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 & World Report.
            • Designated as a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Houses one of the largest library systems in the Pacific Northwest, with 3 libraries on the Pullman campus and a library at each regional campus.
            • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
            • Has 5 Washington campuses in Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • 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.
            • Online Courses
            MSW@Denver , Online

            MSW@Denver is an online Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW). With a focus on social justice and a concentration in Mental Health and Trauma, MSW@Denver is designed to prepare you to make an impact working with individuals, families, groups and communities. GSSW faculty will teach you actionable skills so you can create change in your community. The program includes live, online classes and internships in your community.

            • Online Courses
            • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a 2017 Military Friendly School by GI Jobs and Victory Media.
            • 13:1 student-faculty ratio, with an average class size of 21.
            • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Good for Working Adults
            • Loyola gives you an edge for an exciting career & an education for a fulfilling life
            • Accredited by the SACSCOC with a 10:1 student-faculty ratio & 5 distinct colleges
            • #10 Best Regional Universities of the South U.S. News and World Report
            • Top 20 Fulbright Producer in 2015-2016 w/ a 20% application acceptance rate in 2017
            • Programs in musical theatre, digital filmmaking, chemistry, business, & more!
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Ranked #20 in the Top Public Schools in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Ranked among the Top 50 Schools for Entrepreneurship Programs in 2014 by The Princeton Review.
            • Ranked among America’s Top Colleges in 2013 by Forbes.
            • Offers over 90 undergraduate majors across 10 colleges, with numerous programs ranked among the top programs by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Has famous alumni such as Sergey Brin the co-founder of Google, Kevin Blank the Founder of Under Armour Athletic Gear, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits

            There is no more exciting time to be part of the renowned Tulane School of Social Work or of the intriguing city of New Orleans than at this moment. Fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education and ranked in the top 20 schools of social work in the country, Tulane School of Social Work offers a "clinical-community" curriculum based on relationship-centered practice. 

            • Online Courses
            Good for Working Adults

            Anna Maria College is a private, not-for-profit, Catholic liberal arts institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Founded by the Sisters of Saint Anne in 1946, AMC's programs integrate liberal education and professional preparation that reflect the respect for liberal arts and sciences education grounded in the traditions of the Sisters of Saint Anne—educational innovation, service to others, and access to a quality education for all.

            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Christian-based business program. 15+ specialization options. ACBSP accredited.
            • 60+ undergraduate & graduate degree options in Liberty School of Business.
            • 2014 Best for Vets Business School by Military Times.
            • MBA program ranked Best Buy Online MBA Regional Program by GetEducated.com.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits

            The University of Scranton has grounded its education in Catholic and Jesuit principles based on intellectual growth and integrity, all of which shape the online master’s and certificate programs. You can choose one of five degree programs from a selective institution ranked among the top 10 master’s universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report.

            • Online Courses