Option B: Master's Thesis

A student may opt to write a thesis (SLIS:6580) in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the M.A. in library and information science. The thesis carries 6 semester hours of credit and requires completion of all required courses before registration. You should notify your advisor no later than your second semester if you are interested in writing a thesis as your graduation requirement. The thesis option is typically for students who are looking for research experience that may lead to a Ph.D, or employment that will require research.

Students who decide to write a master's thesis are required to follow the format and style guidelines as set forth in the Graduate College Thesis Manual (PDF).

Computer Keyboard

The thesis option requires the following:

  1. The student will identify a thesis advisor and two thesis committee members early in the semester prior to the one in which the student intends to defend the thesis, e.g., in the fall for a spring defense. One committee member may come from a relevant department outside of SLIS. Two members must be from within the department, including the thesis adviser.
  2. The student develops the research problem, completes a comprehensive literature review, and proposes a method for study with advice and counsel from the advisor, and in consultation with the other committee members. The proposal is to be written using the following format headings: Research Problem, Literature Review, Proposed Methodology.
  3. Upon recommendation of the thesis adviser, the student arranges a meeting of the thesis committee to review the proposal. Copies of the proposal will be delivered to the committee members no less than one week before the proposal meeting.
  4. The purpose of the proposal meeting shall be for the committee to make suggestions and recommendations to the student for the study. The student will be responsible for recording the suggestions and recommendations of committee members.
  5. After the proposal meeting, the student and adviser will confer and review the outcome of the proposal meeting.
  6. The student carries out the study, conferring with the adviser and other committee members as he/she deems necessary.
  7. Once the major portion of the research has been completed (for example, the data have been collected), the student will write the thesis, including the information written for the proposal as well as the results and conclusions of the study.
  8. The advisor will review the thesis and will determine its readiness for defense.
  9. Once the thesis has been approved for submission the student will deliver the thesis to all members of the committee no less than five working days before the defense.
  10. The student will be responsible for convening the defense meeting with the thesis committee.
  11. After the defense, the student will make any necessary corrections; the advisor will be responsible for ensuring that required revisions are completed.
  12. Once the thesis has been corrected and signatures are obtained from all committee members, the student deposits the finished work in the Graduate College Office.
  13. Dates for preliminary and final deposit of the thesis are part of the University’s Official Calendar. It is the student’s responsibility to meet all these deadlines as outlined by the University's Office Calendar.