Master's thesis

The thesis proposal

Students are expected to start working on their thesis proposals as soon as they have completed their coursework, usually in the Spring term of their first year. Each student needs to think about a thesis topic and approach a faculty member who might be an appropriate supervisor for his or her research.

Faculty members in the Department are involved in a wide range of basic, interdisciplinary, and applied research studies, providing students with many opportunities for choice with respect to thesis topics (see examples of previous thesis titles) as well as methodological and interdisciplinary approaches.

The thesis committee

In consultation with your thesis supervisor, you should put together a thesis supervisory committee and fill out the MA/PhD Thesis Topic and Supervisor Form available on UW Learn

Proposal committee

For the MA thesis proposal, the committee consists of at least one faculty member in addition to the supervisor appointed in the student's department, both of whom have academic appointments. The committee member may be drawn from the faculty members of any other department within the University if such an individual has a special contribution to make to the research process or may also have an adjunct appointment within the department. The completed MA Proposal and Defence form (available on UW Learn) should be submitted to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies for approval.

Final defense committee

For the final Master of Arts defense, an independent reader (selected by the supervisor in consultation with the student and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies) and independent chair (assigned by the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies) will be added. Normally, the independent reader should have an academic appointment.