- You should discuss with your adviser and other program faculty what is entailed in completing a thesis, including the time commitment and how the thesis fits with your current program goals and curriculum.
- You need to be able to form a thesis committee which includes a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who is willing to serve as Chair and two supporting tenured or tenure-track committee members, one from the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS), and the other from another department or school within the university. Additional faculty may also serve on the committee. The decision of who should serve on your committee should be made by you in conjunction with your committee chair.
- Ideally, you need to commit to the decision to pursue the thesis option by the end of the first year of study (in a 2-3 year sequence of study). This includes filing an official program for the Master of Arts degree, and being advanced to candidacy. (Refer to the Procedural Steps Toward Earning A Master's Degree.)
- You need to consider your prior background in the decision to pursue the thesis option. Depending on your background, you may need to take additional coursework (e.g., advanced statistics, qualitative research) or be ready to pursue independent learning to prepare for the thesis activity. Computer skills for word processing and data reduction and analysis are often essential in completing a thesis.
- You should consider carefully your professional and personal objectives when deciding to pursue the thesis option.
Possible objectives include:
- Preparation for doctoral work. Demonstrating a commitment to research prior to applying for admission to some doctoral programs may be essential and for others may enhance your chance of acceptance.
- Pursuit of a particular research interest under faculty guidance. Master's degree professionals in schools and community agencies may be involved in research in their jobs.
- Broadening your academic experience with no particular application agenda. For some, research represents a certain level of additional scholarship and competence that provides a sense of accomplishment and pride.
- Enhancement of employability in certain settings (e.g., a CFY at the House Ear Institute).
- Enhancement of your clinical abilities by further development your critical thinking skills
last updated: June 2009