Western Kentucky University

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 representing 3 faculty members. A minimum of two members must be from the Sociology Department.

2) A graduate student must have a Thesis Proposal Defense before he/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 must place a copy of his/her Thesis Proposal in Room 103 of Grise Hall one week prior to the 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. It is also important for the graduate student to keep other members of the thesis committee informed of significant changes and developments during the research process.

5) The graduate student must complete a course contract (available in the main office of the Sociology Department) in order 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 Office of Graduate Studies 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 Office of Graduate Studies 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 provide some assistance with 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/her thesis during a formal oral defense in the presence of the his/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 also must place a copy of the thesis in Grise Hall - Room 103 one week before the defense date.

9) The final draft of thesis must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies before noon on the last day of the semester. In order to meet this submission deadline, a graduate student must defend his/her thesis before the following dates to ensure that there will be sufficient time to complete revisions/edits.

Fall Semester Graduates: the thesis defense should occur before November 15

Spring Semester Graduates: the thesis defense should occur before April 15

Summer Semester Graduates: the thesis defense should occur before July 15

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

11) In addition to the Thesis Signature Page, the Thesis Committee must sign Form E after the oral defense. The student should print this form and bring it to the Thesis Defense.

12) Following the defense, the graduate student is responsible for making any revisions/changes suggested by the committee.  After these revisions are made a copy of the thesis must be provided to the Potter College Dean's Office (FAC 200).  The Potter College Dean's Office may request additional revisions.  The Potter College Dean's Office will provide the student with a signed approval form that the student will need to submit to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research along with an electronic copy of his/her thesis as well as a hard copy of the signature page noted above.

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

 Last Modified 7/19/13