dcsimg

Your Master's Thesis

The Masters Thesis

At one time a thesis was the traditional finishing touch for a master's degree program. They are mini-versions of a doctoral thesis and for degrees that still require a thesis the student will need a faculty advisor, a thesis committee to hear defense of the completed product and a formal outline to be approved by the committee and advisor(s).

Some of the master's programs that are popular today continue to include a thesis in the curriculum. Several of the Master's in Education M.Ed. options available today include thesis projects or a "master's paper" that is less formal than a thesis but similar in scope.

The thesis lives on in many master's programs today including online degree programs that are academically oriented as opposed to advanced training degrees such as the Master of Science in Nursing. Graduate programs in that category usually have a substantial number of hours devoted to a "practicum," or clinical learning hours spent in the workplace under supervision. It's a concept similar to student teaching. Also today, many master's degree programs substitute what is called a "capstone project" for a thesis.

Capstone Projects

MBA programs are an excellent example. A thesis is at least nominally designed to contribute original research and scholarly work to the academic field of study. Business students at the master's level are studying to be businessmen, Wall Street traders, bankers and corporate marketers. They are not in programs which lend themselves to scholarly research. So a typical MBA program will require a capstone project instead, which often consists of working with a local corporation on a strategic business plan with a defined goal. Most accredited online MBA programs include capstone projects in the curriculum as well.

Some online EMBA programs will incorporate a residency requirement wherein students are embedded in a corporate environment for a week or more and charged with completing a project on site, working with corporate management. For global EMBA programs the residency may be a placement in a foreign country. Some of these programs also offer an independent research option allowing EMBA students to incorporate a project involving their profession into the curriculum.

The Practicum

Students in a graduate nursing program or who are in a graduate program designed to lead to a teaching degree spend hundreds of hours closing out their studies by activities in a professional environment while working under supervision. Those who are studying in the social sciences will find that a Master's in Social Work requires a minimum of 900 hours of "field work," which is the same concept - supervised working hours in a professional environment which is similar to workplace environments the students will confront after graduation. For positions such as the MSW and the Marriage and Family Therapist, most states require thousands of additional hours of clinical work after completion of the master's program and prior to licensure.

Closing out the Master's Degree

These examples present a range of the types of completion projects associated with various master's degree programs. The thesis is the most traditional, but graduate students today put just as many hours into required projects for completion of other degrees that are designed to train students in specific job skills. The growth of graduate degrees in professions that once required only an associate's or bachelor's degree or perhaps an apprenticeship of sorts has led to a more inclusive definition of what constitutes a valid completion effort for a graduate degree.

Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Communications@Simmons prepares students to become leaders who achieve their organizational, professional, and personal goals through a strategic integration of communications theory and practice.
            • The rigorous, practice-based curriculum ensures that students develop the key skills and competencies necessary to successfully navigate the shifting landscape of the digital world.
            • Simmons’ faculties are scholars and practitioners who provide individualized attention to students, guiding their professional and personal development through hands-on engagement.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses

            Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

            You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

            • Online Courses
            • Master of Science in Communications offered online through Syracuse University’s world-renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications.
            • Ranked among the Best Global Universities in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Specializations include Advertising, Public Relations, and Journalism Innovation.
            • Coursework provides students with communication strategies for today’s changing media landscape.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses

            See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

            Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

            • Online Courses
            Good for Working Adults
            • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
            • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
            • Equipped with over 17,000 titles in their library.
            • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
            • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits

            Change the World with American University

            Be a part of something bigger than yourself. At American University, we strive to help you develop your professional interests and indulge in your passion for making a difference. Our online degree programs allow you to gain the advanced skills for active leadership in a variety of fields.

            Set Yourself Apart at American University

            At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We're defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.

            • Online Courses

            Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School has brought the philosophy of business with humanity in mind to a part time format. Now offering several degrees to the part-time student, students can now become business leaders at this nationally recognized institution in as little as 2.5 years.

            • Online Courses
            • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
            • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses