- Review of the Literature
- Master's Thesis Seminar
- Thesis Proposal
- Thesis and Defense
Review of the Literature, CORE-GG 2115 / K70.2115
Before starting the thesis, you are required to conduct an independent study—usually with your adviser— in which you find, read and critique a substantial body of previous scholarship related to your thesis topic. The required work for Review of the Literature is a critical essay and a bibliography. The aim of the essay is to identify the categories of pertinent studies, report on major concepts, theories, debates, trends, and gaps in the field, and place the thesis topic in relation to earlier work. You may take the Review of the Literature before the Master's Thesis Seminar as a way of exploring the broad literatures in your field or topic, and use it as a way of defining a researchable question for the thesis. It is also possible to do the Review of the Literature simultaneously with Thesis Seminar when you are fairly clear about the research question, and feel confident that you can develop a thesis proposal while reading within your defined field. You may also take the Review after the Thesis Seminar when you already have a well-developed research question and want to dig deeply into the specific literatures related to that question.
Master’s Thesis Seminar, CORE-GG 2225 / K70.2225
After you have completed the majority of the elective credits, and you have begun to formulate a reasonably clear conception of the thesis, you should take the Master ’s Thesis Seminar. This course takes you through the stages of writing the thesis proposal: defining the field of research, formulating the problem, developing a bibliography, choosing an appropriate research methodology, gathering information, organizing the material, revising, and preparing a scholarly manuscript. The final product of the course is a complete (if early) draft of the thesis proposal.
Before writing the thesis, you must submit a detailed thesis proposal to your adviser and to Gallatin. For details about the content, format, and approval process for the thesis, please see the Thesis Proposal page.
Master's Thesis and Defense, CORE-GG 2335 / K70.2335
The final phase of your program, of course, is the writing of the thesis itself. The thesis typically takes two semesters to research and write. A student expecting to graduate in the spring term should have the thesis proposal approved by Gallatin no later than the middle of the fall semester and a draft of the thesis completed by the January term.
The thesis is usually written during (and sometimes after) the term in which you register for the 3-credit course, Thesis and Defense. Thesis and Defense is not a “course” in the traditional sense; it is the credit-block awarded for successful completion of the thesis. Typically, you register for Thesis and Defense when you have completed 37 of the 40 credits required for the degree.
Thesis Advisement, CORE-GG 2340 / K70.2340
If you do not submit and defend your thesis during the term in which you have registered for Thesis and Defense, you must then register for the 1-credit course, Thesis Advisement, each term (including the summer, if you plan on graduating in September) until you have successfully defended the thesis. This 1-credit course is not included in the 40-credit requirement for the master's degree and it has a special tuition rate ($400 plus a non-refundable registration and services fee).