to problems, future applications of AI, and an awareness of the challenges, risks, and ethical considerations of use of AI in business. Essentially, this is the course to ensure that you don’t lose your job to an AI.
  • Final Deliverable(s): A group project report.

Artificial intelligence has become part of our lives – even more so now with tools like ChatGPT becoming an integral part of our lives. The speed that AI is being researched, developed, and applied in various contexts (e.g., decision-making, manufacturing, service) is breathtaking. In this course we ask a simple question: “AI will create value. How will you capture any of that value?” AI technologies and applications will be even more important in the future for individuals, businesses and other organizations as they drive innovation, save costs, increase quality for products and services, and simply become part of daily life for humans. AI has a great promise for individuals, organizations and societies. AI based products, services and tools will not only be an advantage for businesses but a necessity to remain competitive in the future. At the same time there are considerable risks and unsolved implications such as reduction in employment, responsibility determination when AI fails (e.g., crash of a self-driving car, a wrong disease diagnosis) and ethical dilemmas (e.g., a patient death, automatic missile launch). Future business leaders need to understand and leverage AI while mitigating its threats. AI4B course prepares you for an AI driven future.

TO/BE 435 (cross-listed)

*Information for Winter 2024

  • Course Description
  • Skills Gained: This course has three main objectives for skills development.  First, after completing this course, students will be able to identify when a behavioral factor we discuss may influence their own or others’ decisions; and will understand why a policy, process or market has been instituted around that factor.  Second, this course will improve the abilities of the student (as a future manager) to influence the behavior of others (co-workers, consumers, etc.), particularly by identifying ways to intervene to encourage better decisions and better outcomes.  Similarly, will empower students with easy-to-apply tools to recognize biases in and improve their own decision-making.  Third, this course will improve students’ intuitive empirical abilities and biased decisions.  In learning about the foundation behavioral research the course elucidate how we know what we know, and how to evaluate the effectiveness of new ideas in the workplace.
  • Final Deliverable(s): Design an Intervention to Solve a Societal/Managerial Problem; the Final Project allows students to apply the behavioral concepts they learned to a societal/managerial setting of interest.  The professor will introduce and provide context for a broad problem area.  Groups (3-4 students) will identify a specific problem within that space and develop a behavioral intervention to solve that problem.  A central part of this project is to develop an argument for why their proposal should be implemented by the relevant stakeholders.  Groups must research their specific setting (within the broader problem area) in detail, define the problem to be addressed, describe their proposed intervention, provide a brief review of past research that gave rise to the proposed intervention, and describe the methods that are proposed for evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention.

Additional Information Provided by Faculty: Behavioral Economics uses what we know about psychology and behavior to develop new tools to improved decision making and change outcomes for consumers, employees and organizations.  Behavioral Operations Management applies those insights to the core value creating activities of firms and organizations.  You may be familiar with some of these ideas if you have read Thinking Fast and Slow, listened to Freakonomics Radio, or have heard of “nudging.”

Using behavioral insights has been a growing trend in business and government.  Major companies like Google, Amazon, Uber, and PwC have developed internal behavioral insights teams to transform their practices.  Behavioral consulting firms such as BEworks and Ideas42 help even more companies test and implement behavioral interventions.  New companies like Lemonade, Humu and Applied have been built from the ground up to leverage these ideas to create value.  This course will give students the tools and frameworks to apply behavioral insights for themselves and their organizations to make real change.

This course consists of introducing core behavioral concepts, and then showing how they can be used to change behavior.  We will be very applied – showing students examples of real organizations making successful and impactful behavioral interventions – to give students a toolbox for their future careers.  We will also see how these behavioral forces shape markets – both from firms trying to take advantage of our biases, and trying to provide us solutions.  This course will also be very integrative, drawing on much of what students have learned at Ross – especially psychology, economics and operations.

For example, we will discuss:

  • Why we procrastinate and how to make a habit that sticks
  • How overconfidence leads to bad plans and bad investments, and what to do about it
  • Why we care more about losses than gains – and how this shapes incentives
  • How firms sell us self-control, take advantage of our inattention, and get us to compromise our privacy

The final project presents students with a broad problem area of societal/managerial importance, and asks students to identify a specific problem within that space to address using a behavioral intervention.  This year the broad problem area will relate to applying behavioral insights to improve our digital and online lives: digital transformation in business, use of algorithms and AI, e-commerce, social media and online platforms.  Students will draw on the concepts from the course to identify the underlying behavioral drivers, propose a solution to change behavior, and consider how their solution could be implemented and evaluated.  Students will need to develop an argument for why their proposal will be successful, and why it should be implemented by the relevant stakeholders.  This will equip students with tools to immediately use behavioral insights to make an impact on their future firms and organizations.

TO 465 (Management Consulting Capstone)

*Information for Winter 2024

  • Course Description
  • Course Information Handout
  • Course Syllabus (Winter 2024)
  • Skills Gained: Integrative Top Management Problem Solving, Executive Level Communications, Consulting Project Management and Execution, Business Teamwork and Emotional Intelligence
  • Final Deliverable(s): Business Performance Transformation Strategy and Action Program (in both a Written Memorandum and an Executive Presentation)

Additional Information Provided by Faculty

  • Learning Goals: The objective of this course is to help students advance their understanding of general management and how to work with senior executives to improve the stakeholder performance of their organizations, with an emphasis on:
    • Problem solving from a top-management perspective, drawing upon the full BBA curriculum, including strategy, marketing, operations, organization, accounting, and finance to develop recommendations focused on driving improvements in strategic and financial performance, as well as to provide a great place to work for their employees and to be leaders in environmental sustainability and social equity
    • Interpersonal skills required to be an effective business professional, including conducting interviews, facilitating workshops, leading team meetings, and delivering as an effective team member
    • Oral and written communications skills, including asking insightful questions, listening actively, crafting logical arguments, writing persuasive reports, and delivering engaging presentations.
  • Class Format: The course is an action-based learning professional capstone that realistically simulates a management consulting engagement set in 2023 with Velocity Avionics, a company struggling to grow profitably as it wrestles with technology disruption, competitive challenges, economic volatility and inflation, and customers in the aviation industry facing their own challenges as air travel recovers following the deep fall off caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Students work in consulting teams with the instructor serving as their engagement director, engaged by the CEO to advise the leadership team on the actions the company should take to transform the performance of their struggling business. Students interview the executives, gather and analyze data from multiple sources, develop and evaluate recommendations, and craft an integrated business transformation strategy and action plan. Each team delivers their final recommendations to visiting executives who role play the members of the Velocity top management team, listening to each team’s presentation, asking challenging questions, and providing real-time feedback. Teams are given a high degree of autonomy and direct their own work, with the instructor available as an advisor and coach. See the syllabus for more information.
  • Who should take this class? The course is designed for students seeking to understand how senior executives think and act, and how to advise them on how to improve the performance of the organizations they lead. The course is valuable to students who are seeking careers in consulting, as well as to students who see themselves growing into general management roles in established companies or startups as their careers unfold.

Capstone Action-Based Learning

BA 453

*Information for Winter 2024

  • Course Description
  • Skills Gained: See course description.
  • Final Deliverable(s): A presentation to your sponsor. 

Additional Information Provided by Faculty: Capstone MAP gives students the chance to work as a team on a hands-on project for a real-world company using a wide range of business skills and critical thinking.  Projects are sponsored by established companies, startups, and nonprofit organizations.  Guided by top Ross faculty members, students conduct original research, develop workable recommendations, and present their results to company executives.  The challenge is difficult, the work is real, and the experience is irreplaceable.

This course will help students refine the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace by empowering student teams to work independently, design their own schedules, and deliver results for real companies.  BA 453 will teach students to effectively design and organize projects, extract valuable information from multiple resources, and ultimately deliver productive and impactful solutions.  This course is a must-take for any student looking to nail future work projects and add value in their first professional role.

After enrolling, you’ll have the opportunity to bid for projects from a wide variety of sectors, including Real Estate, Energy, Transportation, Media, Non-profit, Start-ups, and many more. You can also request projects that focus on a variety of disciplines, including finance, marketing, strategy, operations, etc.

Most teams will have three touch points with Executives from their sponsor company: at the beginning, middle, and end of the project.  After some initial training at the beginning of the course, student teams will be responsible for working autonomously to complete their project with weekly meetings with their faculty advisor.

Take this class if you want to:

  • Have a well-rounded experience that involves using your knowledge from marketing, strategy, and other core courses
  • Work outside the classroom on your own schedule
  • Make an impact in a local company or nonprofit
  • Develop translatable consulting experience
  • Network with others on campus and in your sponsor organization

Here is a sample of the projects from Winter 2023. The Winter 2024 projects will be presented to enrolled students for project ranking shortly after the Thanksgiving break.

Check out the following videos of BBA seniors talking about their BA 453 experience:

**Please see the BA 453 Capstone MAP FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions.**

BA 457

*Information for Winter 2024

Additional Information: Living Business Leadership Experience (LBLE) is a 3.0 credit-hour elective course that aids students in enhancing their leadership and project management potential within a real-world business environment.  LBLE provides students with an opportunity to work in a cross-functional team of graduate and upper-level undergraduate students from across the University to shape, implement and lead high-impact business initiatives alongside company founders and senior leaders.  With the ability to select your company in advance, receive weekly support from a dedicated faculty advisor, and dive headfirst into the challenges of real business, students can expect to receive a supportive and meaningful action-based learning experience. 

In order to be eligible to take LBLE for Capstone credit, students must have participated in LBLE for at least one previous semester (BA 455 or BA 456) of the program.  In their Capstone semester with LBLE, students will be required to complete the following roles, responsibilities, and assignments:

Fulfill additional leadership responsibilities within their LBLE team, developing an increasingly robust leadership capability.  In their Capstone semester, BBA students will serve as a team lead in the first segment of the winter semester to create continuity between semesters with their sponsor company and student team. 

Complete an additional assignment where they would plan, execute, and assess the process of onboarding new team members into an established, complex project environment.  The onboarding of new team members is routinely practiced in the business world but typically done so very ineffectively.  LBLE provides an opportunity for Capstone students to deeply explore and develop their capabilities related to this valuable business skill. 

Reflective practice pushes and builds the capability of every student’s self-awareness (which enables a student to observe and breakdown individual and team behavior, actions, and accomplishments) and pair that against their goals/outcomes, which can allow them to better pivot and consistently re-orient themselves and their skills/actions towards success.  In their Capstone semester, BBA students will lead bi-weekly team meetings where the team will openly discuss their progress toward their stated individual and team goals.  Facilitating discussions centered around giving and receiving feedback not only helps the Capstone students contribute to creating and sustaining a positive team culture, it also provides the students with valuable facilitator experience that can serve as a foundation for the teaching and coaching roles they will one day fill as team leads and managers in their careers.

Visit the LBLE website to learn more about the course and potential sponsor companies for Winter 2024. To pursue LBLE as your capstone, email

Capstone Research/Thesis

BA 480

*Information for Fall 2023/Winter 2024

Additional Information: The Senior Thesis Seminar is a six-credit, honors-type seminar that requires enrollment in both the Fall and Winter terms of Senior year, for 3.0 credits in each term. Thus, students interested in writing the research thesis to fulfill their capstone requirement should begin planning for this during Junior year to ensure adequate time to register for the course in both Fall and Winter terms of Senior year. Feel free to review the BA 480 Senior Capstone Thesis Information Session materials for more details.

Capstone Fund Courses

ACC/FIN 338, ES 402, ES 403, and FIN 403

Fund courses are application-based and require participation in prior years.  For more information about the funds, please click here.

Additional Notes

The following courses are approved capstone courses but may not be offered in Winter 2024: BE 410, BL 407, FIN 422, MO 468, and STRATEGY 492.
The following courses no longer meet the capstone requirement (term listed indicates last term course was offered as a capstone): TO 482 (FA17) MKT 401 (WN18), MO 463 (WN18), and MKT 430 (WN23).