Master’s Project-based (non-thesis) Option

What is a Master’s Project?

The MS Project alternative provides the student with the opportunity to design a project or the investigation of a problem that has application to his or her graduate specialization or to the student’s professional interests or job. The faculty supervisor works with the student on a one-to-one basis so that the undertaking is customized to the student’s particular interest.  When completed, it is expected that the student will have produced an in-depth examination of a particular problem or study topic which might include, but not be limited to, a literature review of the topic with recommendations for action or suggested solutions for the problem.

For this degree option, the student is required to submit a Project Write-up.  This Project Write-up is more than just a typical class research paper or project.  It is a carefully crafted paper that is a reflection and culmination of your project.    It must be written under the guidance of an academic advisor.  The Project Write-up is turned into the major professor upon completion.

1) Choose a Project
Begin research; prepare an abstract, bibliography, and outline of a topic that is of interest to you.

After doing the initial research on your topic, prepare a 1-2 paragraph abstract, a preliminary bibliography and a brief outline before approaching a possible advisor. These will help you to convince your advisor of the value and interest of your project. Once a faculty member has agreed to advise you, discuss your anticipated graduation date and agree on a timetable for meetings and submission of drafts. It is your responsibility to keep your advisor apprised of your progress.

2) Choose an Thesis or Project Advisor

Students are not assigned to a faculty member. The student must take the initiative to contact a faculty member working in his/her area of interest.

3) Human / Animal Research
Theses, research or projects involving interviews, surveys, or other research on human subjects often require prior approval. Because approval can take time, you should begin the application process as early as possible for IRB Approval.  Do not conduct ANY interviews or surveys until you have received IBR approval.  Even if your research or project does not involve these subjects, it is still the student’s responsibility to receive an IRB Exemption form the IRB Office.

4) Project Write-up
Be sure to document your project in the Project Write-up using the AMA Style.  Check for typographical errors, misspells, subject-verb agreements and other grammatical requirements.  Submit your Project Write-up to your major professor/advisor upon completion.

Here are just a few places for AMA style references:

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