International Capstone Design

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   International Capstone Design (ICD)  

6 semester credit hours plus 1 credit professional and ethics course:

  • 3 SUMMER semester credit hours:  CGN 4933(a) International Engineering Design Experience. Use as Professional Elective.
  • 3 FALL semester credit hours: CGN 4933(b) International Capstone Design. Use as Professional Elective OR Capstone Design credits. 

The 1 credit professional and ethics course must be taken in the preceding or following spring semester.

Location                           Tentative Dates: Summer/Fall 2010 & 2011
Bolivia    CGN 4933a       July/Aug (2 weeks: anticipate 1 July class & 1 early Aug class)                     

USF         CGN 4933b       Fall Semester
Classes are conducted as if the group is working as a design/build firm in industry; thus, work must be of “A” quality, as it is in industry. The exact project topic is NOT as important as the opportunity to experience a real project from inception, through design. Instructors have 20+ years of industry experience each.

Course pair offered for summer-fall registration only:

  • CGN 4933(a) International Engineering Design Experience- 3 summer credits: takes place in a developing country for two weeks during the summer.

Coursework consists of two parts: 1) volunteer construction to learn tools, techniques and materials and 2) work directly with an international “client”, gathering design data for the capstone design project. Due to the nature of the class NO drinking or smoking is allowed. Any violation will mean immediate return to the US and a failing grade or no credit in both classes.

  • CGN 4933(b) International Capstone Design - 3 Fall credits: intensive coursework takes place on campus during the Fall semester following the in-country experience.


CGN 4933(b) will take approximately 130+ hours to complete: plan your semester course load accordinglyCoursework consists of performing a design option feasibility study, writing an engineering design report and developing drawings and specifications for the recommended design which are sent to the project “client.” The goal is to produce engineering designs to benefit the local people.
PROGRAM FEE: Estimated program fee is $1900. 

Financial Aid, Scholarships & Grants:  See your Financial Aid officer as Program Fees may be covered.
Study Abroad Scholarships and Funding:
Engineering Scholarship Site:

Ideas for generating $$$$ for you to go on the trip:

  • Ask for early Christmas and graduation presents
  • Find someone to donate Frequent Flier miles
  • Ask your church or other organizations you are or were active in for support (in return give a presentation to the group after your return) (Someone received $500 and another $1800)
  • Ask family, friends, etc for backing (a grandparent paid for the trip)
  • Ask past employers for support (yes that worked too!)
  • Start TALKING and ASKING!

Consider registering for the following courses:

  • Courses in Surveying (SUR2101C)  and AutoCAD (EGS1113) are HIGHLY recommended for civil engineering projects
    • Industry survey and AutoCAD experience is just as valuable.
  • Construction Management (CCE4034)
  • Communication for Engineers
  • Risk Communication
  • Professional Practice

Passport & Visa

Get your passport ASAP. It takes about 3+ months, so don’t delay. Get passport photos - you'll need two. Cost for the passport is approximately $100.  Visas are now required in Bolivia and you will get them upon arrival at the airport in Santa Cruz.

Travel Arrangements

Each student will reserve and purchase their tickets once the dedicated class flight is announced.  ALL students are to arrive on that particular flight. Details will be discussed at the pre-trip meeting.


YOU MUST go to YOUR own health care professional and get their recommendations for vaccinations and medications. Prioritize your doctor visit, because it takes time. Check the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) website to review health issues.


Some shots may be costly—can total up to $200—but prices vary greatly depending on your insurance and where you go. You can get some shots through county health departments. If your health professional recommends Yellow Fever, you may have to go to a specific site.


Bring an active credit card in case something goes wrong and we need to charge something. (Hospital, transportation change or whatever….EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.) You will NOT be able to use it to purchase your souvenirs, as credit cards are not accepted most places. 


  • Satisfy prerequisites for Capstone Design.  You must have your departmental advisor, (CE Advisor is Professor Karim Norah), Do this ASAP! Students Outside Civil and Environmental Engineering, consult your advisor and department head to verify Capstone Design or Technical elective credits.
  • Write a formal business memo (Content and grammar counts) to Dennis via e-mail stating:
    • you have met the prerequisites or are enrolled in prerequisite courses and are approved by your advisor to take the ICD 2 course sequence
    • what you know about Bolivia and the ICD program including some (do some research)
    • why you want to do ICD; what extra-curricular activities you currently participate in, i.e. societies, clubs etc.
    • how you will be able to balance your workload during the on-campus Capstone Design semester to give ICD your full commitment (remember 120 -200 hour commitment to ICD).

The memo must be submitted to Dennis at Dennis will send you an acceptance email.  Remember SEATS ARE LIMITED. DO YOUR BEST ON THIS MEMO!  It is used in the selection process, especially when more students want to enroll than the classes can accommodate.


  • Email Dennis or Linda once you have formally signed up for the courses with Study Abroad.




ICD Site:   

Study Abroad Sites:
ICD Summer (USF students):
ICD Summer (Non USF students):
Summer programs:
How to apply:  
USF students going abroad:

Engineering Scholarship Site:


Course Questions                            Linda Phillips     
                                                            Dennis Magolan           
Scheduling & Registration CEE     Karim Nohra     
International Study Abroad             Rene Sanchez  


It is best to contact us via email (re: INTERNATIONAL CAPSTONE DESIGN). You can also request that we call and talk to you or your parents on the phone.


It is best to contact us via email (re: INTERNATIONAL CAPSTONE DESIGN). You can also request that we call and talk to you or your parents on the phone.