The thesis is the culmination of the MA program. It is an extended writing project that demonstrates MA students' ability to think creatively, research thoroughly, write effectively, and argue analytically at the graduate level. Students are expected to have conversations with faculty members about possible thesis topics during their coursework, and the thesis committee and thesis chair should be chosen in conversation with the graduate English coordinator. MA students are also expected to attend two theses defenses before scheduling their own defense. Additional thesis requirements follow:
- The thesis should focus upon, and fall within, a disciplinary specialty covered by a tenured or tenure-track UAA English Department faculty member. (See the faculty profiles on the English Department webpage for descriptions of faculty members' fields of expertise.)
- The thesis should primarily address recognized disciplinary specialties (literary, rhetorical, cinematic, or electronic texts, concepts, and perspectives) and methodologies (literary critical and rhetorical analysis, qualitative or quantitative research). Secondarily, the project may incorporate cultural studies approaches, popular culture topics, or extra-canonical texts, if pertinent.
- The thesis should articulate a critical approach to the topic according to a clearly defined literary theory, rhetorical approach, or linguistic consideration (a key question, idea, concept, theorist, or school of thought).
- The thesis may be an extension of coursework, although it does not necessarily have to be, and while seminar papers may be revised for the thesis, under no circumstances is it permissible to turn in the same paper for both a course and the thesis.
- The thesis must be developed out of the thesis proposal required in ENGL A689 and approved by the graduate English coordinator.
- The completed thesis should be submitted to the thesis committee at least six weeks prior to the expected graduation date and at least two weeks prior to the thesis defense. See the English Department for specific dates and deadlines. If the thesis is not submitted with adequate lead time, and revisions are required, it is unlikely that the thesis can be completed in time to meet graduation deadlines. See the UAA Graduate School website for thesis deadlines.
- Students must be aware that after the thesis defense is completed, and before the degree can be awarded, the thesis must also be:
- Revised according to the instructions of the thesis defense committee (if any);
- Submitted, reviewed and approved in the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office;
- Revised according to the CAS Dean's Office's instructions (if any);
- Submitted, reviewed and approved by the dean of the Graduate School;
- Revised according to the dean of the Graduate School instructions (if any); and
- Submitted to the Graduate School for binding and archiving (required), and copyrighting (optional) according to current requirements.
Please see the English Department support staff for a detailed description of the procedures to follow after the thesis defense. The degree can be posted, and a student can officially graduate, only after meeting all additional paperwork and administrative requirements as determined by the Graduate School. The Office of the Registrar completes the final degree check to ensure that all degree requirements have been met, including the resolution of any incomplete (I) or deferred grades (DF).