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Master’s Thesis Information About Writing a Thesis

Note: A brief slide deck introducing myself to prospective thesis students can be downloaded from here.


Writing a Master’s Thesis is an opportunity to work independently – with guidance – on a research project that you design.

Fundamentally, the thesis process consists of carefully developing a research question that has not yet been addressed by other researchers and a plan for systematically addressing the question.

(Note: In a world of 7.6 billion people, different researchers often address the same or similar research questions. However, because different researchers use different research designs and/or different data sets, each is addressing the research question in a novel way. I include this point here because it is often a concern for new thesis writers).

The most efficient approach to writing a Master’s Thesis in a One Year Program of Study is to develop a Thesis Proposal¬†in the first semester, and to write the Thesis in the second semester….


First Semester: THESIS PROPOSAL

In the first semester [Master Thesis 1 (A)], the focus is on developing a Thesis Proposal which consists of the following components:

1. Tentative title
2. Research problem
2. Definition of terms
2. Background of the problem

3. Research methods
3. Research limitations

X. Tentative work schedule
Y. Working bibliography

  • Numbers above correspond to Thesis¬†chapters written in the second semester.
  • The Thesis Proposal is written in just four months, from April through July. This means that you need to work consistently every week on your Thesis Proposal or you will not be able to finish by the July 12th Thesis Proposal presentation deadline.

Second Semester: THESIS

In the second semester [Master Thesis 1 (B)] the focus is on writing a Thesis which consists of the following chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Research Methods and Limitations
  4. Findings
  5. Conclusion
  • A typical Thesis is at least 50 A-4 pages of [double spaced] text (not including front matter and any appendices).
  • The Thesis is written in just four months from September through the third week of December. This means that you need to work consistently every week on your Thesis, or you will not be able to finish by the December 17th internal deadline.
  • It is true that the deadline for submitting the Thesis to the Program Office is in the second week of January. However, an internal deadline is required so your Professor has enough time to carefully read and determine that your Thesis is suitable for submission!

Prospective students who would like to learn more about the thesis process are encouraged to carefully read this document.