Department of Environmental Sciences

Thesis Research Proposal for MS Students

    All full-time, thesis-track MS graduate students are required to submit a thesis research proposal, after approval by their entire thesis committee, to the departmental Graduate Adviser by no later than the end of the seventh week of their second semester (or the end of Summer Session I if they started in the Spring). The thesis proposal should include the following sections:

            1.         Tentative thesis title.

            2.         List of thesis committee members.

3.         Statement of the problem, including a background discussion with a review of the pertinent literature.

4.         Statement of objectives, including a list of specific objectives to be achieved by the research and, when appropriate, the formulation of a testable hypothesis.

5.         Description of the methodology to be employed, including the specific field and/or laboratory techniques or activities, and also a timeline for when the various stages of the research will be completed.

6.         Expected results, including the specific outcomes that are anticipated from the research.

7.         References cited.

    The thesis proposal should be typed and double-spaced, and normally should not exceed ten pages. Although students have until the middle of their second semester to submit an approved proposal, it is strongly recommended that they form their thesis committee and start working on the proposal in their first semester, and endeavor to complete the proposal early in their second semester. It should be understood that the approved thesis proposal constitutes an agreement between a student and his/her thesis committee. Its purpose is not only to help students finish their degrees within two years, but also prevent misunderstandings between a student and their thesis committee over what the research work does and does not include.

    Continued financial support for a student is contingent upon their making good academic progress in their program of study, and submitting an approved research proposal by the required date is part of the expected progress. It is also expected that faculty research advisers will make all reasonable efforts to see that their students adhere to this requirement. 

    This policy will be applied to all students entering the graduate program beginning in Fall 2007. 

Lupines at Kitty Todd PreserveDES Ph.D. student Todd CrailCinnamon Ferns at Kitty Todd Preserve


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