Frequently Asked Questions

Is the thesis graded?

Yes, your Thesis Director is in charge of submitting a grade for your thesis work. You must obtain a B- or higher for your thesis to count toward your degree.

  • A and A−

represent work of superior quality indicating a full mastery of the research subject and, in the case of A, work of extraordinary distinction

  • B+, B, and B−

represent work of good to very good quality; however, it does not merit special distinction

  • C+, C, and C−

designate an average command of the research...

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What thesis prizes or awards are available?

The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding ALM Thesis

  • thesis prizes are awarded for each discipline


  • these recognize work that embodies the highest level of scholarship


  • prizes are presented at the afternoon degree awarding ceremonies each May


Nominations for the Dean's Prizes are made by individual Thesis Directors.  Finalists are then selected by a Thesis Committee which includes members of the Extension School's Academic Programs...

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What can I do with my thesis once it's complete?

A number of students end up publishing part or all of their thesis in scholarly journals.  Others present talks based on their research at conferences.

You may also be invited to present your research at the annual thesis symposium held each year in late May.

Your thesis will be preserved and shared using Harvard’s digital repository DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), metadata about your thesis will be sent to HOLLIS (the Harvard Library catalog), and your thesis will be preserved in Harvard...

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What is expected of me?

The thesis, which is a detailed written statement of the project, must include full citations, documentation, bibliography, and other scholarly devices as set forth in this online guide, and it must be prepared in an appropriate writing style.

Collectively, this research and the text prepared by you constitute the master’s thesis.

  • In general, 50 pages of text is the acceptable minimum length of a master’s thesis
  • The length, however, is determined in part...
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