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The Master’s Thesis

The M.A. Thesis is a unique opportunity to work on a significant research project under the direction of a faculty advisor. A 3-person thesis committee will be designated (in consultation with the Program Director) for students who elect to write a thesis. The committee will consist of one thesis director/advisor and two additional readers. Students and the Committee will have a Proposal Meeting (prior to registering for thesis credits) and a defense, to be scheduled when the Advisor and Committee deems the student finished with the thesis and ready to defend the work. Defended theses will be digitized and placed online.

Registration, Credits, and Timeline:

A graduate student completing a thesis will register for 6 credit hours of thesis advisement and be assigned a grade for those hours. The Graduate Director will create and register the student for a section of the appropriate course to be offered during the semester(s) during which a student is expected to complete the thesis. This ordinarily will be for the semester(s) immediately following the approval of the thesis proposal.

Should the student not complete the thesis before the end of the semester in which he or she has registered for the Thesis course, the student will receive a grade of “Incomplete” and have one calendar-year from the end of that semester to complete the thesis.

If the student is not ready or able to complete the thesis within that one-year period, the Graduate Director will consult with the student and the thesis-committee regarding the advisability of continuing with the thesis.

If the student wishes to continue, the Graduate Director will write a letter of support, and the student will submit a request to the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies to extend the thesis for an additional (second) year. The grade in this instance will be converted to an “NC” (Not Completed) until the thesis is successfully completed and the final grade is submitted.

If the thesis will extend beyond that second year, the Graduate Director may write a letter of support, and the student will submit a request to the Graduate Council Exceptions Committee to extend the thesis for a third and final year.

For each semester that the student continues work on the thesis beyond the one-year allotted for the completion of the thesis, a student must register for their program’s 0- credit, not-graded, Thesis Continuation course, which will allow the student continued access to the faculty, facilities, and service supports regularly available to all registered students. The fee for this course will be the equivalent of 1-graduate credit.

Students must submit a topic proposal and suggested director to the History Program Director, Dr. Jeff Johnson.

Deadline for proposals: 

Fall: First Week of August 
Spring: Last Week of November