Key points of Your Thesis

After completing sufficient units in within your degree program (See your advisor for required units.), the student electing to write a thesis will need to enroll in the Thesis Seminar. Students write their theses in consultation with their major professor who may use the help of another faculty member as a second reader. Any professor has the right to refuse a student the privilege of writing a thesis in that department if the student’s work in the department has been inferior.

Proposing Your Thesis

  1. Craft the Proposal (normally during the December or January Semester):
  2. Meet with supervisor to discuss initial thoughts for the thesis and receive guidance on the topic and process;
  3. Be familiar with the thesis proposal application;
  4. Begin to read in the area and identify a particular area of interest;
  5. Identify the thesis statement, potential basic argument, outline of the thesis, and bibliography;
  6. Submit the proposal with adequate lead time to allow the supervisor to review the proposal prior to the March 20th deadline.
  7. Submit the thesis proposal to the Registrar no later than March 20th of the academic year prior to the writing of the thesis. A thesis proposal may be submitted at any time, but to ensure beginning to write in the fall semester the proposal must be submitted by March 20th. The faculty will review thesis proposals at their May meeting. The faculty may accept the proposal with or without revisions, or may reject the proposal. Usually the faculty will find areas that need some revision before writing can begin. If the March 20th deadline is not met, the faculty will not consider the proposal until their September meeting, the deadline for that meeting being March 20th.
  8. Register for the thesis in the following (normally fall) semester (if proposal approved).

N.B. The thesis must be completed within two semesters (with the possibility of a one-semester extension).

Organization of Theses, Summative Papers, and Projects:

Theses, summative papers, and projects constitute academic writing and must conform to the normal standards of academic writing. The Academic Regulations cite certain requirements concerning format (see below).

The following is the order in which the elements of the thesis are to be placed:

 1st Signed Acceptance sheet (for archival copy only)*
2nd Title Page*
3rd  Abstract (no more than one page)
4th Table of Contents*
5th Preface
6th Text* (divided into at least three Chapters or Sections)
7th Appendices (if any)
8th Bibliography*
9th Indices
10th Curriculum Vitae

*Items are mandatory.

In all matters of presentation, the work should conform to the standards of the current edition of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations edited by Kate L. Turabian. This includes headings, capitalization, block quotations, and the like. References may be in in-text or footnote format, not endnote format.

Researching and Writing Your Thesis

  1. One semester is devoted to reading, writing, and submitting the initial draft of each chapter to the first reader (supervisor). The thesis is to be 15,000 to 20,000 words and is worth 4 subjects.
  2. The completed draft of the thesis manuscript should be submitted to the first reader by January 31.
  3. The month of February should be dedicated to further revisions and rewriting, as indicated by the first reader.
  4. By March 1, submit three copies of the final thesis manuscript to the Office of the Academic Dean. A copy will be forwarded to the first reader, the second reader, and chair.

N.B. Students unable to meet these deadlines may request one extension of one semester to complete the thesis. The student will have convocation in May of the following year.

Defending Your Thesis

  1. The Registrar, in consultation with the first reader, second reader and chair (Academic Dean or Designate), will schedule the oral defence sometime between March 15 and the last day of class for the winter semester. Guests may attend as observers, with permission from the first reader.
  2. In this meeting you will be called upon to orally defend what you have written in your thesis. The meeting will be chaired by the Academic Dean or designate. You will be asked to give a short presentation (10-15 minutes) summarizing the basic argument and conclusions of your thesis. Then questions will be asked by both the first and second readers. You will be given an opportunity for a closing statement. Expect the defence to last about 1- 1½ hours.
  3. You and any guests will leave the room and the readers will evaluate your thesis based on both written and oral components. The committee will recommend one of five outcomes:
  4. Pass – with or without minor corrections;
  5. Pass – with minor revisions;
  6. Pass – with major revisions* – with specified time limit for resubmission;
  7. Pass – with major revisions* – with specified time limit for resubmission and new defence;
  8. Fail – with no option of rewrite.

Once the committee has come to a resolution on evaluation you will be invited back into the room to hear the result.

 * Students who receive the outcome of “Pass – with major revisions” will normally not have convocation until May of the following year, provided thesis is successfully completed (and/or defended as required). N.B. Students should ensure they have time set aside between the defence and the final date for grade submission in order to make corrections and/or revisions (whether minor or major); these must be made in order to graduate.