Master’s Thesis Option
Part of the strength of Towson's PRWR program lies in the creativity and flexibility which the program allows its candidates. A thesis may take many forms to reflect the differing professional interests of the students.
In every case, a thesis should be a significant, substantive, original, representation of the culmination of your work in the PRWR program. A thesis counts for six graduate credits
Thesis Length A thesis should be no fewer than 50 pages of significant, original work. The length of your thesis, of course, needs to be discussed with and approved by your thesis advisor.
Thesis Advisor You should choose a thesis advisor who is familiar with your work, and whose field of expertise complements your thesis. Together, you and your thesis advisor will select the two additional members of your thesis committee.
Thesis Proposal Your proposal of 3-4 pages (typewritten, double-spaced) must be reviewed first by the faculty member with whom you will be working, then submitted to your thesis committee for final approval. The following are to be included in the proposal:
- A statement of need, which establishes a rationale for the proposed thesis and the audience toward whom it will be directed. The statement of need will consist of one or more of the following as they are applicable to your specific project:
- a review of the literature relevant to the question you propose to explore
- research for your finished product
- a description of your projected work and its genre, as well as documentation of your previous experience in this or a related genre.
- A statement of purpose or objectives, which clearly focuses your idea and tells exactly what you expect to accomplish. The scope of your topic should be made clear in this section.
- An outline of the projected thesis, which gives readers a preliminary plan for the project and an estimated time table.
Progress Report When your proposal is approved, you must then establish with your thesis director a schedule of monthly meetings at which you will present written progress reports. The thesis option differs both from a traditional course or directed reading in that your director, in commenting on your work, will function in a purely advisory capacity. You are ultimately responsible for content, organization, and style. The Thesis Defense When you and your director agree that your work has reached a satisfactory conclusion; you should apply, in writing, to the thesis committee for a defense committee (consisting of two members from the PRWR faculty and one outside member appointed by the Graduate School) and a defense date. Your application must be accompanied by four copies of your thesis, executed in the stylistic format your director has deemed appropriate for your project. The deadline for submission to the graduate thesis committee is April 1st for May graduation, and November 1st for January. Any revisions required by your defense committee must be made before your thesis can be considered completed and the six credits for which you applied entered on your transcript.
Graduate School Requirements You are responsible for meeting all the requirements of the Graduate School. Check the Graduate School's guidelines for thesis here for the regulations regarding deadlines for filing for graduation, and the procedures for defending your thesis
Clearly, the thesis option is considerably more arduous than the six hours of course-work it replaces. It demands a well- articulated project sufficiently compelling to sustain solitary effort over a substantial period of time. Since unforeseen obstacles can delay the completion of a thesis, which in turn will delay your degree, we strongly urge you to consider this option's drawbacks as well as its rewards.