What Is a Master’s Thesis?

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Before enrolling in a master’s degree program , it’s important that you know what a thesis is and whether you’ll need to write one. Your thesis is the sum of all of your learned knowledge from your master’s program and gives you a chance to prove your capabilities in your chosen field.

A thesis also involves a significant amount of research, and depending on the subject, may require you to conduct interviews, surveys and gather primary and secondary resources. Most graduate programs will expect you to dedicate enough time to developing and writing your thesis, so make sure to learn more about the department’s requirements before enrolling in your master’s program.

What is a Master’s Thesis?

Unlike thesis projects for undergraduates, which are shorter in length and scope, a master’s thesis is an extensive scholarly paper that allows you to dig into a topic, expand on it and demonstrate how you’ve grown as a graduate student throughout the program. Graduate schools often require a thesis for students in research-oriented degrees to apply their practical skills before culmination. 

For instance, a psychology major may investigate how colors affect mood, or an education major might write about a new teaching strategy. Depending on your program, the faculty might weigh the bulk of your research differently. 

Regardless of the topic or field of study, your thesis statement should allow you to: 

  • Help prove your idea or statement on paper 
  • Organize and develop your argument 
  • Provide a guide for the reader to follow 

 Once the thesis is completed, students usually must defend their work for a panel of two or more department faculty members. 

What is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Non-Thesis Master’s Program?

A thesis is a common requirement in many research-focused fields, but not every master’s program will require you to complete one. Additionally, some fields allow you to choose between a thesis and a non-thesis track . In the case of a non-thesis program, you won’t have to write a lengthy paper, but you will have to take more classes to meet your graduation requirement.

Whether you choose a thesis or non-thesis program, you’ll still be required to complete a final project to prove your critical thinking skills. If you favor a non-thesis program, your project may be a capstone project or field experience.

Thesis vs. Dissertation

It's common for graduate students to mistakenly use the words "thesis" and "dissertation" interchangeably, but they are generally two different types of academic papers. As stated above, a thesis is the final project required in the completion of many master's degrees. The thesis is a research paper, but it only involves using research from others and crafting your own analytical points. On the other hand, the dissertation is a more in-depth scholarly research paper completed mostly by doctoral students. Dissertations require candidates create their own research, predict a hypothesis, and carry out the study. Whereas a master's thesis is usually around 100 pages, the doctoral dissertation is at least double that length.

Benefits of Writing a Thesis

There are several advantages that you can reap from choosing a master's program that requires the completion of a thesis project, according to  Professor John Stackhouse . A thesis gives you the valuable opportunity to delve into interesting research for greater depth of learning in your career area. Employers often prefer students with a thesis paper in their portfolio, because it showcases their gained writing skills, authoritative awareness of the field, and ambition to learn. Defending your thesis will also fine-tune critical communication and public speaking skills, which can be applied in any career. In fact, many graduates eventually publish their thesis work in academic journals to gain a higher level of credibility for leadership positions too.

Tips for Your Master's Thesis

Writing your thesis paper will be a long process, so the first step is to make certain you have a close faculty advisor to guide you along the way. Before starting, consult with other scholarly texts to see exactly how a master's thesis should be structured with an introduction, literary review, main body, conclusion, and bibliography. Finding a thesis topic may be the simplest or hardest part for you, but choose one that interests you and gives you room to explore, according to  Ta Da!  Creating a detailed outline will prompt an easier flow of ideas for a well-written thesis. It's advised that you stay aware of your thesis defense date to allow enough time for proofreading and possibly sending your work to an editor.

Related Resource:  Oral Exam Preparation

Overall, a master's thesis is designed to support a graduate student's academic and professional qualifications for a degree by presenting research findings. While it's important to note that some graduate programs offer non-thesis tracks for master's degrees, the thesis is the main capstone staple for many others. Now that you know what a thesis is, you can decide whether it's a good option for your career or whether a comprehensive exam would be better.

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How long is a thesis for a master’s?

A master’s thesis typically ranges from 100 to 300 pages , not including the bibliography. The length will depend on various factors, including the subject matter and method of your research. There’s no ‘correct’ page length you should aim for. Instead, your thesis should be long enough to properly convey all necessary information in a clear and concise manner.

Can you fail a master’s thesis?

While it’s not common, it is possible to fail your master’s thesis.

When you defend your thesis, the committee evaluates whether you understand your field and focus area. In most cases, the advisor you’re working with might help you go over your defense beforehand and address any questions that might come up during the final presentation. If you can’t correctly answer crucial questions from the committee, you will likely be given a chance to resubmit your thesis after making corrections.

Are there specific subjects that don’t require a thesis versus those that do?

Not all subjects will require a thesis at the end of your studies. Applied graduate school programs that focus on hands-on experience over theoretical work will mostly favor evaluating you through applied research projects. For example, nursing, education, and business programs prepare graduates for specific career placements and require them to complete internships or supervised fieldwork.

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Choosing Between a Thesis or Non-thesis Master's Degree

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  •       Resources       Choosing Between a Thesis or Non-thesis Master's Degree

As of 2015, approximately 25.4 million Americans held advanced degrees , with more citizens joining these ranks each year. As studies continue to show the career advancement and salary benefits of completing a master's degree, more and more students elect to pursue advanced educations. When considering their options, many question whether to enroll in a master's requiring a thesis or not. The following guide examines some of the reasons degree seekers may want to write a thesis while also highlighting why they might not. Students on the fence about this important decision can find expert advice, actionable tips, and relevant guidance to help them make an informed choice in the guide that follows.

Understanding the Master's Thesis

What is the difference between a thesis & non-thesis master's program, the decision not to do a thesis.

As students research various master's programs in their chosen discipline, it's common to find that many degrees require a thesis – especially if they want to enter a research-heavy field. While this word gets thrown around a lot in academia, some learners may want more information regarding what it entails in order to make an informed decision.

What is a Master's Thesis?

The master's thesis is an original piece of scholarship allowing the student to dig into a topic and produce an expanded document that demonstrates how their knowledge has grown throughout the degree program. These documents require significant independent research of primary and secondary sources and, depending on the subject, may require interviews and/or surveys to support the overarching argument.

Individual schools and departments dictate the length of these documents, but they typically range between 60 and 100 pages – or approximately 20,000 to 40,000 words. While tackling a document of such heft may seem overwhelming at first, learners need not fret. Each master's candidate receives a faculty advisor early in their tenure to provide support, feedback, and guidance throughout the process. Because the final thesis is expected to be of a publishable quality, learners seeking the highest marks typically send their supervisor excerpts of the document as they write to ensure they are on the right track.

When picking a thesis topic, no magical formula exists. Students should consider their interests and read extensively on that topic to get a better sense of existing scholarship. They should also speak to other academics working in that sphere to familiarize themselves with ongoing projects. Only after they feel reasonably well-read should they begin looking for uncovered angles or interesting ways of using emerging methodologies to bring new light to the topic.

When considering formatting, degree seekers should check with their specific schools and departments, as they may have unique requirements. To get a general understanding of what to expect, learners can review Simon Fraser University's guidelines on thesis formatting. After completing the thesis, some programs require an oral defense before a committee while others read the document and provide a grade. Check with your prospective schools to get a better sense of procedure.

Format & Components of a Master's Thesis

While this guide attempts to provide helpful and actionable information about the process of deciding whether to follow a thesis or non-thesis track in a master's program, readers should remember that specific components and requirements of a thesis vary according to discipline, university, and department. That being said, some commonalities exist across all these – especially when it comes to what students must include in their final drafts.

As the first section a reader encounters after moving through the table of contents and other anterior text, the introductory allows the writer to firmly establish what they want to accomplish. Sometimes also called the "research question" section, the introductory must clearly state the goals of the paper and the overarching hypothesis guiding the argument. This should be written in a professional yet accessible tone that allows individuals without specializations in the field to understand the text.

This section allows learners to demonstrate their deep knowledge of the field by providing context to existing texts within their chosen discipline Learners review the main bodies of work, highlighting any issues they find within each. Constructive criticism often centers around shortcomings, blind spots, or outdated hypotheses.

Students use this section to explain how they went about their work. While scientists may point to a specific method used to reach conclusions, historians may reference the use of an emerging framework for understanding history to bring new light to a topic. The point of this section is to demonstrate the thought processes that led to your findings.

This section allows for learners to show what they learned during the research process in a non-biased way. Students should simply state what information they gathered by utilizing a specific framework or methodology and arrange those findings, without interpretation, in an easy-to-read fashion.

After providing readers with all the necessary information, the discussion section exists for candidates to interpret the raw data and demonstrate how their research led to a new understanding or contributed a unique perspective to the field. This section should directly connect to the introduction by reinforcing the hypothesis and showing how you answered the questions posed.

Even though the previous sections give prospective degree seekers a better sense of what to expect if they decide to write a thesis during their master's program, they don't necessarily help learners decide whether to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track. The following section highlights some of the reasons students frequently choose to complete a thesis or bypass the process altogether by providing a pros and cons list.

Why a Thesis Program

  • Especially when entering a research-heavy discipline, completing a thesis shows prospective schools and employers that you possess the skills needed for researching and writing long-form reports.
  • Students hoping to pursue a Ph.D. stand in better stead with admissions panels if they wrote a thesis during a master's program.
  • Individuals hoping to enter a field that values syntax and grammar often better their writing skills by completing a thesis.
  • Students who write a thesis can submit the final product to various academic journals, increasing their chances of getting published.
  • Theses expand students' understanding of what they're capable of, deepen their ability to carry out an argument, and develop their skills in making connections between ideas.

Why a Non-thesis Program

  • Because they don't require a significant written product, non-thesis master's tend to take less time to complete.
  • Often mirrors a bachelor's program in terms of structure, allowing learners to complete classes and take exams without a great deal of research or writing.
  • Students who excel in project-based assignments can continue building skills in this arena rather than focusing on skills they don't plan to use (e.g. research)
  • Provides learners the opportunity to work more closely and more frequently with faculty on real-world projects since they don't spend hundreds of hours researching/writing.
  • Allows learners to take more classes and gain hands-on skills to fill the time they would have spent researching and writing a thesis.

How to Choose a Master's Program: FAQs

Within some academic disciplines and professional fields, research and writing plays a key role in work done on a daily basis. Because of this, master's programs in these fields require learners to complete theses to compete against peers and be seen as competent in their work. Other disciplines, conversely, rely on other tools to accomplish work and progress ideas – making theses less important.

Yes. Master's programs focused more on application than research typically don't require a thesis – although they may still give students the option. Examples of common non-thesis master's programs include nursing, business, and education.

Even though non-thesis students won't be writing a 100-page paper, that doesn't mean they avoid completing a significant project. In place of a thesis, most applied master's programs require students to take part in at least one internship or complete a culminating project. These projects typically ask learners to take what they learned throughout coursework and create an expansive final project – examples include case studies, creative works, or portfolios.

While students who followed a non-thesis path routinely receive acceptance to Ph.D. programs, those with theses often find the process easier. Even if a learner pursues a Ph.D. in a discipline that isn't research-heavy, admissions panels still want to get a sense of your academic interests and ability to engage in independent, nuanced thought. Students with theses can provide solid proof of these skills, while those without may struggle to demonstrate preparedness as thoroughly.

The answer to this question depends on many factors, but typically it is okay not to do a thesis if you plan to enter a field that doesn't depend heavily on research or writing, or if you don't plan to complete a Ph.D.

Students wanting to work in academic, research, or writing should always opt for the thesis track. They should also follow this path if they have any doctoral degree aspirations.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to complete a thesis rests with the individual student. Figuring out how to proceed on this front requires lots of careful consideration, and learners should ensure they consider various aspects before coming to a final decision. The following section helps students consider how they should and should not come to a conclusion.

Dos and Don'ts of Choosing a Thesis or Non-thesis Program

  • Consider the longevity of your decision: will you feel the same in 5-10 years or are you making a decision based on current desires?
  • Talk to others who with experience in this area. Ask them questions about their decision-making process and if they regret their choice.
  • Research potential thesis topics before starting a program. Going in with a game plan can help you feel more confident and settled about the process than if you're scrambling for a topic while in school.
  • Reach out to prospective schools to speak with faculty and/or current students following both tracks. This will provide knowledge specific to the school while also expanding your network if you choose to attend there.
  • Research Ph.D. entrance requirements to ascertain if the majority expect learners to possess a thesis when applying. This will give you a sense of whether you may experience issues later on if you do not complete one.
  • Decide not to complete a thesis simply because you have never taken on such a task and feel overwhelmed or fearful that you will fail.
  • Complete a thesis simply because you think it will look good on your resume. Theses require intense devotion over an extended amount of time; learners who complete them without conviction often find the process miserable.
  • Forget to research alternatives to writing a thesis. Just because you don't complete a research paper doesn't mean a non-thesis track lacks rigor or challenging coursework.
  • Forget to read examples of theses by previous students. If you feel overwhelmed by the task, reading work other people have done can often make the task at hand feel less scary.
  • Let yourself off easy by taking the non-thesis path. If you find you have extra time in the program, talk to your advisor about taking more classes, develop meaningful projects for yourself, or see about presenting at an academic conference.

From the Expert

Sudiksha Joshi

Sudiksha Joshi, Ph.D. is a learning advocate. Her mission is to empower our youth to think bigger, bolder thoughts and forge a career path that will change the world. She taps into her natural curiosity and ability to identify strengths to help students and those in transition find their path from feeling lost in the traditional ways of achieving success to charting their own path. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Medium and LinkedIn.

Why might a student decide to follow a thesis track? Why might they follow a non-thesis track?

A student might decide to take a thesis track if she/he wants to pursue a Ph.D. Also, if the students want to focus on careers where research and writing have a strong focus, the students opt for the thesis option. Research assistantships at the graduate level are also more often available to students who opt for the thesis option.

A student who might feel that writing is not one of their strengths might choose to go the non-thesis track. Likewise, a student who has other work commitments may find a non-thesis option more convenient.

Do you have any tips for deciding on a program?

I chose a thesis option because being able to conduct independent research was a big reason to go to graduate school. Also, showing the ability that I could do research was what afforded me research assistantships which meant that my tuition was paid for and I got a stipend that paid for expenses while I was in graduate school. This also allowed me the opportunity to work closely with the faculty mentor that provided me with the support and the accountability I wanted.

I would not recommend taking a non-thesis option if all the degree requires is for you to take courses. You have little to show in terms of your learning other than your grades unless you are already working on something on the side that does that for you and all you need is a certificate.

Opt for a non-thesis option if you can still work closely with a professor or on a project and if you'd rather be involved in multiple projects rather than focus on a single project. If you already have a good (informed) reason for choosing one over the other, go for it.

What's the most important thing to consider when choosing a program?

The most important thing to consider when choosing a program is getting excited about the projects that at least one of the faculty members are involved in. Do some research and see why you are excited about a particular work that at least one of the faculty members have been involved in.

Who should students talk to when considering options?

Students should talk to other students and also reach out directly to the graduate coordinator and even individual faculty members. This means that students should have done prior homework and have some good questions ready. Asking good questions will get you at least halfway through to make the right decision.

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Developing A Thesis

Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."

An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)

A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.

Steps in Constructing a Thesis

First, analyze your primary sources.  Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)

Once you have a working thesis, write it down.  There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.

Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction.  A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.

Anticipate the counterarguments.  Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)

This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.

Some Caveats and Some Examples

A thesis is never a question.  Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.

A thesis is never a list.  "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.

A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational.  An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.

An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim.  "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."

A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible.  Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."

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Guide to writing your thesis/dissertation, definition of dissertation and thesis.

The dissertation or thesis is a scholarly treatise that substantiates a specific point of view as a result of original research that is conducted by students during their graduate study. At Cornell, the thesis is a requirement for the receipt of the M.A. and M.S. degrees and some professional master’s degrees. The dissertation is a requirement of the Ph.D. degree.

Formatting Requirement and Standards

The Graduate School sets the minimum format for your thesis or dissertation, while you, your special committee, and your advisor/chair decide upon the content and length. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other mechanical issues are your sole responsibility. Generally, the thesis and dissertation should conform to the standards of leading academic journals in your field. The Graduate School does not monitor the thesis or dissertation for mechanics, content, or style.

“Papers Option” Dissertation or Thesis

A “papers option” is available only to students in certain fields, which are listed on the Fields Permitting the Use of Papers Option page , or by approved petition. If you choose the papers option, your dissertation or thesis is organized as a series of relatively independent chapters or papers that you have submitted or will be submitting to journals in the field. You must be the only author or the first author of the papers to be used in the dissertation. The papers-option dissertation or thesis must meet all format and submission requirements, and a singular referencing convention must be used throughout.

ProQuest Electronic Submissions

The dissertation and thesis become permanent records of your original research, and in the case of doctoral research, the Graduate School requires publication of the dissertation and abstract in its original form. All Cornell master’s theses and doctoral dissertations require an electronic submission through ProQuest, which fills orders for paper or digital copies of the thesis and dissertation and makes a digital version available online via their subscription database, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses . For master’s theses, only the abstract is available. ProQuest provides worldwide distribution of your work from the master copy. You retain control over your dissertation and are free to grant publishing rights as you see fit. The formatting requirements contained in this guide meet all ProQuest specifications.

Copies of Dissertation and Thesis

Copies of Ph.D. dissertations and master’s theses are also uploaded in PDF format to the Cornell Library Repository, eCommons . A print copy of each master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation is submitted to Cornell University Library by ProQuest.

MS Thesis Program Main Page - School of Industrial Engineering - Purdue University

Purdue University

Master's Thesis Program Overview 

The thesis program provides an opportunity for independent research in a given area of Industrial Engineering. Pursuing the thesis option allows a student to extensively probe a topic of interest under the supervision of a faculty supervisor (research advisor). Generally, pursuing a thesis allows for the development of skills in independent research not available through coursework. The thesis option is generally only available for on-campus students. 

Program Highlights

  • Two-year Program:  Students take a combination of advanced technical courses, focusing their study on areas of interest, earning a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering.
  • Career Catalyzation:  Most graduates enter careers in diverse fields, often on advanced leadership tracks.  

Why Choose a Master's Thesis Degree in Industrial Engineering?

  • Increased Employment Opportunities:  A master’s thesis degree is traditionally for students planning to continue in research or academia. Although this program is research-figured,, this program provides students with the technical skills needed in industry, such as decision making, systems engineering, operations, and oral and written communications.
  • Increased Earning Potential.  Our alumni self-report that Purdue Industrial Engineering Master’s graduates earn 15% or more than their peers with a Bachelor’s degree.

Why Choose Purdue?

  • Field Defining Innovation & Research:  The School of Industrial Engineering has been defining the field and educating future leaders in industrial engineering for 65 years. The graduate program is ranked in the top 10 and the IE on-line degree program is ranked #1 in the nation. Our researchers perform field-defining research that is regarded worldwide for its impact and quality.
  • Excellence at Scale : As one of the top 10 engineering graduate programs in the nation, Purdue's College of Engineering is one of the largest and strongest programs in the nation with 13 different schools and departments.
  • Affordable Tuition:  Tuition for our program is considerably cost effective compared to other programs.
  • Low Cost of Living:  The cost of living in the Greater Lafayette-West Lafayette area is one of the lowest in the nation, with housing rent ranging from 23% to 179% less expensive than competing university cities (numbeo.com). 

Curriculum Requirements

Courses selected for the thesis option are intended to provide depth of study in a particular area of interest. The prerequisites to the program assure a minimal amount of knowledge in the general field of industrial engineering. The curriculum is designed such that the student has broad selectivity over their coursework. Selection of courses should be conducted with the faculty member supervising the research project, to ensure courses taken supplement the research project.

Credit Requirements for a Master's Thesis

Have at least 30 total graduate credit hours, which must include:

  • 21 credit hours of course work; at least 12 credit hours must come from IE-listed courses; and,
  • 9 credit hours of master’s thesis research credits (IE 69800).

Additional Requirements for a Master's Thesis

  • Development of a thesis document meeting all requirements of the faculty and Graduate School; and,
  • Successful defense of the thesis through an oral examination to a committee of faculty members;

Plan of Study Requirements for Master's Thesis

Final Examination Guidelines for Master's Thesis

Completion Guidelines for Master's Thesis

Application Requirements


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  • Thesis vs Non-Thesis

Illinois Tech offers more than 200 graduate degree programs that require either a thesis or a non-thesis track. Both options have benefits.

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What Is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Non-Thesis Graduate Degree?

Thesis programs involve more research than non-thesis programs. It is important to keep in mind that nearly all master’s degrees require some form of research as part of their course of study. 

Thesis degree programs typically take longer to complete than non-thesis programs, as students are required to dedicate multiple semesters to focus on research and data collection. Upon completion of their research, each student is required to write a large-formatted paper sharing their methods, data, and discovery to be published. Students who desire to have a career in research typically take the thesis route in preparation for Ph.D. study.

Non-thesis  programs traditionally require each student to submit a large project, also known as a capstone, upon completion of the program. Students in non-thesis degree programs may be required to write papers explaining their projects; however, there are no expectations that these papers will be published. The non-thesis option is best for working professionals who do not have the time and resources to conduct multi-semester research. 

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How to Write a Master's Thesis

Last Updated: June 1, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 28 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 594,052 times.

Students learning how to write a Master's Thesis will first learn that a central thesis question must be presented and subsequently answered. A Master's Thesis will be the most prominent piece of your graduate work up to this point, and a pertinent thesis question that forms the spine of this work elevates it from the prosaic to the significant.

Choosing a Topic

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 1

  • To get a degree - topic should be difficult enough, but manageable too.
  • To enjoy the work - topic that you are truly interested in, something that you will not grow bored of after a short period of time.
  • To get a job afterward - if you know what specifically you want to do after your studies and/or for which company, it might be useful to choose a topic, that will help with this goal.
  • To be useful - thesis might actually be useful to help to make the world a little better place.
  • Try thinking about your favorite subject of study - it may be a particular author, theory, time period, etc. Imagine how you might further the study of that subject.
  • You might consider skimming through papers you wrote for your graduate courses and see if there is any apparent topic that you tend to gravitate towards.
  • Consult with faculty members, favorite professors. They might have some good suggestions to write about. Generally, you'll be required to meet with your thesis advisor at least once before you start working.
  • Consider consulting with industry partners. Your favorite company might have some work to do which might be done as a master's thesis. This might also help you get a job within the company afterward and maybe even some money for the thesis.
  • If you want to help the world to be a better place, you might want to consult with your local non-profits and charities or check the Internet for possible thesis topics to write about.
  • 3 Choose the right topic. From the possible topics generated in the previous step, find the one which best fits the objectives from the first step, especially the objectives most important to you. Make sure that you have a clear, specific, and organized plan on how to write a master's thesis which you will be able to then defend.

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 2

  • Make sure that your question and the answers provided will provide original content to the body of research in existence. A judicious question will also keep research focused, organized, and interesting.
  • Once you've formulated your topic and direction of inquiry, try formulating 5-10 different questions around your intended research. This forces you to think flexibly about your topic and visualize how small changes in wording can change the trajectory of your research.

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 3

  • Usually, your committee chair will be in place before you formally start your thesis. They can help guide you and provide input into your project, so the earlier you can get their commitment, the better.
  • Nothing is more frustrating than your thesis progress being held up by a professor who has too many obligations to make time to meet with you.

Selecting Your Texts

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 5

  • For example, a novel written by Ernest Hemingway or a scientific journal article in which new results are documented for the first time would both be considered primary sources.

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 7

  • For example, a book written about Ernest Hemingway's novel or a scientific journal article examining the findings of someone else's experiment would both be considered secondary sources.

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 8

  • Use the in-text citation format appropriate to your discipline. [3] X Research source The most common formats are MLA, APA, and Chicago.
  • Create a coordinating works cited or reference entry for each source you cite in the text of your document or in a footnote.
  • Consider using a citation management software such as EndNote, Mendeley, or Zotero. These will enable you to insert and move citations within your word processor program and will automatically populate a works cited or reference page for you.

Planning an Outline

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 9

  • Qualitative. This type of thesis involves completing a project that is exploratory, analytical, or creative in some way. Usually, students in the humanities will complete this kind of thesis.
  • Quantitative. This type of thesis involves conducting experiments, measuring data, and recording results. Students in the sciences usually complete this kind of thesis.

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 10

  • Signature page (with the completed signatures of your advising committee - usually attained at the defense, or after the project is deemed complete )
  • Abstract - this is a short (one paragraph or so) description/summary of the work completed in your thesis
  • Table of Contents (with page numbers)
  • Introduction
  • Body of paper
  • Works Cited or Bibliography
  • Any necessary appendices or endnotes

Moving through the Writing Process

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 13

  • If you do not already have a review of literature written, it’s time to do your research! The review of literature is essentially a summary of all of the existing scholarship about your topic with plenty of direct quotations from the primary and secondary sources that you’re referencing.

Image titled Write the Last Sentence in a Paper Step 11

Finalizing Your Thesis

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 24

  • Many departments or programs provide a document template for theses and dissertations. If you have one of these, it may be easiest to use such a template from the beginning of your work (rather than copying and pasting your writing into it).

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 25

  • Alternatively, ask a trusted colleague or friend to read over your thesis to help you catch any minor grammar/spelling/punctuation errors and typos.

Image titled Write a Master's Thesis Step 26

  • Some institutions require you to submit your thesis for a formatting check prior to uploading the document to ProQuest. Be sure to check with your department’s Director of Graduate Studies for specific instructions.
  • Be aware of thesis submission deadlines, which are often well in advance of your graduation date. Late submission of your thesis may force you to push back your graduation date, which may affect your employment or continuing graduate studies.

Masters Thesis Outline

thesis masters

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  • Remember why you are writing a Master's thesis and who will want to read and use the material. You write a Master's thesis for members of your community, so keep in mind that they will have extensive knowledge and experience before reading your work. Don't bore them with unnecessary material. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Choosing the perfect question before starting research will prevent frustration and save time. Rigorous effort on finding the perfect question is probably the most important task when learning how to write a Master's thesis. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Consult other people who have completed a Master's thesis and obtained a Master's degree. It can be a long, grueling process, and having the support and advice of someone who has already done it can be very valuable. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

thesis masters

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Write a Thesis for a Narrative Essay

  • ↑ https://umb.libguides.com/PrimarySources/secondary
  • ↑ https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/in-text-citation-styles/
  • ↑ https://www.unk.edu/academics/gradstudies/admissions/grad-files/Grad%20Files/ThesisGdlnsFinal08.pdf
  • ↑ https://u.osu.edu/hackingthethesis/managing-stuff/your-content/outline/
  • ↑ http://www.imm.dtu.dk/~janba/MastersThesisAdvice.pdf

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a master's thesis, make it a goal to write 500 words every day, which will help you meet your deadline without having to rush at the last minute. It's also helpful if you work in 25-minute increments and take a 5-minute break in between, which will make your work sessions less overwhelming. Also, figure out a writing time that works best for you, whether it's in the morning or at night, and stick with it so you're more productive. For more help writing your master's thesis, like how to make an outline, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • Master’s vs PhD | A Complete Guide to the Differences

Master's vs PhD | A Complete Guide to the Differences

Published on November 27, 2020 by Lauren Thomas . Revised on June 1, 2023.

The two most common types of graduate degrees are master’s and doctoral degrees:

  • A master’s is a 1–2 year degree that can prepare you for a multitude of careers.
  • A PhD, or doctoral degree, takes 3–7 years to complete (depending on the country) and prepares you for a career in academic research.

A master’s is also the necessary first step to a PhD. In the US, the master’s is built into PhD programs, while in most other countries, a separate master’s degree is required before applying for PhDs.

Master’s are far more common than PhDs. In the US, 24 million people have master’s or professional degrees, whereas only 4.5 million have doctorates.

Table of contents

Master’s vs phd at a glance, which is right for you, length of time required, career prospects, costs and salaries, application process, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about master's and phd degrees.

The table below shows the key differences between the two.

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thesis masters

A PhD is right for you if:

  • Your goal is to become a professor at a university or some other type of professional researcher.
  • You love research and are passionate about discovering the answer to a particular question.
  • You are willing to spend years pursuing your research even if you have to put up with a lot of dead ends and roadblocks.

A master’s degree is the better choice if any of the following apply:

  • You want to continue studies in your field, but you’re not committed to a career as a professional researcher.
  • You want to develop professional skills for a specific career.
  • You are willing to pay a higher upfront cost if it means finishing with your degree (and thus being able to work) much faster.
  • You want the option to study part-time while working.

The length of time required to complete a PhD or master’s degree varies. Unsurprisingly, PhDs take much longer, usually between 3–7 years. Master’s degrees are usually only 1–2 years.

Length of a master’s

Master’s degrees are usually 2 years, although 1-year master’s degrees also exist, mainly in the UK.

Most of the degree consists of classes and coursework, although many master’s programs include an intensive, semester-long master’s thesis or capstone project in which students bring together all they’ve learned to produce an original piece of work.

Length of a PhD

In the US, a PhD usually takes between 5 and 7 years to complete. The first 2 years are spent on coursework. Students, even those who choose to leave without finishing the program, usually receive a master’s degree at this point.

The next 3–5 years are spent preparing a dissertation —a lengthy piece of writing based on independent research, which aims to make a significant original contribution to one’s field.

Master’s degrees tend to prepare you for a career outside of academia, while PhDs are designed to lead to a career in research.

Careers for master’s graduates

There are two types of master’s degrees: terminal and research-intensive. The career prospects are different for each.

Terminal master’s degrees are intended to prepare students for careers outside of academia. Some degrees, known as professional degrees, specifically prepare students for particular professions; these include the Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees.

Other master’s degrees, usually Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Sciences (MS or MSc) degrees, do not necessarily lead to a specific career, but are intended to be a final degree. Examples include an MS in Communications or MS in Data Analytics.

In research-intensive master’s programs, students take coursework intended to prepare them for writing an original piece of research known as the master’s thesis . Such programs are usually intended to prepare for further study in a doctoral program.

Careers for PhD graduates

As research degrees, PhDs are usually intended to lead to an academic career. A PhD can be thought of like an apprenticeship, where students learn from professional researchers (academics) how to produce their own research.

Most students aspire to become a university professor upon the completion of their degree. However, careers in academia are highly competitive, and the skills learned in a doctoral program often lend themselves well to other types of careers.

Some graduates who find they prefer teaching to producing research go on to be teachers at liberal arts colleges or even secondary schools. Others work in research-intensive careers in the government, private sector, or at think tanks.

Below are a few examples of specific fields and non-academic careers that are common destinations of graduates of those fields.

  • Computer Science
  • Lab Sciences

Many government jobs, including economists at a country’s central bank, are research-intensive and require a PhD. Think tanks also hire economists to carry out independent research.

In the private sector, economic consulting and technology firms frequently hire PhDs to solve real-world problems that require complex mathematical modeling.

Graduate students from the humanities are sometimes hired by museums, who can make use of their research and writing skills to curate exhibits and run public outreach.

Humanities PhDs are often well-suited to research and grant-writing roles at nonprofits. Since so much of research is funded by grants, PhD students often gain a lot of experience applying for them, which is a useful skill in the nonprofit sector.

There are a wide range of non-academic research jobs for lab scientists with doctorates in subjects like chemistry, biology, ecology and physics.

Many PhD graduates are hired by pharmaceutical companies that need to perform research to create and test their products. Government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), also hire lab scientists to work on research projects.

Job prospects after graduation vary widely based on the field. In fields like management, computer science, statistics, and economics, there’s little underemployment—even graduates from less well-known programs can easily find jobs that pay well and use the skills they’ve gained from the PhD.

However, in other fields, particularly in the humanities, many PhD graduates have difficulty in the job market. Unfortunately, there are far more PhD graduates than assistant professor roles, so many instead take on part-time and low-paid roles as adjunct instructors. Even non-academic careers can sometimes be difficult for PhDs to move into, as they may be seen as “overqualified”  or as lacking in relevant professional experience.

Because career options post-PhD vary so much, you should take the time to figure out what the career prospects are in your field. Doctoral programs often have detailed “placement” records online in which they list the career outcomes of their graduates immediately upon leaving the program. If you can’t find these records, contact the program and ask for them—placement information should play an important role in your choice of PhD program.

Although PhDs take far longer to complete, students often receive a living stipend in exchange for being a teaching or research assistant. Master’s degrees are shorter but less likely to be funded.

Both master’s degrees and PhDs lead to increased salaries upon graduation. While PhDs usually earn a bit more than those with a master’s degree, in some fields, the wages are identical, meaning that no financial benefit is gained from going on to a PhD.

Cost of a master’s

The upfront cost of a master’s degree is usually higher than a doctoral degree due to the lower amount of financial aid available. However, increased salaries also arrive faster than with a doctoral degree, because people graduate much earlier from a master’s program.

Some master’s students do receive stipends for their degrees, usually as compensation for being a teaching or research assistant. In addition, many people complete master’s degrees part time while working full-time, which allows them to fund their living costs as well as tuition.

The cost varies significantly by school and program. Public schools are usually cheaper than private ones. Some master’s degrees, such as MBAs, are notoriously expensive, but also result in much higher wages afterwards that make up for the high cost.

The master’s wage premium , or the extra amount that someone with a master’s degree makes than someone with just a high school diploma, is 23% on average. Many universities provide detailed statistics on the career and salary outcomes of their students. If they do not have this online, you should feel free to contact an administrator of the program and ask.

Cost of a PhD

PhDs, particularly outside the humanities, are usually (though not always) funded, meaning that tuition fees are fully waived and students receive a small living stipend. During the last 3–5 years of a PhD, after finishing their coursework (and sometimes before), students are usually expected to work as graduate instructors or research assistants in exchange for the stipend.

Sometimes students can apply for a fellowship (such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program in the United States) that relieves them of any obligations to be a teaching or research assistant. Doctoral programs in the US tend to be better funded than in the rest of the world.

Sometimes, PhD degrees can be completed part-time, but this is rare. Students are usually expected to devote at least 40 hours a week to their research and work as teaching or research assistants.

The main cost of doctoral programs comes in the form of opportunity cost—all the years that students could be working a regular, full-time job, which usually pays much better than a graduate school stipend.

The average wage premium for PhDs is 26%, which is not much higher than the master’s degree premium.

In the US, the application process is similar for master’s and PhD programs. Both will generally ask for:

  • At least one application essay, often called a personal statement or statement of purpose .
  • Letters of recommendation .
  • A resume or CV .
  • Transcripts.
  • Writing samples.

Applications for both types of programs also often require a standardized test. PhDs usually require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which tries to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative, critical thinking , and analytical writing skills. Many master’s programs require this test as well.

Applying for a master’s

Master’s degrees programs will often ask you to respond to specific essay prompts that may ask you to reflect upon not just your academic background, but also your personal character and future career ambitions.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg Business School requires Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) applicants write two essays, one about a recent time they demonstrated leadership and the second about their personal values.

Who you should ask for your letters of recommendation varies by program. If you are applying to a research-intensive master’s program, then you should choose former professors or research supervisors. For other programs, particularly business school, current work supervisors may be a better choice.

Some professional master’s programs require a specific test. For example, to apply to law school, you must take the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT. For business school, you must take either the GRE or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

Applying for a PhD

When applying for a PhD, your resume should focus more on your research background—you should especially emphasize any publications you’ve authored or presentations that you’ve given.

Similarly, your statement of purpose should discuss research that you’ve participated in, whether as an assistant or the lead author. You should detail what exactly you did in projects you’ve contributed to, whether that’s conducting a literature review, coding regressions, or writing an entire article.

Your letters of recommendations should be from former professors or supervisors who can speak to your abilities and potential as a researcher. A good rule of thumb is to avoid asking for recommendations from anyone who does not themselves have a PhD.

If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

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A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

This depends on the country. In the United States, you can generally go directly to a PhD  with only a bachelor’s degree, as a master’s program is included as part of the doctoral program.

Elsewhere, you generally need to graduate from a research-intensive master’s degree before continuing to the PhD.

This varies by country. In the United States, PhDs usually take between 5–7 years: 2 years of coursework followed by 3–5 years of independent research work to produce a dissertation.

In the rest of the world, students normally have a master’s degree before beginning the PhD, so they proceed directly to the research stage and complete a PhD in 3–5 years.

A master’s degree usually has a higher upfront cost, but it also allows you to start earning a higher salary more quickly. The exact cost depends on the country and the school: private universities usually cost more than public ones, and European degrees usually cost less than North American ones. There are limited possibilities for financial aid.

PhDs often waive tuition fees and offer a living stipend in exchange for a teaching or research assistantship. However, they take many years to complete, during which time you earn very little.

In the US, the graduate school application process is similar whether you’re applying for a master’s or a PhD . Both require letters of recommendation , a statement of purpose or personal statement , a resume or CV , and transcripts. Programs in the US and Canada usually also require a certain type of standardized test—often the GRE.

Outside the US, PhD programs usually also require applicants to write a research proposal , because students are expected to begin dissertation research in the first year of their PhD.

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Thesis Vs Dissertation

Thesis vs non thesis masters.

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With a majority of Master’s programs, graduation is earned after the submission of a Thesis. There are Master’s degrees that do not require a Thesis in the areas of Management. But programs that stem from departments like the arts and humanities, and the sciences, generally ask for a Master Thesis. There is also an option to choose between programs that are Thesis-based or Non-Thesis-based. This resource guide analyzes what a Master Thesis is, its format and structure, guidelines and tips to write one, and much more.

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What is a Master’s Thesis

A common enough question on most students’ minds is, “what is a Master’s Thesis?” The answer to that question is not rocket science! A Master Thesis is a creative document that illustrates (a) how much knowledge the student has assimilated throughout the Master’s program, (b) the student’s fresh, original, creative, and unique research into a subject using proper scientific and research methodology, and (c) the ability of the student to assess, evaluate, and interpret results and outcomes from such research, and finally infer and draw conclusions accordingly.

The following points sum up everything that a Master’s Thesis is:

  • It is a creative work but based a lot on scientific methodology and data researched from other scientific works.
  • It covers only one original idea, problem, topic, theory, or proposition.
  • It demonstrates the ability to evaluate information, think critically, and present findings and results systematically and in a logical manner.
  • It is usually an academic requirement for graduation.
  • It is almost always prepared and submitted at the end of the Master’s program.
  • It provides an opportunity to demonstrate analytical, logical, and reasoning skills through the defense of the chosen idea/topic.

Format and Components of Master’s Thesis

Students need to factor in two key aspects when writing a Master Thesis – Format and Components. While formatting takes care of the presentation part of the Thesis, the components cover all the content that must go in. Together, the two can make the final document a compelling read while adhering to all guidelines and Thesis requirements in general.

Although each college or program may have its requirements for how a Thesis should be written, here is an example of a generic Master Thesis outline:

  • FORMAT Formatting is essential to make all the content of the Thesis clear, legible, and presentable. There are several formatting aspects that students should make sure they implement throughout their Thesis.
  • The name of the major should be absolutely correct.
  • The title of the Thesis must be in CAPITAL letters and double-spaced.
  • The date must be the month and year of graduation.
  • The front matter must preferably be numbered with lower case Roman numerals.
  • A ‘Table of Contents’ , with a list of tables, a list of figures, acknowledgments, chapters, references or bibliography, and appendices (with titles), should be included.
  • The Chapter Titles in the Table of Contents should be identical to the actual Chapter Titles used in the text of the Thesis.
  • Chapters should be numbered consistently. (example: Chapter Four, Chapter 4, or Chapter IV)
  • Page 1 should be the first page of the Thesis and must sequentially continue till the end without breaking.
  • Running headers should preferably be avoided.
  • Page numbers should not be embellished. (example: Page 7, -7-, or 107a)
  • Fonts should be standardized and legible.
  • Depending on the font, a size between 10pts. and 13pts. is suggested for body text, and between 14pts. and 18pts. for headings.
  • The font size of all headings should be consistent. (example: all main headings are 18pts. and sub-headings are 16pts.)
  • Italic text should be limited to foreign words, book and journal titles, and special emphasis.
  • Margins should be maintained equally and consistently across all pages, preferably 0.75 inches or 1 inch on all sides.
  • Line spacing should be consistent and reasonable, of say 1.2pts to 1.5pts.
  • Each chapter should begin on a new page.
  • There should be no blank pages in the entire document.
  • When submitting a soft copy of the Thesis, the Portable Document Format (PDF) should be used, and the file name should be short and simple, without using special characters.
  • COMPONENTS The main part of a Master’s Thesis is, of course, the content. It is important to cover all generic and necessary components while including those that may have been specifically asked for. The list of components below presents a rough idea of what an entire Thesis would consist of:
  • (a) Title Page The Title Page will typically consist of only the Title of the Thesis and the month and year of graduation. This page should always be unnumbered.
  • (b) Committee/Faculty Page The Committee Page lists the names and titles of faculty members who have approved the work.
  • (c) Abstract or Summary An Abstract is a brief outline of the Thesis that typically includes a summary of the study, techniques, and methods used for research, and the findings or conclusions.
  • (d) Table of Contents The Table of Contents is a compilation of headings and page numbers that correspond to headings and page numbers in the text of the Thesis.
  • (e) Lists of Figures, Tables, Maps, Abbreviations, or Multimedia Items Separate pages for figures, tables, etc., should be used to list them out with their captions and page numbers. Ensure that the same captions are used in the text of the Thesis, and the page numbers match.
  • (f) Preface (optional) A Preface is not mandatory. But if the author finds a need to explain the genesis of the work, or if the author’s contribution to a multiple-authored work needs citing, a preface could be included.
  • (g) Main Content The Main Content is the bulk, essence, and substance of the entire Thesis. It generally outlines an Introduction, Methodology, Findings and Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.
  • (h) Acknowledgments (optional) Acknowledgments must be made only if the author has been granted permission to use copyrighted material. In such cases, the grant sources should be acknowledged. If federal funds were used for the Thesis, they too must be acknowledged with a disclaimer that the findings of the Thesis do not necessarily reflect the view of the funding agency.
  • (i) Bibliography or References All works that were referred to for the Thesis should be mentioned in the Bibliography or References page.
  • (j) Appendices An Appendix may contain relevant material but is tangential or very detailed (raw data, procedural explanations, etc.). These should be labeled A, B, C, etc., and not 1, 2, 3 or I, II, III.

Important:  Students are advised to check with their faculty members and/or their Program Thesis Guidelines (that is often a part of the student’s curriculum) for more and exact information on Thesis requirements. This is because such requirements may vary by college or program.

Top Tips for writing the Master’s Thesis

Preparing for and writing a Master Thesis can be difficult for some. Many students become anxious and nervous when they have to either begin with their research or have finished their research but have to piece it all together in the form of a Thesis. Here are a few top tips for writing a Master’s Thesis with relative ease:

  • Locate an Easy Idea, Topic, or Problem Area The first step before even contemplating the writing of a Thesis is to find a topic that is easy for the individual to carry out research, write about, and defend. Students must avoid complex Thesis topics that may be hard to research and leave much to be desired.
  • What is the research problem?
  • What is its importance?
  • What are the other comparative works available to read?
  • What have others researched, found, and concluded?
  • What are the comparisons that one can make?
  • What are the yardsticks, parameters, and methods of the study?
  • Brainstorm Read, read, and read more! The more one reads, the more one’s knowledge increases. Find publications, journals, and other Theses that are relevant to the topic. That done, toss all ideas and thoughts onto some sheets of paper or a book. These could be brief points, keywords, statistical figures, etc., but should be considered important at this stage.
  • Analyze and Assess & Conclude With any Thesis, it is important to look for trends and patterns that will help understand the significance of results obtained. In their research, students should check for commonalities and distinctions between comparative situations and how to describe them. They should explain trends and patterns while also illustrating unexpected and expected ones. Furthermore, any results should be justifiable coherently, and their significance outlined in the conclusion of the Thesis. In conclusion, one must mention the overall impact of the study and how it furthers one’s understanding of the topic while also highlighting the areas that need further investigation. Predictive potential, if any, can also be added.
  • Organize and Structure Collected data is key to writing a good Thesis. Find reliable and relevant data sources and findings and design a framework to organize such data and interpret it. Use empirical categories to segregate findings such that they become easier to include in the Thesis. Finally, structure everything to create a logical flow and presentation of all findings, data, interpretations, results, and conclusions.
  • Write a Draft Compiling all critical components of a Thesis and writing the first draft is always advisable. A first draft can be a compilation and culmination of all the points – from 2 to 5. That done, read the first draft to make changes, correct text, and generally build upon it.
  • Review a Second Draft Once the first draft has given way to a second and more complete draft, it is best to ask a faculty member, mentor, or senior (such as a doctorate student) to review this draft and provide critical feedback. Based on this feedback, additional changes should be made, after which a third or final draft can be prepared for proofreading.

Many students interchange the terms Thesis and Dissertation. While they do have their similarities, they are distinctly different in more ways than one. To begin with, since a Thesis is shorter than a Dissertation, it is generally looked upon as the first step towards a Doctorate. In Science-related Master’s programs, students tend to take up advanced coursework and gain hands-on experience working on a research project, but not to the lengths that a Doctoral student would go to. Students are expected and encouraged to put forth their ideas in a Master’s program, but more emphasis is on gaining professional knowledge than conducting original research. In certain disciplines, for example, Chemistry, individuals can write truncated research as a Master’s Thesis without actually having to undergo a Master’s program and eventually go on to pursue a Doctorate.

In conclusion, the Thesis vs. Dissertation confusion can be cleared up by this summation: A Thesis is generally applicable to Graduate students to earn a Master’s degree, while a Dissertation applies to Doctoral students to earn a Ph.D.

The battle of Thesis vs. Non-Thesis Masters always flummoxes students when they are applying for a Graduate program. Even though the job market does not concern itself much with either of these tracks of programs, so long as you, the candidate, has one, taking up a Thesis or Non-Thesis track can significantly impact students’ skills throughout their academic career.

To find out which type of Master’s is most suitable for an individual, the following questions need to be answered, based on which the right choice becomes more apparent:

  • What kind of academic skills is one looking to acquire?
  • What are the academic needs and professional objectives that need to be met?
  • Does one prefer to learn in a classroom environment or prefer to be more self-directed?
  • Is one interested in research, and does one want to dive deeper into a particular study area?

The list below further illustrates the difference between a Thesis Master’s and a Non-Thesis Master’s and may also help students with making their decision of which one that suits their needs:

A  Thesis Program  is better suited for students who:

  • want to pursue a Ph.D.;
  • wish to publish their Thesis in one or more Academic Journals;
  • need to acquire skills that are required to study for or work in research-intensive disciplines;
  • build critical, analytical, and logical reasoning skills necessary to deduce and infer coherently, and defend and argue effectively;
  • desire to work in fields that value writing skills, vocabulary, grammar, and syntax.

A  Non-Thesis Program  is better suited for students who:

  • are not so interested in research or writing at length;
  • want to graduate in as little time as possible. (Non-Thesis programs tend to be shorter than Thesis-based ones);
  • prefer to gain exposure by working with faculty on real-world projects, rather than spending time on research;
  • desire to take up additional courses to widen their scope, amass more knowledge, and gain hands-on-skills, rather than researching and writing on one topic;
  • wish to emulate the structure of their Undergraduate degree/s, with more coursework, assignments, and examinations, instead of research.

Do’s and Dont’s for choosing between Thesis and Non-Thesis Masters Programs

Students are often faced with the dilemma of Thesis vs. Non-Thesis Masters. There should be compelling reasons to sign up for a Master Thesis instead of a Non-Thesis Masters, and vice versa. Here are a few things to do and not do when deciding to choose between the two tracks of Master’s degrees:

Taking everything into account, the one-degree path is not better than the other one. Each type of Master’s track – Thesis, or Non-Thesis, offers its benefits, which students must assess themselves. Both tracks provide a high-quality education that will lead to success.

One deciding factor could be that a Non-Thesis Master’s degree will help students change fields when returning to school after a sabbatical or help them advance in their careers faster. A Thesis Master’s degree, on the other hand, could be more invaluable for those who have a desire to pursue a career in research and development or study a Ph.D.

Another factor to think about is the learning style. While a Non-Thesis degree is better suited for students who love coursework, working in group projects, and taking up assignments, students who like to dive deep into topics and are independent thinkers are best suited for a Thesis degree.

In the end, students must identify their individual needs, know their style of learning, and what their ultimate academic and professional goals are.

Note:  Students should connect with their school’s faculty or admissions office for more information on the two tracks of degrees. After all, the knowledge and skills one gains from the degree are far more important than the title of the degree!

FAQs about Master Thesis

Frequently asked questions, how long is a master’s thesis.

 As a thumb rule, a Master’s Thesis usually takes up about 60 to 100 pages in all. However, lengths can vary depending on the format, components, topic, and special requirements.

How to write a Master Thesis?

 The first step to writing a Master’s Thesis is to research the chosen topic, idea, or problem area. Writing follows soon enough, details of which are expounded in this article.

How to defend a Master’s Thesis?

 Defending a Master’s Thesis is an integral part of writing a Thesis. Students should have sufficiently involved themselves in critical analysis and thinking while researching and writing their Thesis to put forward logical arguments and defend their findings.

What does a Master’s Thesis look like?

A Master’s Thesis will generally have components such as a Title Page, Committee/Faculty Page, Abstract or Summary, Table of Contents, Lists of Figures and Tables, Main Content (with an Introduction, Methodology, Findings and Results, Discussion, and Conclusion), Bibliography or References, and Appendices.

How many words for Master Thesis?

The number of words is not of much significance, so long as the Thesis covers all aspects of the research, exhibits findings and interpretable data, and draws up defendable conclusions. But in most cases, a Thesis is generally between 60 and 100 pages.

Is a thesis required for a Master’s degree?

A Thesis is only required for students who have opted for a Master’s Thesis degree track. Non-Thesis Master’s programs do not require a Thesis to be submitted.

 How to come up with a Master’s Thesis Topic?

The best way to come up with a Master’s Thesis topic is to find one that is easy to research, on which (easily accessible) Theses have been written before, and for which formulating a defense will not be a daunting task.

How to write a good conclusion Master Thesis?

A good conclusion should not leave the reader hanging. It should take a cue from the Introduction and refer to the problem and Thesis question to propose plausible solutions while suggesting other pathways for further investigation.

How to write an abstract for Master Thesis?

An Abstract is a brief outline of the Thesis. It should generally outline the study, techniques, and methods used for research, and the results or conclusions, all in a nutshell.

Is writing a Master’s Thesis hard?

The level of difficulty for writing a Master’s Thesis is subjective. Students who structure their work, plan well, choose a reasonably easy topic, create a Thesis outline, and focus on covering all aspects of the Thesis question, should not find it difficult to write a Master’s Thesis.

How to cite a Master’s Thesis in APA?

To cite a Master’s Thesis in APA, one has to mention the author of the Thesis, Year of Publication, Title of the Master’s Thesis, and a URL (if available).

How long does it take to write a Master’s Thesis?

The length of time required to write a Master’s Thesis hinges on the topic, research methodology, number of references, and other relevant factors. Some students are known to have written a Thesis in as little as two weeks, while others have taken six weeks or more to finish one.

Do all Master’s programs require a Thesis?

No, Non-Thesis Master’s Programs do not require a Thesis. Most Master’s in Business programs also do not ask for one.

 How many references for a Master’s Thesis?

The number of references will largely depend on the topic, the research conducted, and other such factors. Additionally, it also depends on how much previous literature exists on the chosen topic. Some students may have used more references from one source than others who referred to multiple sources. In general, however, students are known to have cited 30+ references, with 60+ to a 100 not being uncommon as well.

How to write a Master Thesis introduction?

The Introduction is the foundation of the Thesis. It should provide a fair amount of background information to put the scope of the research in its right context, and it should also state the objective of the paper and pose the Thesis question.

Additional Resources for writing Master Thesis

There are many resources students can tap into for help on writing a Master Thesis. However, one should remember that these resources should only serve as information, references, or insights and not be misused to write a Thesis (especially by copying and pasting). Here are a few from many more that are available to get started:

  • Rutgers University Libraries Rutgers University Libraries have a long list of online resources that are of use when preparing for or writing a Master’s Thesis. There are sample Theses, formatting tips, and common style guides as well.
  • The Thesis Whisperer The Thesis Whisperer has a wealth of content that is tailored around students and academic supervisors. The website also has insightful articles and links to other resources.
  • wikiHow wikiHow has a detailed write-up on how to write a Master’s Thesis with pictures. It illustrates how one can choose a topic, select the text, plan an outline, move through the writing process, and finalize the Thesis.
  • Patter Patter is a very interesting site that claims to be about research education, academic writing, public engagement, funding, and other eccentricities (as it says)!

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How to Write a Master's Thesis: A Guide to Planning Your Thesis, Pursuing It, and Avoiding Pitfalls


Part 1: Initial Considerations

Who needs to write a master’s thesis.

Thesis writing is one of the more daunting challenges of higher education. That being said, not all master's students have to write a thesis. For example, fields that place a stronger emphasis on applied knowledge, such as nursing, business, and education, tend to have projects and exams to test students on the skills and abilities associated with those fields. Conversely, in disciplines that require in-depth research or highly polished creative abilities, students are usually expected to prove their understanding and independence with a thesis.

What's Your Goal?

Do you want to write a thesis? The process is a long one, often spanning years. It's best to know exactly what you want before you begin. Many people are motivated by career goals. For example, hiring managers may see a master's degree as proof that the candidate is an expert within their field and can lead, motivate, and demonstrate initiative for themselves and others. Others dream of earning their doctorate, and they see a master's degree as a stepping stone toward their Ph.D .

thesis masters

No matter what your desired goal is, you should have one before you start your thesis. With your goal in mind, your work will have a purpose, which will allow you to measure your progress more easily.

Major Types of Theses

Once you've carefully researched or even enrolled in a master's program—a feat that involves its own planning and resources —you should know if you are expected to produce a quantitative (which occurs in many math and science programs), qualitative (which occurs in many humanities programs), or creative (which occurs in many creative writing, music, or fine arts programs) thesis.

Time and Energy Considerations

Advanced degrees are notoriously time and energy consuming. If you have a job, thesis writing will become your second job. If you have a family, they will need to know that your thesis will take a great deal of your attention, energy, and focus.

thesis masters

Your studies should not consume you, but they also should not take a back seat to everything else. You will be expected to attend classes, conduct research, source relevant literature, and schedule meetings with various people as you pursue your master's, so it's important to let those you care about know what's going on.

As a general note, most master's programs expect students to finish within a two-year period but are willing to grant extra time if requested, especially if that time is needed to deal with unexpected life events (more on those later).

Part 2: Form an Initial Thesis Question, and Find a Supervisor

When to begin forming your initial thesis question.

Some fields, such as history, may require you to have already formed your thesis question and to have used it to create a statement of intent (outlining the nature of your research) prior to applying to a master’s program. Others may require this information only after you've been accepted. Most of the time, you will be expected to come up with your topic yourself. However, in some disciplines, your supervisor may assign a general research topic to you.

Overall, requirements vary immensely from program to program, so it's best to confirm the exact requirements of your specific program.

What to Say to Your Supervisor

You will have a supervisor during your master's studies. Have you identified who that person will be? If yes, have you introduced yourself via email or phone and obtained information on the processes and procedures that are in place for your master's program? Once you've established contact, request an in-person meeting with him or her, and take a page of questions along with you. Your questions might include:

  • Is there a research subject you can recommend in my field?
  • I would like to pursue [target research subject] for my thesis. Can you help me narrow my focus?
  • Can you give me an example of a properly formatted thesis proposal for my program?

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help (to a Degree)

Procedures and expectations vary from program to program, and your supervisor is there to help remove doubt and provide encouragement so you can follow the right path when you embark on writing your thesis. Since your supervisor has almost certainly worked with other graduate students (and was one at some point), take advantage of their experience, and ask questions to put your mind at ease about how to write a master’s thesis.

That being said, do not rely too heavily on your supervisor. As a graduate student, you are also expected to be able to work independently. Proving your independent initiative and capacity is part of what will earn you your master's degree.

Part 3: Revise Your Thesis

Read everything you can get your hands on.

Whether you have a question or need to create one, your next step is simple and applies to all kinds of theses: read.

thesis masters

Seek Out Knowledge or Research Gaps

Read everything you can that relates to the question or the field you are studying. The only way you will be able to determine where you can go is to see where everyone else has been. After you have read some published material, you will start to spot gaps in current research or notice things that could be developed further with an alternative approach. Things that are known but not understood or understood but not explained clearly or consistently are great potential thesis subjects. Addressing something already known from a new perspective or with a different style could also be a potentially valuable project. Whichever way you choose to do it, keep in mind that your project should make a valuable contribution to your field.

thesis masters

Talk with Experts in Your Field (and Don't Be Afraid to Revise Your Thesis)

To help narrow down your thesis topic, talk to your supervisor. Your supervisor will have an idea of what is current in your field and what can be left alone because others are already working on it. Additionally, the school you are attending will have programs and faculty with particular areas of interest within your chosen field.

On a similar note, don't be surprised if your thesis question changes as you study. Other students and researchers are out there, and as they publish, what you are working on can change. You might also discover that your question is too vague, not substantial enough, or even no longer relevant. Do not lose heart! Take what you know and adjust the question to address these concerns as they arise. The freedom to adapt is part of the power you hold as a graduate student.

Part 4: Select a Proposal Committee

What proposal committees are and why they're useful.

When you have a solid question or set of questions, draft a proposal.

thesis masters

You'll need an original stance and a clear justification for asking, and answering, your thesis question. To ensure this, a committee will review your thesis proposal. Thankfully, that committee will consist of people assigned by your supervisor or department head or handpicked by you. These people will be experts who understand your field of study and will do everything in their power to ensure that you are pursuing something worthwhile. And yes, it is okay to put your supervisor on your committee. Some programs even require that your supervisor be on your committee.

Just remember that the committee will expect you to schedule meetings with them, present your proposal, respond to any questions they might have for you, and ultimately present your findings and thesis when all the work is done. Choose those who are willing to support you, give constructive feedback, and help address issues with your proposal. And don't forget to give your proposal a good, thorough edit and proofread before you present it.

How to Prepare for Committee Meetings

Be ready for committee meetings with synopses of your material for committee members, answers for expected questions, and a calm attitude. To prepare for those meetings, sit in on proposal and thesis defenses so you can watch how other graduate students handle them and see what your committee might ask of you. You can even hold rehearsals with friends and fellow students acting as your committee to help you build confidence for your presentation.

thesis masters

Part 5: Write Your Thesis

What to do once your proposal is approved.

After you have written your thesis proposal and received feedback from your committee, the fun part starts: doing the work. This is where you will take your proposal and carry it out. If you drafted a qualitative or quantitative proposal, your experimentation or will begin here. If you wrote a creative proposal, you will now start working on your material. Your proposal should be strong enough to give you direction when you perform your experiments, conduct interviews, or craft your work. Take note that you will have to check in with your supervisor from time to time to give progress updates.

thesis masters

Thesis Writing: It's Important to Pace Yourself and Take Breaks

Do not expect the work to go quickly. You will need to pace yourself and make sure you record your progress meticulously. You can always discard information you don't need, but you cannot go back and grab a crucial fact that you can't quite remember. When in doubt, write it down. When drawing from a source, always create a citation for the information to save your future self time and stress. In the same sense, you may also find journaling to be a helpful process.

Additionally, take breaks and allow yourself to step away from your thesis, even if you're having fun (and especially if you're not). Ideally, your proposal should have milestones in it— points where you can stop and assess what you've already completed and what's left to do. When you reach a milestone, celebrate. Take a day off and relax. Better yet, give yourself a week's vacation! The rest will help you regain your focus and ensure that you function at your best.

How to Become More Comfortable with Presenting Your Work

Once you start reaching your milestones, you should be able to start sharing what you have. Just about everyone in a graduate program has experience giving a presentation at the front of the class, attending a seminar, or watching an interview. If you haven't (or even if you have), look for conferences and clubs that will give you the opportunity to learn about presenting your work and become comfortable with the idea of public speaking. The more you practice talking about what you are studying, the more comfortable you'll be with the information, which will make your committee defenses and other official meetings easier.

Published authors can be called upon to present at conferences, and if your thesis is strong, you may receive an email or a phone call asking if you would share your findings onstage.

Presenting at conferences is also a great way to boost your CV and network within your field. Make presenting part of your education, and it will become something you look forward to instead of fear.

What to Do If Your Relationship with Your Supervisor Sours

A small aside: If it isn't already obvious, you will be communicating extensively with others as you pursue your thesis. That also means that others will need to communicate with you, and if you've been noticing things getting quiet, you will need to be the one to speak up. Your supervisor should speak to you at least once a term and preferably once a week in the more active parts of your research and writing. If you give written work to your supervisor, you should have feedback within three weeks.

If your supervisor does not provide feedback, frequently misses appointments, or is consistently discouraging of your work, contact your graduate program advisor and ask for a new supervisor. The relationship with your supervisor is crucial to your success, especially if she or he is on your committee, and while your supervisor does not have to be friendly, there should at least be professional respect between you.

What to Do If a Crisis Strikes

If something happens in your life that disrupts everything (e.g., emotional strain, the birth of a child, or the death of a family member), ask for help. You are a human being, and personal lives can and do change without warning. Do not wait until you are falling apart before asking for help, either. Learn what resources exist for crises before you have one, so you can head off trauma before it hits. That being said, if you get blindsided, don't refuse help. Seek it out, and take the time you need to recover. Your degree is supposed to help you become a stronger and smarter person, not break you.

Part 6: Polish and Defend Your Master's Thesis

How to write a master’s thesis: the final stages.

After your work is done and everything is written down, you will have to give your thesis a good, thorough polishing. This is where you will have to organize the information, draft it into a paper format with an abstract, and abbreviate things to help meet your word-count limit. This is also where your final editing and proofreading passes will occur, after which you will face your final hurdle: presenting your thesis defense to your committee. If they approve your thesis, then congratulations! You are now a master of your chosen field.

Conclusion and Parting Thoughts

Remember that you do not (and should not) have to learn how to write a master’s thesis on your own. Thesis writing is collaborative, as is practically any kind of research.

thesis masters

While you will be expected to develop your thesis using your own initiative, pursue it with your own ambition, and complete it with your own abilities, you will also be expected to use all available resources to do so. The purpose of a master's thesis is to help you develop your own independent abilities, ensuring that you can drive your own career forward without constantly looking to others to provide direction. Leaders get master's degrees. That's why many business professionals in leadership roles have graduate degree initials after their last names. If you already have the skills necessary to motivate yourself, lead others, and drive change, you may only need your master's as an acknowledgement of your abilities. If you do not, but you apply yourself carefully and thoroughly to the pursuit of your thesis, you should come away from your studies with those skills in place.

A final thought regarding collaboration: all theses have a section for acknowledgements. Be sure to say thank you to those who helped you become a master. One day, someone might be doing the same for you.

Image source: Falkenpost/Pixabay.com 

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thesis masters

Types of Theses

Three types of gallatin ma theses.

Each graduate student in the Gallatin School completes a final thesis as the culmination of their work toward a Master of Arts degree. The thesis may take one of three forms: a research thesis, an artistic thesis, or a project thesis. In each case, the thesis represents a synthesis of the student’s accumulated knowledge and skill and an opportunity to display the ideas, practices and skills learned through the program. While the master’s thesis, unlike a doctoral dissertation, does not have to create new knowledge or break new ground, it does display the student’s ability to go beyond the mere collection of information into synthesis, analysis, judgment and interpretation. Moreover, it should demonstrate the student’s familiarity with a substantial body of thought and literature and illustrate mastery of some self-chosen field of study.

Below you will find descriptions of the three types of theses: 

Research Thesis

Artistic thesis, project thesis.

Current MA students who are interested in seeing sample theses should consult the Gallatin Master's Thesis Archive , which is accessible with an NYU Net ID.

Students pursuing the research option produce and defend a substantial research essay, the thesis of which is demonstrably related to the student’s course of study and ongoing conversations with the primary adviser. The adviser and defense panelists are the ultimate arbiters of whether the thesis satisfies a reasonable understanding of a project worthy of the master’s degree. However, in general and at minimum, a successful Gallatin MA research thesis demonstrates sufficient mastery of relevant academic fields as well as a critical grasp of the scholarship and methods that currently define those fields. The thesis essay is a logically-constructed argument that presents its central points on the basis of research and critical interpretation. The sources and objects of study may cover the spectrum from archival materials to critical theory to statistical surveys and personal interviews, but the student should carefully choose sources in consultation with the primary adviser, and with reference to questions about what constitutes legitimate source within the student’s field(s). The research thesis essay must be more than a "review of the literature" but the demand for original findings is lower than that faced by doctoral candidates. Significantly original contributions are of course highly commendable, but the excellence of an MA research thesis essay may lie in its critical and creative synthesis, articulation of a fresh perspective on the work of others, or identification of new, research-based questions that themselves shed light on existing problems within fields. Generally speaking, the final research thesis essay should be at least 50 pages and not exceed 80 pages (not including appendices and bibliographic material). Students and advisers are encouraged to talk with the program's academic directors about these expectations whenever necessary.

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The artistic thesis is appropriate for those students who wish to display the creative process in the performing, visual or literary arts. A student might make a film or video; choreograph an evening of dance; act in a play; mount an exhibit of paintings; write a screenplay, novel, play or collection of short stories; or choose another artistic endeavor. The artistic thesis represents the culmination of a Gallatin arts concentration in which the student has studied the genre under consideration.

The artistic thesis comprises both the artistic project and three accompanying essays. Therefore, you should conceive of the artistic thesis as a unified piece composed of the creative work and the essays which enhance it. Members of the faculty committee will assess both the artistic work and the essays. The essays include:

  • an academic research paper related to the field of artistic work;
  • an essay on artistic aims and process;
  • a technical essay.

Please note: The technical essay does not apply to those students who are submitting a literary work.

Some General Advice

Be careful to keep records and a log of the artistic project as it evolves. This information can be used in the Technical Essay.

If a student is writing a work of fiction, poems, a play, etc., for the thesis, the student will submit this work to their adviser and other readers along with the essays. However, if the student is presenting a performance, they will need to arrange to have their adviser and other members of their committee see the performance. The student is responsible for coordinating schedules and for notifying committee members so that everyone can view the piece. The student should notify the thesis reviewer of the date of the performance at least one month in advance. In the event that one or more of the committee cannot attend the scheduled event, the student should arrange to have the performance videotaped so people can see it later. Except in unusual circumstances, the student must submit the first draft of the thesis to their adviser no more than three months after the performance.

Essays for the Artistic Thesis

Background Research Essay

As stated above, this essay follows the description for the standard research essay. It is a scholarly endeavor and differs from the standard essay in terms of length and focus. The length is approximately 25 to 40 pages. The focus of the essay is related to the artistic work and explores some aspect of that work that the student wishes to study and develop through outside research. The essay might take the form of an analysis of a performance or literary genre; a history of an art form or phenomenon; a philosophical study of an aesthetic concept; or a critical/biographical analysis of the work of an influential artistic figure.

Artistic Aims Essay

In this essay, the student is required to articulate their goals in mounting their particular artistic project. For example, what was the student trying to accomplish in writing short stories, a screenplay, a novel, presenting an evening of dances or songs, making a film or mounting an art exhibit? What were the aesthetic choices made and why?  The student should also explain their approach to the artistic work (their style, genre, or school), any relevant influences on the work, how the student's training influenced their artistic choices, and the student's intentions for particular elements of the creative work. After the student has carefully and clearly articulated these goals, they need to explain how their actual artistic work meets the stated goals. The student should use examples from their artistic project to illustrate these ideas. This essay should be approximately 10-15 pages in length.

Technical Essay

This essay is a description of the steps the student actually took to physically mount their production.  The student will need to include such technical details as arranging for rehearsal and performance space; choosing the performers; finding/creating, costumes, materials, lights; raising funds and getting institutional support. This essay should be approximately 10 pages in length.

Students may submit a portfolio, if appropriate. This would consist of any material, such as photos, slides, fliers, programs, videotapes, audiotapes etc. which might constitute an appendix and which might be helpful to a fuller understanding of the thesis.

The project thesis consists of two elements: (1) the project, a professional activity designed and executed primarily by the student as a way of solving a problem, and (2) an accompanying essay about the project. This thesis is especially appropriate for students in such fields as business, education, social work or public administration. The project thesis may appeal to those students who are active in their profession and who take responsibility for the creation of some kind of program or practice.

Students should understand that the project cannot simply propose a professional activity; the design for such an activity must actually be carried out (at least in a pilot version) and evaluated. Some examples of projects: a student in education may develop and apply a new strategy for teaching reading to recent immigrants; a person working in a corporation may construct new methods for managing financial information; or a community worker in a settlement house may organize a group of local residents to combat drug abuse.

At each step, the student should be careful to keep in touch with their adviser and with any other expert who can help them in their process. The student should keep careful records of the process by taking detailed notes of conversations, meetings, interviews, etc.  If at all possible, the student should arrange to have the members of their committee, especially their adviser, witness the project first-hand: Visit the site, talk with key actors, watch the program in operation. (This direct contact is highly recommended, but not required.)

Essays for the Project Thesis

The project thesis essay may take a number of forms and include a range of information. It ought to discuss at least the following elements:

Consider the institutional or social context within which the project takes place. Describe the organization, the potential clientele or participants, and the larger environment (social, economic and political conditions surrounding the problem and the project).

Describe the particular problem or need that you address in the project. What causes that problem? How extensive is it? Have other attempts to solve the problem been made; if so, what were their shortcomings, and why are you trying another approach? Place the problem in its professional and academic context by referring to the appropriate literature. Program

Describe the goals and objectives of the project and what the student hoped to accomplish. Describe how the program was designed and structured; for example, what kinds of activities did participants engage in, and in what sequence? What kinds of resources and techniques were used? Justify the strategies and tactics used by citing appropriate professional and academic literatures.


Describe how the plan was carried out. Use as much detail as needed to give the reader a sense of what actually happened, and to indicate the extent to which the reality matched the plan.

Describe the criteria for assessing the project and evaluation methods used. Justify the criteria and methods by referring to appropriate literatures. To what extent did the project accomplish the goals and objectives identified earlier?

Citing relevant literature and the practical contingencies of the project, explain why the project did or did not achieve its stated purposes. Describe the factors (political, social, organizational, financial, psychological, etc.) that contributed to the process and to the outcomes. What changes--either conceptual or practical--would the student make if they were to repeat or extend the project? What would the student leave in place? Describe what was learned from the project about the original problem and about the student's strategy and tactics. Also consider the professional and theoretical implications of the project.

If necessary, put relevant documentary materials (flyers, important correspondence, budgets, etc.) in appendices.

MIT Libraries home DSpace@MIT

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This collection of MIT Theses in DSpace contains selected theses and dissertations from all MIT departments. Please note that this is NOT a complete collection of MIT theses. To search all MIT theses, use MIT Libraries' catalog .

MIT's DSpace contains more than 58,000 theses completed at MIT dating as far back as the mid 1800's. Theses in this collection have been scanned by the MIT Libraries or submitted in electronic format by thesis authors. Since 2004 all new Masters and Ph.D. theses are scanned and added to this collection after degrees are awarded.

MIT Theses are openly available to all readers. Please share how this access affects or benefits you. Your story matters.

If you have questions about MIT theses in DSpace, [email protected] . See also Access & Availability Questions or About MIT Theses in DSpace .

If you are a recent MIT graduate, your thesis will be added to DSpace within 3-6 months after your graduation date. Please email [email protected] with any questions.


MIT Theses may be protected by copyright. Please refer to the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Note that the copyright holder for most MIT theses is identified on the title page of the thesis.

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Carnegie Mellon Institute for Security and Technology

Master of science in international relations and politics (ms irp).

The Carnegie Mellon Institute for Security and Technology (CMIST) seeks to train the next generation of political scientists who can examine and understand domestic and international government institutions and processes in the twenty-first century’s continuously changing global political structure. War has been a constant in our students’ lives, and that unfortunately does not look like it will change soon. But what is changing is the political landscape of war – from wars between nations to non-state actors like ISIS and Boko Haram. Coupled with an increasingly global society, international relations and politics are extremely important for preparing students to analyze and manage uncertainty and transformation in many pursuits and places.

The Master of Science in International Relations and Politics (MS IRP) serves four academic goals.

1) to allow students to specialize in one of four conventional areas of political science..

The first is to allow students to specialize in one of four conventional areas of political science: international security, international relations, American politics, and comparative politics. 

CMIST also offers a unique subset of courses focused on international security. CMIST has robust course offerings in cybersecurity and international conflict. Students who select the international security concentration will analyze the role of cyber warfare and cybersecurity in international politics – past, present, and future. The coursework tackles the social-scientific dimensions of cybersecurity with a focus on the implications of the cyber age for modern statecraft, warfare, elections, and politics, more generally.

2) To equip students with strong methodological skills.

A second goal is to equip students with strong methodological skills. Students pursuing the MS IRP will master the diverse skills needed to conduct advanced quantitative and qualitative research. This will be a significant advantage for our graduates in both the policy world and when applying for PhD or JD programs.

Students are required to take Regression Analysis for Political Science I and II. Regression Analysis for Political Science (RAPS) I will teach students to conduct bivariate and multivariate linear regression models. Students will learn about analysis of variance, parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, interpretation of estimates, model fit, models with dummy variables, model predictions, model diagnostics, and basic data visualizations. 

3) To guide students in the production of a significant and publishable thesis.

4) to prepare students to enter the job market., for more information.

Please contact Mark Gardner , CMIST Graduate Program Manager.


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What Is The Difference Between A Thesis Or Non-Thesis Master’s Degree?

Students finished their masters

If you’re looking forward to enrolling in a master’s degree program, it helps to comprehend what a master’s thesis entails clearly. Some learners still can’t explain the primary difference between a non-thesis master’s degree and a thesis master’s degree. In this article, we help you understand the difference as we highlight other vital facts about the topic. So, let’s do this!

What Is a Master’s Thesis?

What is the length of a master’s thesis, structure and details in master’s thesis, why you should choose a master’s thesis program.

  • The Difference between Thesis and Non-Thesis Program

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Non-Thesis Master’s Program?

Thesis or non-thesis master’s degree faqs, make a decision today.

A master’s thesis is a lengthy and comprehensive scholarly paper that lets you dig deeper into your field of expertise and manifest your growth as a learner. Suppose you undertake a research-oriented degree; you will need to give your graduate school a thesis. That is the best way to portray your practical skills ahead of culmination.

For instance, if you are a psychology major, you might be asked to write a thesis showing the relationship between color and mood. Based on your program, your skills and ability will be weighed differently. It all depends on what the graduate school wants its students to have. The good thing is with the perfect thesis statement; you will have a chance to prove your statement or idea on paper, develop your argument, and come up with a masterpiece.

Your master thesis will be between 40 and 300 pages long, which doesn’t include the bibliography. Many factors can affect the actual length of your thesis for your master’s. For instance, your dissertation topic for masters and method of analysis will be used to determine the appropriate pages to write.

The examiner will ensure that students receive clear instructions on how to handle the thesis. Note that most of the time, you will have a period of two semesters to complete your thesis. Well, that’s enough time to meet all requirements.

Provided you are interested in writing a master’s thesis, it is advisable to develop the right topic early in your academic program. That way, you will have ample time to come up with great research questions so that you submit a top-quality project.

Would you like to know the structure and details of a master’s thesis? The structure is the basis of writing a master thesis that wins you not just a master’s degree but also scholarly recognition. Here’s the information on a relevant structure you need to follow:

  • The Summary: In this section, you must indicate your introduction alongside the research questions. Aside from the method of data collection and analysis, you also need to include the master’s degree paper finding and conclusion.
  • Introduction: In the introduction, you need to clarify the context of your research question. Don’t forget to mention the existing knowledge and previous research as well as your thesis question.
  • Theory: Your theory lets you mention what other individuals have to say about the same subject matter. This comes in handy when you are dealing with empirical research.
  • Method: In the method chapter, it is crucial to portray where your research, as well as the method, positions itself in the field of science. Don’t make your method chapter too long and descriptive.
  • Presentation of Data and Findings : Here is where you must indicate your findings from the data you had analyzed. You must show your examiners that you have a deep understanding of the requirements, such as the research question.
  • Discussion: Discuss your findings in plain language. You might want to relate your findings to the previous research to showcase your relevance throughout the project.
  • Summary and Implications : Now that you are ending the thesis for your masters, make sure you summarize your main points. Make it brief and clear. If you forgot to clarify something in your master’s degree paper, here is the right place to do that.

There are many reasons students need to write a master’s degree thesis. If you want to have the best learning experience and show that you are a smart graduate, then writing a dissertation for a master’s thesis is something you should embrace. More so, if you choose to write a thesis for masters:

  • You will have the rare chance of delving deeper into the field of research, becoming a student with an in-depth understanding of their course and career as a whole.
  • You will notice that most companies prefer students with thesis papers on their portfolios, and you can simply be one of them if you choose a thesis master.
  • It is the best way to indicate that you have gained adequate writing skills and possess an inborn willingness to learn.
  • Defending your thesis program shows that you have competitive critical thinking skills as well as public speaking skills.

The Difference Between Thesis and Non-Thesis Program

What’s the difference between thesis and non-thesis masters? Well, if you opt for a non-thesis program, you won’t have to write a lengthy, compressive research paper to attain the graduation requirements. Note that whether you choose a thesis or non-thesis master’s, at the end of your program, you will need to submit your final paper to show your critical thinking skills.

Also, if you go for a non-thesis program, your final project can either be a field experience or a capstone project. Those are the main differences you need to know about a master’s degree thesis and non-thesis program.

A thesis is a primary requirement in most fields of research. However, not all master’s programs will require you to complete a thesis. To be precise, some institutions or fields will let you choose between a thesis and a non-thesis master’s program. The same applies to a PhD; you can opt for PhD without a thesis (non-thesis PhD).

The pros of a non-thesis master’s program are not that strong. But they are still worth mentioning. The main advantage of a master’s degree without a thesis is that you:

  • You will have a smooth learning experience
  • You won’t have to spend time thinking about research skills.
  • You are free from conducting detailed research analysis and writing a lengthy project.

On the flip side:

  • A non-thesis master’s degree might not show you as a competent student.
  • Your employers might not be able to know whether you have the required communication and critical thinking skills.
  • Since you won’t have the chance to post your thesis on a scholarly website, your credibility would be hard to determine.

Does Every Master’s Degree Require a Thesis?

The shortest answer is a resounding no. Not all master’s degrees require a thesis. However, the institution will allow you to choose whether you would like your program to be a thesis or a non-thesis one. As we already mentioned, there are lots of benefits you can enjoy when you go for the thesis master’s program.

Aside from showing that you’ve got incredible analysis skills, writing a thesis shows that you are serious about your field of expertise. But if you don’t want to write a lengthy paper, then you have the freedom to avoid choosing a thesis master’s program. A master without a thesis is still worth it.

Do We Have Any Tips For Choosing A Program?

Yes! There are essential tips that can help you choose the best program. Here are some of them for your reference:

  • You should know where your passion lies: It is advisable not to pick a program because it is marketable. If you don’t like it, you won’t excel in it. If you have a strong passion for something, even if it is not quite interesting, you can thrive and earn good money from it.
  • Know your abilities : Some programs are so tough that only the most resilient students can complete them. If you are not willing to go beyond the limits trying to break the ice, you should not go for that program.
  • Know the duration of the program : Some programs only need two years to complete, while some will run for up to six years. Think about the time you have left to complete a course and make up your mind based on that.

How Long Does it Take to Write a Master’s Thesis?

There’s no specific time you need to complete your master’s thesis. It is all about your program and the type of school committee you are dealing with. We have already seen that in most cases, you will need to complete your master’s degree thesis in two semesters.

Some institutions might give you a shorter period or a more extended period. If you feel that you have a short deadline, it is better to begin your master’s degree dissertation as soon as possible. Even if you have six months or one year to write your thesis, you need to start early enough. Remember, the time might seem lengthy, but the thesis might be a lengthy and comprehensive one as well.

Now that you know the difference between a thesis and a non-thesis master’s degree, you can go ahead and make your decision today. But if you want to have the best learning experience and a rewarding outcome, you can order the professional thesis master’s help and receive the most helpful assistance for your dissertation.

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Home > ETD > Masters

Masters Theses

Submissions from 2023 2023.

Research in Onondaga Music: Challenges and Opportunities , Kristi Eve Adams

An Apologetic for the Reliability of Biblical Doctrine from Pornography Addiction and Recovery , Jacob A. Arrieta

Thesis Proposal and Project: The Cave , Jennifer Lee Bailey

Did Jesus Survive The Cross? , Christopher Dwayne Banks

The Blind Scientist: A Critique of Neo-Darwinism's A Priori Assumptions , Alexander James Bonitto

The Mirror: How Writing is the Reflection of an Author’s Emotions , Tamia Charón Ranae Branch

The Impact of Southern Baptist Worship Ministries on Denominational Effectiveness , Laura S. Brod

Ordination and Licensing of Ministers within the Assemblies of God: Doctrinal Conflict, Railroads, and Relationships , Kent Landon Butler

Writing for the Fantasy Genre through the Christian Worldview , Angelina Rose Butters

Worship in Modern-Day Society: Evaluating Music of Corporate Worship , Lindley Christine Cameron

Community Role Models and Their Influence on At-Risk-Youth , Eliab Charles Caudio

ALL WRITE ALREADY! Writing Across Curricula: An Instructional Tool in Theater and Dance , Lezlie R. Christian

An Abductive Argument for Christianity Being the Best Source for Morality , Michael Stephen Christopher

Cross-cultural Travel: A Study of How International Travel at a Young Age Impacts Communication Skills as an Adult , Allison Grace Clark

There Must Be More: God's Prescription for Living the Abundant Life , Rodney Gerald Coe

Auditory Development in Beginner Elementary Strings Classes , Lydia Y. Cooley

A Comparison of Sinaitic Language In Support Of Jewish Claims Concerning The Presence Of God In The Second Temple , Sally Cox

American Policy and Actions Surrounding the Baghdad Pact, 1955-1959 , Caitlin Curtis

The Atheistic Problem of Good , Bruce Leroy Davis

Songs of Sorrow, Hope, and Praise: Toward a Historical Analysis of Negro Spirituals , Hope Victoria Dornfeld

Change through Learning: Observing the Need and Benefits of a Multicultural Music Education through Applying Coursework about the Korean and Korean American Musical Diaspora , Austin Eamnarangkool

Music Educators as Worship Leaders: The Impact in Music Ministries Led by Music Educators , Patrick Robert Eckelkamp

Solving the Logical Problem of Evil using the Principles of Programming , Daniel Joel Edmond

Beauty and Modern Art: The Importance of Classically Educating Students about Beauty through Modern Art , Rebecca Brooke Edwards

Money People: An Examination of Wealthy Characters in Fiction , Morgan (Yeatts) Eley

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Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

College of engineering, master's thesis proposal: matteo trucchi.

Master's Thesis Proposal 

Matteo Trucchi

(Advisor: Prof. V. Yang)

"Internal Flow Dynamics in Liquid Swirl Injectors with Coaxial Gas Flow"

Wednesday, August 30 

Montgomery Knight Building 325

Injectors are essential components in aerospace propulsion systems, serving a crucial role in achieving high-quality propellant atomization and mixing, as well as engine stability. They are integral components within a complex dynamic system and are responsible for coupling the feed system to the combustion chamber. A profound understanding of injector dynamics is imperative to attain a robust engine design.

Since the early studies, the typical configurations of interest have involved closed-end and open-end swirl injectors. Both these designs feature a closed head-end where the liquid propellant tangentially enters the vortex chamber. Therefore, the liquid has only a tangential velocity component at the head-end, and gains axial velocity as it proceeds towards the combustion chamber. Previous theories rely on axisymmetric models for the swirling flow and do not account for the shear stress at the interface between the swirling liquid and the gaseous core, due to small relative velocity in the axial direction. Furthermore, past models introduce an artificial viscosity factor to account for oscillations damping.

This work proposes to conduct a theoretical and numerical study of an alternative configuration for open-end swirl injectors. The distinctive feature of this configuration is an open head, and a high speed gas flow that moves coaxially with the swirling flow towards the injector exit. The effect of shear stress at the gas-liquid and liquid-wall interfaces is taken into consideration. Thus, the wave equation for disturbance waves in the liquid flow will be modified, producing a new wave speed and an analytical damping or amplification factor. The theoretical impact on current models will be addressed. In addition, comprehensive and systematic numerical simulations will allow the computation of the injector transfer function for a range of oscillation frequencies 0-3000 Hz. The effect of gas flow velocity, pressure drop, and geometry variation will be investigated. Geometrical parameters of interest are vortex chamber diameter and length, number and diameter of inlet channels. Finally, numerical results will be compared to analytical findings.

• Prof. Vigor Yang – School of Aerospace Engineering (advisor) • Prof. Adam Steinberg – School of Aerospace Engineering • Prof. Joseph Oefelein – School of Aerospace Engineering

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Sept 5 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Anneliese von Eicken

Wednesday, August 30, 2023 | By jsteepe

Master of Science thesis defence in Biotechnology

Anneliese von Eicken, a Master of Science candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology, will defend her thesis titled “Characterization of Negeviruses and insect virome interactions during co-infection in cell culture” on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at 10:30 AM in WH147.

The examination committee includes Cheryl McCormick, Chair; Ian Patterson, Supervisor; Laura Brettell, External Examiner (University of Salford, UK); and Aleksandar Necakov and Jeffrey Atkinson, Committee Members.

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FMS News and Events   

  • Aug 30 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Amir Khalili Mahmoudabadi
  • Sept 5 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Anneliese von Eicken
  • Aug 17 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Marcelo Muniz Correa
  • Aug 10 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Connor M. Wilson
  • Aug 8 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Thomas Henley
  • July 28 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Alexander D. Orshinsky
  • July 31 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Fatemeh (Nanzanin) Hasheminejad
  • Debiasing should be Good and Bad: Measuring the Consistency of Debiasing Techniques in Language Models – Speaker: Robert Morabito
  • June 5 – PhD Thesis Defence – Charles Barraco
  • May 31 – PhD Thesis Defence – Hyun Suk (Leeko) Lee

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2022-2023 Penn 3MT Competition

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Penn 3MT is a university-sponsored competitive speaking competition designed to showcase graduate student research in three-minute talks to a general audience. This is a terrific opportunity for graduate students engaged in substantive original research to develop communication skills and share their work with faculty, students, and staff from across the University.

  • Research Communications Workshops : October - November 2022
  • Research Communications Workshops : January-February 2023
  • Practice and Feedback Sessions: January-February 2023
  • Video Submissions Due: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 Friday, February 24, 2023
  • Finalists announced: March 2023
  • In-person Competition : Friday, March 24, 2023, 2:00-4:30PM

In addition to bragging rights, a prize of $1000 will be awarded to the first-place winner and $500 to both the second-place and audience choice winners. Winners will also have the opportunity to participate in regional and national 3 Minute Thesis competitions!

To enter, students must fill out the interest form and submit a video of their three-minute talk to Penn 3MT (details below). From those submissions, finalists will be chosen to compete in the campus-wide, live competition in the Spring.

Research Communications Workshops Spring 2023

  • Presentation Basics | Tuesday, January 24, 12:00-1:15 PM
  • Presentation Anxiety | Friday, January 27, 12:00-1:15 PM
  • Powerpoint Basics | Monday, January 30, 12:00-1:15 PM
  • Data Visualization | Monday, February 14, 1:30-2:45 PM
  • Research Poster Design | Wednesday, February 1, 12:00-1:00 PM
  • De-jargon Your Research | Monday, February 6, 1:00-2:00 PM
  • Using Storytelling & Analogies | Thursday, February 9, 12:00-1:00 PM
  • Make it Shorter | Tuesday, February 14, 12:00-1:00 PM
  • Engaging Elevator Pitches | TBD
  • Presentation Basics | Monday, October 3, 10:00-11:30 AM
  • Data Visualization | Wednesday, October 12, 1:00-2:00 PM
  • Presentation Anxiety | Tuesday, October 18, 2:00-3:30 PM
  • De-jargon Your Research | Monday, October 24, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • Using Storytelling & Analogies | Thursday, October 27, 12:00-1:00 PM
  • Pop Talks | Monday, October 31, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Powerpoint Basics | Monday, November 7, 10:00-11:30 AM
  • Engaging Elevator Pitches | Wednesday, November 16, 4:00-5:00 PM

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a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.

a subject for a composition or essay.

a dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.

Music . the downward stroke in conducting; downbeat. : Compare arsis (def. 1) .

a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress.

(less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus. : Compare arsis (def. 2) .

Philosophy . See under Hegelian dialectic .

Origin of thesis

Word story for thesis, other words for thesis, words that may be confused with thesis.

  • 1. antithesis , synthesis , thesis
  • 2. dissertation , thesis

Words Nearby thesis

  • shit will hit the fan, the
  • shoe is on the other foot, the
  • short end of the stick, the
  • The show must go on
  • thesis play
  • thesis statement
  • Sketch Book, The
  • Skin of Our Teeth, The
  • sky's the limit, the

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use thesis in a sentence

“The Saudis have been proving the thesis of the film — they do in fact have an army,” said Thor Halvorssen, founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which funded the movie.

It’s a hypothesis that Bush pursued in her master’s thesis , and last year she began attending virtual Goth parties in a final round of field work before defending her doctoral thesis later this year.

While this partnership was planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak, co-founder Jordana Kier said the pandemic instantly proved out the expansion thesis .

They’ve had to defend that thesis for a very, very long time in front of a variety of different customers and different people.

Over the past decade, In-Q-Tel has been one of the most active investors in the commercial space sector, with a broad investment thesis that touches many aspects of the sector.

In “Back Home,” Gil also revisits the nostalgia for the South explored in his Johns Hopkins thesis , “Circle of Stone.”

At least father and son were in alignment on this central thesis : acting “gay”—bad; being thought of as gay—bad.

Her doctoral thesis , says Ramin Takloo at the University of Illinois, was simply outstanding.

Marshall McLuhan long ago argued the now accepted thesis that different mediums have different influences on thinking.

He wrote his Master's thesis  on the underrepresentation of young people in Congress.

And indeed for most young men a college thesis is but an exercise for sharpening the wits, rarely dangerous in its later effects.

It will be for the reader to determine whether the main thesis of the book has gained or lost by the new evidence.

But the word thesis , when applied to Systems, does not mean the 'position' of single notes, but of groups of notes.

This conclusion, it need hardly be said, is in entire agreement with the main thesis of the preceding pages.

Sundry outlying Indians, with ammunition to waste, took belly and knee rests and strengthened the thesis to the contrary.

British Dictionary definitions for thesis

/ ( ˈθiːsɪs ) /

a dissertation resulting from original research, esp when submitted by a candidate for a degree or diploma

a doctrine maintained or promoted in argument

a subject for a discussion or essay

an unproved statement, esp one put forward as a premise in an argument

music the downbeat of a bar, as indicated in conducting

(in classical prosody) the syllable or part of a metrical foot not receiving the ictus : Compare arsis

philosophy the first stage in the Hegelian dialectic, that is challenged by the antithesis

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for thesis

The central idea in a piece of writing, sometimes contained in a topic sentence .

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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  1. 💯How I did write A+ Thesis 📚

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  1. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master's program or a capstone to a bachelor's degree. Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation, it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete.

  2. What Is A Master's Thesis?

    Your thesis is the sum of all of your learned knowledge from your master's program and gives you a chance to prove your capabilities in your chosen field. A thesis also involves a significant amount of research, and depending on the subject, may require you to conduct interviews, surveys and gather primary and secondary resources.

  3. Choosing Between a Thesis & Non-Thesis Master's Degree

    What is a Master's Thesis? The master's thesis is an original piece of scholarship allowing the student to dig into a topic and produce an expanded document that demonstrates how their knowledge has grown throughout the degree program.

  4. PDF What is a Master's Thesis?

    What is a Master's Thesis? A master's thesis is a piece of original scholarship written under the direction of a faculty advisor. A master's thesis is similar to a doctoral dissertation, but it is generally shorter and more narrowly focused.

  5. Developing A Thesis

    Developing A Thesis Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you.

  6. Guide to Writing Your Thesis/Dissertation : Graduate School

    The dissertation or thesis is a scholarly treatise that substantiates a specific point of view as a result of original research that is conducted by students during their graduate study. At Cornell, the thesis is a requirement for the receipt of the M.A. and M.S. degrees and some professional master's degrees.

  7. Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples

    This article collects a list of undergraduate, master's, and PhD theses and dissertations that have won prizes for their high-quality research. Note As you read the examples below, bear in mind that all universities have their own guidelines for writing theses and dissertations.

  8. Master's Thesis Program Overview

    Master's Thesis Program Overview . The thesis program provides an opportunity for independent research in a given area of Industrial Engineering. Pursuing the thesis option allows a student to extensively probe a topic of interest under the supervision of a faculty supervisor (research advisor). Generally, pursuing a thesis allows for the ...

  9. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.

  10. Thesis vs Non-Thesis

    Thesis programs involve more research than non-thesis programs. It is important to keep in mind that nearly all master's degrees require some form of research as part of their course of study. Thesis degree programs typically take longer to complete than non-thesis programs, as students are required to dedicate multiple semesters to focus on ...

  11. How to Write a Master's Thesis (with Pictures)

    A Master's Thesis will be the most prominent piece of your graduate work up to this point, and a pertinent thesis question that forms the spine of this work elevates it from the prosaic to the significant. Part 1 Choosing a Topic 1 Think about the objectives of writing a thesis.

  12. Master's vs PhD

    The two most common types of graduate degrees are master's and doctoral degrees: A master's is a 1-2 year degree that can prepare you for a multitude of careers. A PhD, or doctoral degree, takes 3-7 years to complete (depending on the country) and prepares you for a career in academic research. A master's is also the necessary first ...

  13. Master's Thesis Research

    Master's Thesis Research. Prereq: All course work toward the degree must be completed. Note: Registration for this course is not available via telephone (UK-VIP) or webUK. For enrollment information contact the Graduate School at 257-4905. Half-time to full-time work on thesis. May be repeated to a maximum of six semesters.

  14. How to Write Your Masters Thesis for Graduate School

    Last Updated: June 02, 2023 Find your school Advertisement Choose Degree IN Choose Subject Find Schools Sponsored With a majority of Master's programs, graduation is earned after the submission of a Thesis. There are Master's degrees that do not require a Thesis in the areas of Management.

  15. Thesis

    Structure and presentation style Cover page to Søren Kierkegaard 's university thesis (1841). A thesis (or dissertation) may be arranged as a thesis by publication or a monograph, with or without appended papers, respectively, though many graduate programs allow candidates to submit a curated collection of articles.

  16. How to Write a Master's Thesis: A Guide to Planning Your Thesis

    Part 1: Initial Considerations Who Needs to Write a Master's Thesis? Thesis writing is one of the more daunting challenges of higher education. That being said, not all master's students have to write a thesis.

  17. Types of Theses > Master's Thesis > Graduate

    The project thesis consists of two elements: (1) the project, a professional activity designed and executed primarily by the student as a way of solving a problem, and (2) an accompanying essay about the project. This thesis is especially appropriate for students in such fields as business, education, social work or public administration.

  18. MIT Theses

    MIT's DSpace contains more than 58,000 theses completed at MIT dating as far back as the mid 1800's. Theses in this collection have been scanned by the MIT Libraries or submitted in electronic format by thesis authors. Since 2004 all new Masters and Ph.D. theses are scanned and added to this collection after degrees are awarded.

  19. Graduate Biology M.S. Program

    Thesis Masters: Requires 32 credit hours, including at least 8 hours of research (or 6 h of research and 6 h of internship) and 20 hours of coursework. It is possible to complete the degree in one year, but most likely will take 2 years. NON-THESIS OPTION

  20. Master of Science in International Relations and Politics (MS IRP)

    CMIST Masters of Science in International Relations and Politics graduate degree - major, curriculum. ... A third goal is to guide students in the production of a significant thesis. A mini semester course, Thesis Proposal Tutorial, is devoted to improving intentionality in formulating a thesis proposal. This course will familiarize students ...

  21. Deciding Between a Thesis & Non-Thesis Master's Degree

    A master's thesis is a lengthy and comprehensive scholarly paper that lets you dig deeper into your field of expertise and manifest your growth as a learner. Suppose you undertake a research-oriented degree; you will need to give your graduate school a thesis. That is the best way to portray your practical skills ahead of culmination.

  22. Masters Theses

    Thesis Proposal and Project: The Cave, Jennifer Lee Bailey. PDF. Did Jesus Survive The Cross?, Christopher Dwayne Banks. PDF. The Blind Scientist: A Critique of Neo-Darwinism's A Priori Assumptions, Alexander James Bonitto. PDF. The Mirror: How Writing is the Reflection of an Author's Emotions, Tamia Charón Ranae Branch. PDF

  23. OATD

    OATD.org aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. Metadata (information about the theses) comes from over 1100 colleges, universities, and research institutions . OATD currently indexes 6,654,285 theses and dissertations. About OATD (our FAQ).

  24. Master's Thesis Proposal: Matteo Trucchi

    Abstract. Injectors are essential components in aerospace propulsion systems, serving a crucial role in achieving high-quality propellant atomization and mixing, as well as engine stability. They are integral components within a complex dynamic system and are responsible for coupling the feed system to the combustion chamber.

  25. Graduate Thesis Sparks Attention in Water Research

    The American Water Works Association named UNLV engineering graduate Padmanabhan 'Pad' Krishnaswamy's master's thesis the best in the nation. Krishnaswamy explored the emergence of disinfection byproducts in wastewater, specifically during the pandemic. This groundbreaking research not only raised awareness about byproducts in our wastewater, but also provided valuable insight for water ...

  26. Sept 5

    Master of Science thesis defence in Biotechnology. Anneliese von Eicken, a Master of Science candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology, will defend her thesis titled "Characterization of Negeviruses and insect virome interactions during co-infection in cell culture" on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at 10:30 AM in WH147.

  27. 2022-2023 Penn 3MT Competition

    Finalists announced: March 2023. In-person Competition: Friday, March 24, 2023, 2:00-4:30PM. In addition to bragging rights, a prize of $1000 will be awarded to the first-place winner and $500 to both the second-place and audience choice winners. Winners will also have the opportunity to participate in regional and national 3 Minute Thesis ...

  28. Thesis Definition & Meaning

    Thesis definition, a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war. See more.