A written thesis and its defense are required for candidates in several master’s degree programs. Students should consult the Graduate Catalog for program requirements for their specific programs. The purpose of the thesis is to provide an experience in scholarship, which will be of enduring value to the student in understanding how new knowledge is developed. The thesis provides tangible evidence of the student’s development as a scholar and especially his or her capacity to discover and effectively communicate research findings. The thesis should also enlarge the body of knowledge in the student’s chosen field. The thesis must represent an original investigation into a subject, which has been approved by the Thesis Advisory Committee and the dean of the student’s school or college. The department chair and the dean of school or college will ensure that Graduate Programs guidelines and policies are adhered to and will signify completion of requirements for the theses.
The student must choose a thesis committee in consultation with the major advisor. The committee will consist of a minimum of three (3) graduate faculty members, one of whom must be the chair of the Thesis Advisory Committee and one must be from outside the student’s major department. All committee members must have current graduate faculty status. The committee must be approved by the chair of the department/director and the dean of the school or college. The Committee Membership Form is posted on the Graduate Programs website. If the approved committee membership changes, a new form indicating the proposed new membership must be submitted for approval.
The student must submit a written thesis proposal to the Thesis Advisory Committee. The proposal must be approved by the Committee.
Once the thesis is completed, a Thesis Oral Defense Scheduling Form must be filed with the dean of school or college by the chairperson of the Thesis Advisory Committee; the form is located on The Graduate Programs website. The application must be filed at least two (2) weeks prior to when the defense is to be held and must be accompanied by certification that the thesis is complete except for revision which may be necessary as a result of the oral defense and of the review of the thesis by the Thesis and Dissertation Editor.
A written notice of the time and place of the defense of the thesis will be sent by the dean of the school or college to the candidate, each member of the committee, and the faculty at Fayetteville State University. The oral defense is an academic evaluation of the thesis by the committee, and is open to the committee members, university faculty, and approved guests. During the defense, the Thesis Advisory Committee may ask the candidate questions regarding subject matter in the student’s major field. The defense must be at least four (4) weeks before graduation, and a completed Thesis Oral Defense Results Form must be sent within three (3) days of the defense to the dean of school or college. A student may defend the thesis a maximum of two times. Maximum credit allowed for the thesis is six (6) semester hours.
The Thesis and Dissertation Editor will review all theses and dissertations to ensure they adhere to The Fayetteville State University Graduate Programs Guide for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations. (This document and The Thesis and Dissertation Checklist are posted on the Graduate Programs website.) After the student has made the revisions requested in the thesis/dissertation oral defense and at least three (3) weeks before graduation, the student must submit one (1) copy of the thesis/dissertation to dean of the school or college for review by the Thesis and Dissertation Editor. The thesis/dissertation must be submitted with the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form with all the required signatures. Once the Editor’s review is complete, the dean of school or college will send the Editor’s feedback to the student and Thesis/Dissertation Advisory Committee Chair. The student, in consultation with the Advisory Committee Chair, should make the necessary corrections and submit one (1) copy of the revised thesis to the department chair and dean of school or college for verification that the corrections have been made. The Thesis Committee chair will notify the dean of school or college after his final review and approval of the edited thesis. After reviewing the final (edited) thesis, the dean of school or college will notify the student and the Advisory Committee Chair that the thesis is ready to be printed. The student submit four (4) copies of the thesis (with original signatures of all Advisory Committee members on the title page), along with the ProQuest form and the required fee, to the office of the dean of school or college. The student must pay the thesis processing fee at the FSU’s Cashier’s Office and attach a receipt to the four (4) copies of the thesis.