Thesis

The MA thesis is a critical and scholarly work (approximately 75 pages in length, including abstract and works cited) produced under the close supervision of a director chosen by the student in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Committee: The student must identify and secure the agreement of a faculty member who will direct the MA Thesis. Two additional members of the faculty, chosen by the student in consultation with the director, comprise the Thesis committee. The Committee reads the completed thesis; unlike the MA Writing Project, the MA Thesis must be deemed ready for defense before the defense is scheduled.

Timing: The student who chooses the Thesis option must submit to the Graduate School the Nomination of Thesis Committee form by the posted deadline. Students should work with their Directors to schedule the defense well in advance of its anticipated occurrence.

Defense: The defense runs approximately one hour. Typically, the defense begins with a statement by the student on the project, which is then followed with either consecutive questioning by the examiners or a more open discussion. At the conclusion of the discussion, the committee assigns to the MA Thesis one of three grades: "High Pass," a recognition of truly exemplary work requiring agreement of all committee members; "Pass," a judgment by at least two committee members that the paper fulfills the main goals of the Writing Project; and "Fail," a judgment by at least two committee members that the paper does not fulfill those goals. Students who receive a "High Pass" or "Pass" will make final revisions at the discretion of the Director; the final revision must be submitted to the Director no later than the end of the semester. Students who receive the grade of "Fail" may have a second defense in a subsequent semester. A second "Fail" will disqualify the student from receiving the MA.

Submission of thesis: The approved Thesis must be submitted electronically to the Graduate School by the deadlines posted for graduation in a given semester. Information about all aspects of electronic submission of the thesis is available on the Graduate School website.