1. A student who wishes to take Thesis (PSY510) must get the approval
of a supervising faculty member in the psychology department. With the
advice of the faculty member, the student will form a three-person
committee (with the supervising faculty member as chair). Committee
members will usually be psychology faculty members, but one member may
be from another department.
2. A student’s Thesis work is expected to be unique. Thus, it is
inappropriate to submit papers or writing assignments that the student
has already submitted or is in the process of preparing for assignments
in other classes. It is highly appropriate, however, to address or
extend a topic the student has worked on or written about in the past
or is now working on for another class. In this case, the student
should, prior to preparing the proposal, discuss with
her/his supervisor what conceptual overlap with or extension of other
work is acceptable. If the supervisor is uncertain of what constitutes
an appropriate extension, she/he should convene a meeting of the
committee to discuss this issue.
3. The student will then prepare an extensive proposal, written in
APA style, that describes the rationale behind the research, the
methods to be used, the approach to analyzing the data, and some
discussion of the implications of the anticipated results. Copies of
this proposal should be given to committee members at least 1 week
before the committee meets to discuss the proposal. At this meeting,
the student will orally present the rationale and methodology of the
research. The goal of this meeting is to provide constructive feedback
to the student—feedback that will be useful in improving the project.
Students may not begin collecting data (except for pilot data) until the project has been approved by the committee.
4. At the conclusion of the research, the student will write a
research paper according to APA format. After the paper is written, the
student will schedule a meeting of the committee (giving faculty
members at least 7 days to read the paper) for the purpose of making a final presentation. The final presentation must occur at least 7 days before the last regular class day of spring term. Other members of the
psychology department will also be invited. Students will present the
rationale, methods, results, and implications of the research. The goal
is to give the student practice in oral presentation of complex ideas
and to provide constructive feedback.
5. After discussing the student's performance with members of the
committee, the student's grade will be determined by the supervising
6. The student will turn in a final version of the paper (after
incorporating suggestions of the committee), and one copy will be kept
on file in the psychology department electronic archives (accessible
through our web site).
Note: The psychology department urges
students to carefully consider the term in which they plan to receive
credit for Thesis. Students should realize these projects typically
take a year to complete.