Frequently Asked Questions

What is a thesis?

The thesis is a transformational experience in which you employ all that you have learned in your coursework to make an original contribution in your field of concentration.

You will work with your Research Advisor to fine-tune a thesis proposal, after which you will work with a faculty or industry expert who will act as your Thesis Director on the proposed project...

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Who writes a thesis?

You need to complete a thesis if:

You are a degree candidate in any of the following fields

  • Anthropology & Archaeology
  • Bioengineering & Nanotechnology
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Dramatic Arts
  • English
  • Foreign Literature, Language & Culture
  • Government
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Legal Studies
  • Literature & Creative Writing
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • ...
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When can I start the thesis process?

You can start the thesis proposal process when you have:

  • Completed a minimum of six degree courses (24 credits) with grades of B- or higher
    • Some disciplines require that you complete specific courses - be sure to review yours
  • Contacted your Academic Advisor to determine your eligibility and to review the overall process
  • Met with your Research Advisor to begin to discuss potential topics
  • Note that typically students are required to complete eight...

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How long will it take and when will I be able to graduate?

There are many variables to thesis completion, including the time and effort that you put toward thesis proposal creation as well as thesis director availability. You should be prepared for the entire thesis process, from registering for Crafting the Proposal to submission of the final draft of your thesis, to take 15-18 months. Four to eight months for proposal writing and thesis director assignment, then nine months to write the thesis, plus an additional month for your thesis director to assign a grade along with...

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Who will advise me?

You will be assigned a Research Advisor who will assist you in the following ways:

  • Provide advice on all aspects of the development of your thesis topic
  • Guide you in the preparation and presentation of your thesis proposal during the Crafting the Proposal tutorial or course, which is a prerequisite to writing the thesis

Your Academic Advisor can also continue to support you throughout the process!

Who picks my Thesis Director?

Your Research Advisor will identify faculty (or other professionals for certain disciplines) to work with you.

We work to identify people whose research and/or teaching interests coincide with proposals on specific topics and who may be subsequently recruited to serve as your Thesis Director.

You are not permitted to approach faculty about directing your thesis without an approved research proposal and permission from your Research Advisor.

  • Once your Thesis Director assumes this role, s/he then...
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When and how do I register for the thesis course?

Once you successfully complete Crafting the Proposal tutorial or course, you will register for Master’s Thesis Part One the following term.

During Master's Thesis Part One, you’ll continue to refine your thesis proposal and your research advisor will locate a suitable thesis director.  When a director is found and your thesis proposal is fully vetted, then you'll receive a letter of authorization from the Dean of Academic Programs approving your thesis work and providing you with instructions on how to register for Master's Thesis Part Two.   

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How do I submit my proposal for approval?

Typically candidates will have met with their Research Advisor several times before settling on a thesis topic and signing up for the Crafting the Proposal course or tutorial.

  • By the end of the Crafting the Proposal course or tutorial you should have a completed draft of your thesis proposal which you will give to your Research Advisor as a final requirement for the Crafting the Proposal course or tutorial.  
  • If your Crafting the Proposal course or tutorial is taught be someone other than your Research Advisor, then normally the...
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