If electing the non-thesis option, the student must take the comprehensive examination (Review II). For those who choose to do a thesis, the formal assessment will be a comprehensive examination that will focus on areas of knowledge that are most relevant to the student’s thesis topic. The student and his/her committee will determine the content of this examination. In general, the format will depart from the traditional comprehensive examination format in that it will focus on in-depth reading and writing directly related to the student's thesis topic rather than on the student's mastery of previously learned core information.
By the end of the fourth semester, each student must satisfy a scholarly product requirement (Review I). This requirement can be met in one of two ways: students could submit a research study to a refereed journal; or submit a proposal for a presentation at an annual conference of a national or local organization. The student must be primarily responsible for conceptualizing, carrying out, and reporting the results in both of these options. The student is responsible for obtaining approval of the product from his or her master's committee.
Thesis Proposals and Defenses
If electing the thesis option, and after successfully completing Review I (i.e., satisfying the scholarly product requirement), students can then submit a thesis proposal to their master's committee and submit the accompanying "Thesis Prospectus" form to the Graduate College. The master's committee will meet and determine whether to accept or reject the prospectus. A prospectus can be accepted provisionally given that the student follows the committee's suggestions in the thesis. Upon completion of the full thesis, a defense will be scheduled. This defense will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with the Graduate College's policies for thesis and thesis completion.