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Master's Program Handbook

400 - Research Project & Post-Residency Advising

400.1 – Research Project

a.

The research project (course 480, also referred to as the thesis) that begins with Session IV (the second field placement for master's students) and can continue into Session V (or in the case of advanced standing students, that is done during Session II), carries academic credit, with grades assigned on a pass/marginal, pass/fail basis. Credit is granted only if the entire research project is completed. No partial credit is granted.

For an August graduation master's students must:

  1. Hand in their completed theses by the noon of the fourth Friday in Term 1, Session V
  2. Receive a passing grade for the thesis by the research advisor upon submission of the thesis
  3. Complete the requirement of dissemination of the thesis by the end of the fourth week of Term 2, Session V

b.

Advanced standing students must complete all of the above requirements (thesis submission, passing grade, and dissemination) by the second Friday in December at the end of Session II.

c.

Interim thesis deadlines for Master’s students, Class of 2014 are as follows:

      • Oct. 25, 2013: Thesis proposal to RA (2nd-year students)
      • Dec. 6, 2013: Second thesis deadline (one substantive chapter to RA; 2nd-year students)
      • Jan. 24, 2014: Third thesis deadline (complete draft of two substantive chapters due to RA; 2nd-year students); submit HSR materials (empirical projects)
      • April 15, 2014: Fourth thesis deadline (for empirical projects, completion of data collection process; for theoretical projects, completion of a substantive draft of the third chapter; 2nd-year students)
      • May 9, 2014: Fifth thesis deadline (three substantive chapters approved by advisor, drafts of the remaining chapters completed; 2nd-year students)
      • June 27, 2014 (noon): Final thesis deadline (Research Sequence Administration; 3rd-summer students).

d.

Interim thesis deadlines for Advanced Standing students, Class of 2015, are as follows:

e.

If a Master’s student has not made sufficient progress during the winter session, he or she may not be permitted to continue the project during Session V. The recommended pace for work on the project is well described in the Master’s Thesis Research Guidelines. The minimal passing pace for work during the winter is defined as sufficient progress with the conduct, analysis and reporting of a project so that the particular student has a reasonable opportunity to complete the work on schedule without compromising his or her other summer learning responsibilities.

f.

An Advanced Standing student must meet the published May deadline in order to graduate on schedule in January. If the deadline is not met, the Advanced Standing student will be required to move into post-residency upon successful completion of the field internship and will not be eligible for advising in Session II.

g.

It may be helpful to clarify the School’s allocation of authority for making the judgments about Pass/Fail performance. The advisor, who is the faculty member closest to the work on the project, can speak individually for the School in determining that the work done meets passing levels. If the advisor has serious questions about this, the matter is discussed with the student and thesis coordinator and may be referred for review by the Chair of the Research Sequence. If, after consultation between the Chair, the thesis coordinator, the student, and the advisor, serious problems persist, the matter will be referred to the Academic and Field Work Performance Committee of the School. While the responsibility for grading the project rests with the Research Sequence, the Committee may make recommendations to the Sequence and provides a formal arena for students’ concerns to be heard.

400.2 – Post-Residency Advising and Graduation Dates

a.

A student who does not submit a completed, acceptable thesis by the specified deadline may obtain an extension and post-residency research advising by submitting a written request for post-residency advising to the Research Chair. Fees for post-residency advising are billed each term. A post-residency student may complete the thesis during any period in which they have assigned advising (from early September through the second Friday in December - which is Winter Term 1 - and from early January through the second Friday in May which is Winter Term 2). One may complete the thesis as soon as possible during these periods. Post-residency students must also complete the dissemination requirement.

b.

Fees for each term of post-residency advising will be charged. Post-residency students must pay for post-residency advising by mid-August for Winter Term 1 and mid-November for Winter Term 2. Upon notification from Student Financial Services that the post-residency tuition payment has not been received by the due date for a term, the student will be withdrawn from the School unless s/he has applied and been approved in writing for a leave of absence by the fee due date. (See 502.1.) Time lost due to leaves of absence does not normally extend the three year period for completion of the thesis requirement.

c.

Post-residency advising is done by telephone and correspondence, although the student may elect to travel to meet with the advisor. At the start of their work together post-residency students should send to their advisor the most complete draft of the project and a brief statement of their goals and timelines for the remaining work. Post-residency advisors will complete a brief narrative summary of progress made by the student each term which is submitted to the Research Sequence. No summer research advising is offered for post-residency students.

d.

Completing the Research Project on a post-residency basis includes meeting the dissemination requirement. The dissemination requirement must be completed within 30 days after submission of the completed manuscript – the deadline for completion of dissemination is the second Friday in December (Winter Term 1) or the second Friday in May (Winter Term 2). Post-residency students who are not on campus most often select a second reader from among the School’s faculty. Other plans for meeting the dissemination requirement must conform to the options detailed in the Master’s Thesis Research Guidelines and meet with the prior approval of the Research Sequence Chair.

e.

In order to qualify for the Master of Social Work degree, the Research Project must be completed, signed off by the research advisor and all materials submitted by the third May following completion of Session V for a Master’s student, or the third December following completion of Session II for an Advanced Standing student. If the thesis is not completed by the specified deadline, the student will be given a grade of F for the thesis project and will be withdrawn from the School.

Updated 8/27/14