Graduate Catalog 2004-2005
Plan I: Master's Thesis
The steps involved in completing a thesis generally include: proposal submission; proposal approval; research and analysis of findings; preliminary draft submission to committee; changes, additions, and corrections; final draft submission and committee approval; final examination or thesis defense; and submission of original, error-free copy to the Graduate College.
Each student is responsible for forming a thesis committee at the same time approval of the thesis topic is requested. The committee is composed of the thesis advisor (also called the major professor) and a minimum of one other member from the graduate faculty of the student's program. A faculty member cannot be required to be on a thesis committee. Not all professors are members of the graduate faculty; students should consult their graduate coordinator to determine who is eligible to be on or chair a committee. Any changes in committee membership must be approved by the graduate coordinator and filed with the Graduate College.
Approval of Thesis Topic
A thesis is required under Plan I for the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Family and Consumer Sciences, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Industrial Technology, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Science. A thesis may be required for the degree of Master of Music, depending on the field.
The thesis topic should arise out of the student’s personal exploration in the field of study. The formal petition for approval of the thesis topic must clearly set forth the problem, the intended organization, and the methods of development of the thesis. After approval by the student's committee and graduate coordinator, the thesis topic must be filed with the student’s department and the petition of topic approval submitted to the Graduate College. A student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all graduate work at the time of application for thesis topic approval. For more details, consult the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook.
Depending upon the field and the type of degree sought, the thesis may represent a specifically limited piece of research, the solving of a complex problem of design, a critical understanding of a sector of knowledge of considerable dimensions, or a thorough critical analysis or completed creative production of a substantial piece of literature or art.
Thesis Drafts and Abstract
A preliminary draft of the completed thesis (defined as a manuscript that answers the stated problem) should be submitted to the thesis committee by the time a student files the application for the degree.
The final draft of the thesis (defined as the thesis manuscript with content embodying all corrections requested by the committee) should be submitted to the thesis committee sufficiently prior to the date set for the final examination to allow for a rigorous and careful reading of the manuscript by the committee. The graduate coordinator and departmental handbook should be consulted for this deadline. The committee’s approval of the thesis and the abstract are certified by the Graduate College at the time of the final examination.
The original, error-free copy of the approved thesis must be filed in the Graduate College office by the published deadline. Students failing to meet this deadline will not be eligible for graduation that semester. The manuscript must conform to with specifications in the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook. The thesis is then microfilmed, bound, and placed in Jerome Library. A $20 charge covers the microfilming and binding.
A candidate for a thesis degree has a final written and/or oral examination conducted by the committee by the published deadline. This examination does not in any way release the student from the regular examinations in courses for which the student has registered.
A Plan I master’s degree student must register for a minimum of three credits of thesis research (699) as a degree requirement. A maximum of six hours of thesis research may be credited toward a master’s degree, but a student is expected to register for as many additional hours as are necessary to complete the work. The minimum continuous registration for a thesis student is one hour of 699 per semester. When it is determined that a student does not have sufficient thesis hours, the Graduate College, in conjunction with the student’s academic department, will process a registration for the student for deficient hours. The student will be billed by the bursar for all fees related to the registration (i.e., instructional, nonresident fee, general fee, registration, and late fee as appropriate).
Students should begin registering for thesis research (699) at the time when they begin planning their thesis project. Students who register for thesis research are required to maintain continuous registration in thesis research from one semester to another,unless they are graduating in the summer term, regardless of whether they are in residence at the University until the research is completed and the thesis is accepted by the Graduate College. Graduate College policy requires that all graduate students be registered for a minimum of one semester hour during the term in which they graduate (fall, spring, or summer). A student who completes all degree requirements by the end of the first day of the semester in which he or she is graduating is not required to register during the graduation semester.