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Thesis and Defense Requirement

Thesis Prospectus

Before beginning thesis research the student must present to the major professor an acceptable, written thesis prospectus. The prospectus should be submitted to your major professor by the beginning of your second year. (NOTE: The following differs in some respects from the exact procedure outlined in the Graduate Bulletin.)

A student must submit a thesis which shows independent judgment in developing a problem from primary sources. The student shall write a complete, detailed proposal of the thesis which clearly outlines the thesis topic, the methodology to be employed, and the significance of the research. The proposal should included a bibliography. This proposal will be read by the advisory committee, and, when approved, it is signed by the members of the committee. A copy of the proposal is then given to the graduate coordinator to place in the student’s file. The proposal should be submitted no later than the end of the third semester of residence.

For a sample Thesis Prospectus see the Sample Forms in the Appendices of the MA Handbook.

Thesis Research and Writing

The thesis is developed under the direction of the major professor. When a draft suitable for oral defense has been completed, it is given to the major professor who then gives it to the other members of the reading committee. In some cases, individual chapters will be given to the readers as the thesis is in development. In any case, the draft for defense must be given to the entire reading committee at least one month prior to the oral defense. (NOTE: If the thesis in development has been given to the readers on a chapter by chapter basis, an entire, complete copy of the draft for defense must still be presented to the readers.)

The Graduate School requires that your thesis follow a certain format. View the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines

The thesis, and the “Thesis Defense and Final Examination Approval” form (after the oral defense), must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the final day of classes for Fall and Spring Semester.

The last semester of enrollment is not the time to begin researching and writing your thesis! You should be finalizing your thesis your last semester. Your advisory committee will need time to read the thesis and offer suggestions. You will need time to incorporate suggestions and resubmit a copy to the committee for any other changes. By the time you have your defense your thesis should be in the FINAL stage. There are certain guidelines that the Graduate School requires concerning the format of your thesis. When you begin typing the thesis you will need to consult the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines. These guidelines are strictly enforced.

Deadlines for turning in the thesis will have to be followed or you will not be able to graduate on time. You are REQUIRED to have a copy of your thesis checked for formatting errors by the Graduate School prior to turning in the thesis (this should be done as soon as you have a more-or-less completed copy of the thesis). Check for the deadline for this FORMAT CHECK. They will alert you of any errors in meeting the guidelines that you will need to fix prior to turning in the final copy. 

The thesis, and the “Thesis Defense and Final Examination Approval” form (after the oral defense), must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the final day of classes for Fall and Spring Semester (for Summer deadlines check with the Graduate School (https://grad.uga.edu/index.php/current-students/important-dates-deadlines/).

Thesis Defense and Final Examination

(NOTE: The following differs in some respects from the exact procedure outlined in the Graduate Bulletin.) An oral defense of the thesis before the Advisory/Reading Committee must be scheduled at least two weeks prior to the date of final clearance by the Graduate School.

When you have completed the thesis, the reading committee has read the thesis and your major professor has indicated that you are ready for your final defense, your major professor, together with you, should schedule your oral defense. You should have finished your comprehensive exam by this time. After passing your oral defense you can have your major professor sign your approval page of the thesis and take your thesis along with the Final Defense Approval Form for your Master’s Thesis and Electronic Thesis Submission form to the Graduate School (Forms can be obtained at http://grad.uga.edu/index.php/current-students/forms/. All information on the form must be typed including names of committee members in the appropriate boxes). THESIS DEFENSES WILL BE HELD NO LATER THAN 2 weeks before the last day of classes the semester you graduate. Remember to have one copy of your thesis bound for the Department of Religion office. (Print and copy services can be found at the Tate Center: https://tate.uga.edu/print-and-copy/).

The thesis, and the “Thesis Defense and Final Examination Approval” form (after the oral defense), must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the final day of classes for Fall and Spring Semester (for Summer deadlines check with the Graduate School (https://grad.uga.edu/index.php/current-students/important-dates-deadlines/).

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