A thesis, sponsored by the Master's Committee, must be completed. The thesis is a research project involving the collection and analysis of original data or the original analysis of existing data.
- Master's proposal meeting
All M.A. candidates must hold a committee meeting to discuss a written thesis proposal. A written proposal must be given to all Committee members a full week before the meeting. A proposal should include a selected literature review of the research problem and a detailed presentation of the questions to be evaluated, the methods to be employed, and a discussion of data analysis and interpretation.
- Master's defense meeting
All M.A. candidates must hold an oral defense meeting which covers both the thesis manuscript and the field of study. The oral presentation may be attended by interested students and faculty, in addition to the student and his/her Committee, although the Committee may recess for private discussions at any time. All decisions are the sole responsibility of the Committee and all members of the Committee must attend the oral defense. The oral defense tests comprehension of the thesis, evaluates the quality of its execution, and probes the candidate's understanding of the work's relevance to broader issues in psychology. There are two separate decisions made: passing the student on the defense and approval of the written thesis. Even with approval, revisions of the written document may be required.
The oral exam is not to be scheduled until the major professor has approved the thesis. Complete copies of the thesis must be distributed to all Committee members at least ten (10) days prior to the oral defense. Students should never plan to have their final defense in the summer, since scheduling is almost always very difficult.
Students must schedule the oral defense by contacting Connie Ogle (312C) at least one week prior to the requested defense date. Ms. Ogle will prepare the Pass/Fail form, which will be given to the Committee Chair on the day of the defense. All members of the Committee must sign this form at the time of the defense. After the defense, the Pass/Fail form should be returned to Ms. Ogle for recording and forwarding to The Graduate School. Students who fail an exam may be allowed to retake the exam, at the discretion of the Master's Committee. It is the responsibility of all students to follow current Graduate School policy and be sure that all forms, scheduling, signatures, etc. have been submitted or carried out.