Master Thesis/Project Planning
The selection of a master thesis project or a non-thesis topic is extremely important as it sets the stage for your career. You should give serious thoughts in choosing right project or topic and discuss your interests with as many faculty members as possible to gain a broad perspective. You will find your faculty advisor knowledgeable and willing to offer excellent suggestions and advice regarding an appropriate project topic.
You should review literature related to your interests which include research papers, reports, and other pertinent information as relevant to your filed. You should also carefully review completed master theses to understand the skill, knowledge, and thought processes needed to complete a graduate level research project.
Students must select a supervisor during the first semester, before they register in the second semester. After the project advisor is selected, you may register on-line for a master project or master thesis section. You will need to see your project advisor to obtain the thesis and/or project section number.
Master Thesis/Project Committee
You and your advisor will jointly select your master project committee. A project/thesis committee should be comprised of at least three faculty members, one of whom should be the project/thesis advisor who will also serve as the chair of the committee. At least two members of the committee must be from the student’s department and the third person may be from outside the department. External committee member should have terminal degree from ABET accredited Science, Engineering, Technology programs (or graduate degree with extensive industry experience). External committee member selection should be agreed by your project advisor and other committee members of your project.
Once your committee has been selected, you should request Departmental and College for approval of the committee. Complete the Appointment of Thesis/Project Committee form (M.S. Prjoect/Thesis Committee Appointment Form (PDF), or, M.S. in Training & Development Thesis Committee Appointment Form (PDF)) and submit a copy to your department Chair and the College Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. Once all signatures have been obtained, a copy should be submitted to the graduate advisor. If you are working on a Master Thesis, you may proceed with scheduling a thesis proposal defense meeting (optional) as soon as the committee has been approved.
Thesis Proposal Defense (Optional)
Meet informally with the thesis committee and each committee member to get direction for and assistance with the development of the thesis topic and proposal. You and the committee chair jointly determine when a thesis proposal defense meeting should be called to formalize the thesis proposal. To avoid any misunderstanding, you should not proceed with the research until the thesis topic and proposal have been approved by the thesis committee.
Request and schedule a proposal defense meeting which is agreeable to all members of the committee. You should provide a copy of the thesis proposal to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting.
A meeting will not be considered official if the thesis proposal is not distributed as prescribed or if less than three committee members are present at the proposal defense. The outcome of the proposal defense meeting should be clear to you as well as to committee members. The proposal will be accepted, accepted with modification, or rejected. Once the proposal is accepted and you begin writing, you should work closely with thesis committee throughout writing the thesis to receive feedback and stay on track.
Thesis Defense and Project Presentation
When a consensus has been reached by you and your master project advisor that your project is finished and you are ready to present and/or defend your project, your advisor will instruct you to schedule a project presentation or thesis defense meeting. The project presentation or thesis defense meeting should be at a time when all committee members can be present. You must distribute the project report to all committee members at least two weeks in advance of the project presentation meeting, or distribute the thesis to all committee members at least three weeks in advance of the thesis defense meeting.
The project presentation and/or defense meeting will be open to the university community. All committee members must be in attendance at the project presentation and/or defense. The outcome of the project presentation and/or thesis defense meeting should be clear to you. Timelines should be established for the final thesis copy to be submitted for committee approval. You should refer to the University academic calendar for deadlines to submit the final draft of your project report or submitting electronically the final draft of the thesis
Once the committee has approved the final draft of the project report and/or thesis, one copy of the unbound project report and/or thesis must be submitted to the College of Technology, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. This must be done at least two weeks prior to the deadline for submitting the electronic thesis. You should submit your approved signature page to the graduate advisor. After final approval by the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, the thesis can be uploaded electronically.