Thesis and Professional Paper

Thesis

A thesis, required in many master’s degree programs, is the culmination of the student’s independent scholarship or creative achievement in some branch of learning or the arts. 

Prospectus approval is required by the Research Committee and the Dean of the Graduate School prior to the student beginning research for a thesis, even when Institutional Review Board (IRB) authorization is not required. Failure to get prospectus approval prior to the implementation of the study will result in the rejection of the thesis. A thesis requires Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) certification and IRB or IACUC approval if human subjects or animals are involved. Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) certification and IRB or IACUC approval must be filed in the Graduate School. If IRB approval is required, approval from the IRB must be obtained prior to Graduate School approval.

To secure semester credit hours for work done on the thesis the student must register for this work. When "Thesis" appears on the schedule, it is counted as three credit hours in determining both load, tuition, and fees.  Although no more than six semester credit hours can be earned for the writing of the thesis, the candidate must re-enroll in the thesis course until the writing is completed. Students enrolling for Thesis over the summer are required to enroll in the long 10-week summer term.

Only an officially registered student may hold conferences with faculty members concerning the preparation of a thesis. This rule applies both when the student is in actual residence and when the student is not in residence but receiving consultation through conferences or correspondence. This rule does not apply to those preliminary conferences held before the thesis subject has been selected. Registration for a thesis in one term is good for that term only and does not extend to the next term.

To secure semester credit hours for work done on the thesis, the student must register for this work. A thesis requires a minimum of six semester credit hours (5983 & 5993). Any additional enrollments will be for (PR) in progress, (LP) lack of adequate progress, or (NP) no progress and will not receive credit. A student writing a thesis for six semester credit hours is given PR, LP, or NP until the prospectus has been submitted and approved by the Graduate School at which time a CR (Credit) for the first enrollment (5983) is given. The student then enrolls in 5993 and receives PR, LP, or NP for all enrollments until the thesis is complete and approved by the Graduate School, at that time CR is given.  

Submission of the student's thesis must be completed no later than the filing date listed in the Graduate School's Graduation Deadlines. Once the thesis has been defended and reviewed by the component leader and all recommended corrections have been completed, the student will upload the committee-approved copy of their thesis along with all required paperwork to the Thesis and Dissertation Submission System. All documents will be submitted online. The Graduate School does not accept paper documents.  All theses submissions are expected to be publication-ready with minimal errors. All theses are required to be read by the Graduate Reader/Editor for quality control and professionalism. A thesis will not be approved by the Graduate School until the Reader/Editor and Formatter's comments are addressed and resolved by the student and the document has been uploaded.

A thesis is uploaded to Texas Digital Library (TDL). Students should consult the https://twu.edu/gradschool/current-students/thesis-and-dissertation/, posted on the Graduate School website prior to turning in their thesis. Copyrighting, which remains optional, may be secured during the submission process for an additional fee. Details concerning the abstracts, microfilming, copyrighting, and their fees are available in the Graduate School.

Theses Written in Languages Other than English

Doctoral dissertations or theses written in languages other than English may be accepted only by those graduate programs that have made a formal request to, and received approval of, the Dean of the Graduate School to allow dissertations or theses to be written in a language other than English.  This request should be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School by the student's committee chair with endorsement by all committee members, the academic component administrator, and dean of the college, prior to Admission to Candidacy for the degree sought.  Such requests may be granted only if the language in question is recognized by the program's faculty as an accepted language of critical or theoretical discourse within the program, and for which there is a justified academic rationale and benefit.  Moreover, there must be sufficient faculty to support the reading of theses or dissertations in said language.  The committee chair and a least two additional TWU faculty members for dissertations and one additional TWU faculty member for theses must be biliterate and bilingual in the target non-English language at an advanced level (e.g. B2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)).

For all such dissertations or theses, an abstract in English should be included in the manuscript submitted for deposit with the Graduate School (in addition to the abstract in the corresponding language).  This abstract should be of sufficient length to provide an account of the principal argument, as well as of the work's constitutive parts. The Department/Graduate Program will consult with the Graduate School to identify an outside Reader to proof the final product.

Professional Paper

The professional paper or project may be prepared in conjunction with a research class or seminar or with certain off-campus activities approved by the committee and terminating in a written presentation that demonstrates the student’s ability to prepare a bibliography, gather data, use original source material, draw conclusions, and present the material in a form which shows an adequate command of the English language.

The prospectus for a professional paper, if prepared, does not need to be filed in the Graduate School. A professional paper does require Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) certification and IRB or IACUC approval if human subjects or animals are involved. If IRB approval is required, approval from the IRB must be obtained prior to Graduate School approval.

To secure semester credit hours for work done on the professional paper the student must register for this work. When "Professional Paper" appears on the schedule, it is counted as three credit hours in determining both load, tuition, and fees.  

Only an officially registered student may hold conferences with faculty members concerning the preparation of a professional paper. This rule applies both when the student is in actual residence and when the student is not in residence but receiving consultation through conferences or correspondence. This rule does not apply to those preliminary conferences held before the professional paper subject has been selected. Registration for a professional paper in one term is good for that term only and does not extend to the next term.

A student writing a professional paper for three semester credit hours is assigned the grade of PR, LP, or NP for all enrollments except the last one and then is assigned the grade of CR for the final enrollment. (LP or NP grades may impact Financial Aid eligibility.)

The Graduate School publication "Thesis, Dissertation, & Professional Paper Technical Manual" should be consulted for additional information concerning the thesis or professional paper. (See General Requirements and Regulations for Master's Degrees and Committees).

Enrolled graduate students may use the computer and research consulting services of the Center for Research Design and Analysis (CRDA) in the preparation of theses and professional papers. The center also provides assistance with qualitative and quantitative research designs. Students may also access the support services of the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence and the Write Site.