Graduate students who wish to engage in research on a topic of interest are encouraged to enroll in a master's thesis.
A thesis has been defined as a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research. Consider the following before enrolling in a thesis course:
- Selection of a topic for research
- Prerequisite knowledge required for performing the research
- Availability of resources to carry out the research
- Availability of a faculty mentor (advisor) to act as your thesis supervisor
- A clear understanding of the problem you are trying to solve
- What you hope to accomplish at the conclusion of your research
- How your research findings might compare with what is already known
- Willingness to put in extended effort for a period of 12-18 months
If you are confident in the above, you may choose to complete a Master's thesis. Please contact your advisor for next steps.
Master's thesis courses are usually six credit hours. While it is possible to complete the research work and submit your thesis in two semesters (8 months), the typical time frame is 12-18 months. Thesis work is usually undertaken after you have taken all the core courses and some electives.
You will meet with your thesis advisor on a regular basis to ensure that your research progresses toward the intended conclusion. You must be prepared for possible setbacks as you carry out your research. Please be alert to what other researchers working in the same area are publishing. This will help you with new ideas and also help you avoid duplicating what others have already accomplished.
At the conclusion of your research, you will prepare a thesis that describes your work in some detail. Thesis guidelines are available to help you write a good thesis. After submission of your thesis, you will make an oral presentation of your work to a general audience that also includes your examining committee. Usually when you have reached this point, your thesis will have met the criteria for obtaining a passing grade. The examining committee will determine your final grade. The examining committee may also require you to modify your thesis to provide more clarity and correct some mistakes and editorial errors. You will also be encouraged to disseminate your findings at reputable conferences or through publication in peer-reviewed journals. If your faculty advisor has provided significant help and resources in support of your research, he/she must be included as a co-author of any publications that may result from this work.