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Guidelines for MA Sociology Thesis for Graduate Students

Regarding MA Thesis (Plan A):

The information listed below is to provide a general overview of the steps necessary in completing the Master of Arts Thesis (in Plan A) in the Sociology Department at Western Kentucky University. Graduate students should review these steps so they may carefully and diligently complete the requirements for the MA degree in Sociology.

Please do not hesitate to contact the graduate advisor if you have any additional questions after reviewing the information below.

1) A graduate student must assemble a Thesis Committee three faculty members with graduate faculty standing. A minimum of two members must be from the Sociology Department.

2) A graduate student must have a Thesis Proposal Defense before he or she may formally begin collecting/analyzing data. The Thesis Committee Chair will schedule the Thesis Proposal Defense after the proposal has been submitted to all of the thesis committee members. The graduate student will work with their Thesis Chair to make available a copy of their Thesis Proposal to the Sociology faculty one week before their Thesis Proposal Defense Date. This provides an opportunity for the Sociology Department Faculty to review the proposal.

3) A graduate student must submit a Human Subjects Application to the University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) with a copy of his/her Thesis Proposal. The university does not permit faculty or students to collect data from human subjects without the IRB's approval of the research protocol.

4) A graduate student should work closely with the Thesis Committee Chair during the research and writing stages of the thesis. Keeping other members of the thesis committee informed of significant changes and developments during the research process is also important.

5) The graduate student must complete a course contract (available in the main office of the Sociology Department) to register for the 6-hours of Socl 599: Thesis Hours. A student may complete the 6-hours in one semester, or a student may divide these hours across two or more semesters.

6) The Graduate School provides research scholarships to help graduate students defray the costs for data collection activities. The maximum scholarship award is $750. Applications are available on the Graduate School website.

7) A graduate student is responsible for writing his/her thesis in the appropriate format for the Office of Graduate Studies. The following documents (available for download) will assist in this effort. Please note: deleting the text in the template documents may disrupt the documents formatting. Please add your text before deleting the example text in the template to ensure the formatting is not destroyed.

   Thesis Guidelines Document (to be used by the student in preparing the thesis in the appropriate format)

   Thesis Format Template (Five Chapters): students may use this template if they are writing a thesis with five chapters.

   Thesis Format Template (Six Chapters): students may use this template if they are writing a thesis with six chapters

8) A graduate student must present the findings from his or her thesis during a formal oral defense in the presence of his or her Thesis Committee as well as other individuals who wish to attend.

The Thesis Committee Chair will schedule the defense

The graduate student must provide a copy of his/her thesis to the Chair and all committee members at least one week before the thesis defense date. The student will also work with their thesis chair to make available a copy of their thesis to the Sociology faculty and other interested parties at least one week before the defense date.

9) The final draft of thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School by the date published on the Graduate School website each semester. To meet this submission deadline, a graduate student must defend his/her thesis keeping in mind that there will need to be sufficient time to complete revisions/edits before submission of the final draft to the Graduate School.

10) The graduate student must bring a copy of his/her Thesis Signature Page to the Thesis Defense.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the graduate advisor.

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 Last Modified 5/25/16