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Do you have to Write a Thesis for Undergrad or Bachelor’s

Thesis for undergraduates

Thesis for undergraduates

An undergraduate thesis is a dissertation written by a candidate for an academic degree that embodies the results of original research and a specific view being substantiated. It is usually between forty to sixty pages and allows the undergraduate to do an in-depth exploration of their topic of study.

The thesis allows students to test themselves on their ability to conduct research, own research skills, and get used to the work that is mostly done in graduate schools if they decide to advance their learning.

Since a thesis is required for the completion of a degree program, it takes a long time for research that institutions allow. Once the students are through, they are required to defend the thesis in front of a university committee.

It is a significant assignment that most students may find tough. Luckily, there is online homework help for students who need to complete such hard tasks.

Need Help with your Thesis or Essays?

Do you have to write a thesis for undergraduate.

Some undergraduate degrees do not require students to write a thesis before completing their degrees. However, most students are required to write a thesis for the fulfillment of their bachelor’s degree.

You do not have to write a thesis for your undergraduate or bachelor’s degree if it is not a requirement in your course. However, some universities or courses demand a thesis project. Others have an option to complete a thesis or any other course project. While not all undergraduate or bachelor’s degree programs require you to write a thesis, some will have it mandatory.

The requirement to write an essay depends on the type of major. In schools that do not require the students to write a thesis as a requirement before they complete their degree, students are required to write a non-thesis variant.

writing an undergraduate thesis

This requires students to take more classes without creating a thesis.

Field experience can serve as a substitute for a thesis. Most schools require students to complete over three hundred hours of fieldwork as a substitute for a thesis.

It is done after finishing your study with control from supervisors.

Detailed logs of the work should be submitted to the school department before you get your degree.

It is majorly the student choice to choose the best option that the college or university provides Thesis will take you lesser time to complete compared to field experienced. In some institutions both are compulsory.

Why do Students Write a Thesis in Undergraduate?

Other than the obvious reason that it is a requirement for the completion of a bachelor’s degree, there are several other reasons why students write theses as undergraduates:

How to Write a Thesis for an Undergraduate?

The following are the steps to follow when writing a thesis for an undergraduate program:

Identify a Topic

undergraduate thesis methodology

Narrow down your focus to a specific topic from the many major ones.

Choose a topic of interest that you are willing to take a lot of time researching on. Seek or help from the professor if you get stuck.

Background Research

This is where you develop your background knowledge. Know the key big names and thinkers in that area and get to understand the major theories and arguments on the topic of study. Build a bibliography.

Approach Advisers

These are people who can help you with your topic. They include people with expertise that are willing to work with you and with experience in dealing with undergraduates in their thesis process.

They must be able to help you identify the various stages of research, drafting, editing, outlining, undertaking oral defense, and presenting your thesis. 

Develop your Topic of Research

Continue with the research of the background of the topic and read all the research related to your area o study. Meet with your adviser and discuss the way forward and make arrangements on when to conduct the necessary research.

Do extensive research. Make it thorough and take notes. Ask for help when you need it to ensure you get it done. Organize yourself during the research and prepare for unexpected results. 

Here you should be able to identify both your arguments and key points of the key chapters that you will write about. Know the surrounding literature of the topic and where every information available specifically fits in your thesis. 

This is where you should start figuring out the final shape of your thesis. If there are areas short of research they should be identified and secondary research conducted on them. Check the sections off your timeline and write until it is done.  

Here you edit your first draft and send sections of the work to your advisor. Incorporate the advice given in the essay and fix the holes in your argument. Keep a focus on the details and write the final draft.

Finalize and Finish

Read your final draft and remove all the mistakes that may be present to make it perfect. Then, present your thesis. This is done during a thesis defense presentation session , which is done after writing.

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Parts of Thesis

A thesis can be long or short depending on the parts that are to be included and the length of each part. This determines the time taken to write a thesis or a dissertation and complete it.

However, the general format of a thesis remains the same. The following are the main components of a thesis:

Introduction

This is where the central argument and the topic of your thesis are explained. Why you choose the topic and everything that will be covered in your essay should be included in the introduction.

Literature Review

Includes all studies related to your work and gaps identified in your research that help you develop a strong claim and build counterarguments.

Methodology

Data and all methods used to conduct the research are explained here.

All the findings of your study are included here.

Conclusions

Includes how and why you conducted your research. Summary of the results and conclusion based on the results are included too.

List of Majors that Require a Thesis

A lot of majors require students to write a thesis. Some of these majors include

However, majors that deal with applications such as nursing, business, and education do not need a thesis.

Why do Students Hire People to Write their College Thesis

Saving time.

All students know that writing a thesis will take a long time. It requires attention and extensive research that consumes a lot of time. Students, therefore, hire professionals to write their thesis to save time. 

Tight Schedule

Most students are involved in businesses. They mostly find it hard to manage time between writing the thesis and doing businesses that are the only source of income. Beating the deadline becomes hard and the best option available is to hire a writer to do the thesis. 

Dealing with Anxiety and Stress

Most undergraduates experience anxieties and stress when it comes to ensuring that they hand in quality work that is essential in obtaining their degrees.

This added to stress from family issues, relationships, and social issues can hinder a student from concentrating on their work. This leads them to find solutions for the completion of their thesis which involves hiring people to do them. 

Getting Better Grades

Every student these days is obsessed with getting better grades. Some students fear that they cannot achieve this by themselves and hire professional writers who guarantee them the quality work needed.

The credibility of hired writers lies in the quality of work they produce, therefore, making them produce high-quality work to compete among the best. 

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Josh Jasen or JJ as we fondly call him, is a senior academic editor at Grade Bees in charge of the writing department. When not managing complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In his spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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Are there higher education systems in which is not required to write a thesis?

Are there higher education systems in which is not required to write a thesis as a part of the evaluation within the degrees? If yes, could you point me out some of them, please?

Furthermore, are these education systems in which is not required to write down a thesis a minority in the world? (nowadays, I guess yes)

Always learning's user avatar

4 Answers 4

The question is a little vague. Many graduate degrees do not require a thesis. For instance, a law degree (JD), and many business degrees ( e.g. MBA) in some universities require no thesis paper.

It has been my experience as a college instructor that university departments are encouraging more writing and defending their written research.

andrew.paul.acosta's user avatar

Many undergraduate degrees do not require a thesis. Although which ones do and do not depend upon the school.

Many graduate degrees also do not require one. JDs, MBAs, and MDs all come to mind. Although, once again, this varies by school and by definition of a thesis. Many schools also allow their Masters students to graduate without a thesis.

Finally, all PhDs require a thesis. This will not vary.

So, the answer to your question is that it depends.

Ric's user avatar

My undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at UT Austin did not require a thesis in 1997. I don't know what the current status of that degree program is.

Edited to add: UT also has Master's programs which are coursework-only. In ASE, they seemed to be for PhD students who needed to get out of the program and receive some sort of degree. Other programs may be/have been different.

Bill Barth's user avatar

As a gross overgeneralization... the more a given degree program thinks of itself as preparing students for a research career, the more likely it is to demand a thesis. At the other end of the continuum are degree programs with pipelines into anywhere-but-academia, which prefer non-thesis options such as capstone projects (e.g. an MFA exhibition) or internships/practicums.

Smack in the middle, for the sake of illustration, is the field of Library and Information {Science|Studies}. Some LIS master's programs in the US identify pretty strongly with academic librarianship and/or academe generally; these are more likely to require theses. Others have dumped the master's thesis in favor of an internship/practicum: "prove you can be a real-world professional."

Still others do comprehensive(-ish) exams, which is another non-thesis option. I don't have a good sense of what kinds of programs choose master's comps; I had to do them for my master's in Spanish (and wow, they were the worst experience ever).

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Frequently asked questions

Who typically writes a thesis.

A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.

Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:

Frequently asked questions: Dissertation

A dissertation prospectus or proposal describes what or who you plan to research for your dissertation. It delves into why, when, where, and how you will do your research, as well as helps you choose a type of research to pursue. You should also determine whether you plan to pursue qualitative or quantitative methods and what your research design will look like.

It should outline all of the decisions you have taken about your project, from your dissertation topic to your hypotheses and research objectives , ready to be approved by your supervisor or committee.

Note that some departments require a defense component, where you present your prospectus to your committee orally.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

A theoretical framework can sometimes be integrated into a  literature review chapter , but it can also be included as its own chapter or section in your dissertation . As a rule of thumb, if your research involves dealing with a lot of complex theories, it’s a good idea to include a separate theoretical framework chapter.

A literature review and a theoretical framework are not the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably. While a theoretical framework describes the theoretical underpinnings of your work, a literature review critically evaluates existing research relating to your topic. You’ll likely need both in your dissertation .

While a theoretical framework describes the theoretical underpinnings of your work based on existing research, a conceptual framework allows you to draw your own conclusions, mapping out the variables you may use in your study and the interplay between them.

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

In most styles, the title page is used purely to provide information and doesn’t include any images. Ask your supervisor if you are allowed to include an image on the title page before doing so. If you do decide to include one, make sure to check whether you need permission from the creator of the image.

Include a note directly beneath the image acknowledging where it comes from, beginning with the word “ Note .” (italicized and followed by a period). Include a citation and copyright attribution . Don’t title, number, or label the image as a figure , since it doesn’t appear in your main text.

Definitional terms often fall into the category of common knowledge , meaning that they don’t necessarily have to be cited. This guidance can apply to your thesis or dissertation glossary as well.

However, if you’d prefer to cite your sources , you can follow guidance for citing dictionary entries in MLA or APA style for your glossary.

A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, an index is a list of the contents of your work organized by page number.

The title page of your thesis or dissertation goes first, before all other content or lists that you may choose to include.

The title page of your thesis or dissertation should include your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date.

Glossaries are not mandatory, but if you use a lot of technical or field-specific terms, it may improve readability to add one to your thesis or dissertation. Your educational institution may also require them, so be sure to check their specific guidelines.

A glossary or “glossary of terms” is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. Your glossary only needs to include terms that your reader may not be familiar with, and is intended to enhance their understanding of your work.

A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, dictionaries are more general collections of words.

An abbreviation is a shortened version of an existing word, such as Dr. for Doctor. In contrast, an acronym uses the first letter of each word to create a wholly new word, such as UNESCO (an acronym for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

As a rule of thumb, write the explanation in full the first time you use an acronym or abbreviation. You can then proceed with the shortened version. However, if the abbreviation is very common (like PC, USA, or DNA), then you can use the abbreviated version from the get-go.

Be sure to add each abbreviation in your list of abbreviations !

If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .

If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.

A list of abbreviations is a list of all the abbreviations that you used in your thesis or dissertation. It should appear at the beginning of your document, with items in alphabetical order, just after your table of contents .

Your list of tables and figures should go directly after your table of contents in your thesis or dissertation.

Lists of figures and tables are often not required, and aren’t particularly common. They specifically aren’t required for APA-Style, though you should be careful to follow their other guidelines for figures and tables .

If you have many figures and tables in your thesis or dissertation, include one may help you stay organized. Your educational institution may require them, so be sure to check their guidelines.

A list of figures and tables compiles all of the figures and tables that you used in your thesis or dissertation and displays them with the page number where they can be found.

The table of contents in a thesis or dissertation always goes between your abstract and your introduction .

You may acknowledge God in your dissertation acknowledgements , but be sure to follow academic convention by also thanking the members of academia, as well as family, colleagues, and friends who helped you.

A literature review is a survey of credible sources on a topic, often used in dissertations , theses, and research papers . Literature reviews give an overview of knowledge on a subject, helping you identify relevant theories and methods, as well as gaps in existing research. Literature reviews are set up similarly to other  academic texts , with an introduction , a main body, and a conclusion .

An  annotated bibliography is a list of  source references that has a short description (called an annotation ) for each of the sources. It is often assigned as part of the research process for a  paper .  

In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

In the discussion , you explore the meaning and relevance of your research results , explaining how they fit with existing research and theory. Discuss:

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

Results are usually written in the past tense , because they are describing the outcome of completed actions.

The results chapter of a thesis or dissertation presents your research results concisely and objectively.

In quantitative research , for each question or hypothesis , state:

In qualitative research , for each question or theme, describe:

Don’t interpret or speculate in the results chapter.

To automatically insert a table of contents in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:

Make sure to update your table of contents if you move text or change headings. To update, simply right click and select Update Field.

All level 1 and 2 headings should be included in your table of contents . That means the titles of your chapters and the main sections within them.

The contents should also include all appendices and the lists of tables and figures, if applicable, as well as your reference list .

Do not include the acknowledgements or abstract in the table of contents.

The abstract appears on its own page in the thesis or dissertation , after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .

An abstract for a thesis or dissertation is usually around 200–300 words. There’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check your university’s requirements.

In a thesis or dissertation, the acknowledgements should usually be no longer than one page. There is no minimum length.

The acknowledgements are generally included at the very beginning of your thesis , directly after the title page and before the abstract .

Yes, it’s important to thank your supervisor(s) in the acknowledgements section of your thesis or dissertation .

Even if you feel your supervisor did not contribute greatly to the final product, you must acknowledge them, if only for a very brief thank you. If you do not include your supervisor, it may be seen as a snub.

In the acknowledgements of your thesis or dissertation, you should first thank those who helped you academically or professionally, such as your supervisor, funders, and other academics.

Then you can include personal thanks to friends, family members, or anyone else who supported you during the process.

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Thesis or No Thesis? That Is the Question.

Many master’s degree programs have a thesis requirement, though some make this element optional. Writing a thesis can be an important step for students who have specific ambitions beyond earning a master’s degree. Below we’ll examine those as we discuss:

What Is a Thesis?

A thesis is an original document a student creates in the final semesters of their program from research they’ve conducted on a topic related to their major. Often, it’s a subject connected to their current professional interests and/or future ambitions. In writing a thesis, students demonstrate what they’ve learned during the entirety of their program. Before a thesis is accepted, the student must verbally defend it before select faculty from their college—essentially providing a persuasive summary of their work’s main points and findings. Thesis length varies but is generally 60 pages or more.

What if I Choose a Thesis Option?

The research experience you’ll gain while writing a master’s-level thesis can be an advantage if you want to work as a researcher or in any professional role with a large research component. A thesis is also recommended for anyone planning to continue on to doctoral studies after completing their master’s degree. Many master’s degree graduates publish their theses in academic or other periodicals, which can help them establish them as authorities in a specialized academic area.

What if I Choose a Non-Thesis Option?

Writing a thesis takes up a portion of the credit hours of a master’s degree program. Since a non-thesis option doesn’t devote those hours to a thesis, it typically allows you to complete more classes and build expertise in a wider variety of topics. It also enables you to focus on building skills outside of research, e.g., communication, critical thinking, and analysis. Students who choose a non-thesis option must pass an exam toward the end of their program.

Is There a Program That Offers Both Options?

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online Master of Arts in History program enables you to gear your studies toward your own academic and professional goals by offering thesis and non-thesis options:

Thesis Option: If approved, you will complete 24 credit hours (8 courses) from our core history courses and 6 hours of thesis work, for a total of 30 credit hours. You must successfully complete and defend your thesis during the semester of your graduation.

Non-Thesis Option: With this option, you are required to pass written and oral exams during the semester in which you’ll graduate.

Whichever path you choose in our program, you’ll embark on an enlightening exploration of history dating from the American Revolution to the most consequential events of the 20th century. Each course is dedicated to a single topic or era, enabling you to develop a deep understanding of the subject matter. Equipped with graduate-level credentials and expertise, you’ll be ready to achieve even greater success in your career.

Higher Earnings, Stable Employment, and Other Professional Benefits

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , professionals with a master’s degree earn about 18% more than those with a bachelor’s degree alone. The same report shows that master’s degree holders also enjoy higher rates of employment than those with an undergraduate degree. What’s more, the U.S. Department of Labor and Forbes agree that the skills you’ll develop in our MA in history program—including spoken and written communication, critical thinking, and analysis—are among the very skills today’s employers are seeking in job candidates. Our master’s degree offers real professional benefits that start while you’re completing your degree and continue well after graduation.

Earn Your Master’s Degree on Your Schedule

Do you have time-consuming professional and personal commitments? Many of our students do. Fortunately, our MA in history program has a 100% online, asynchronous format that allows you to set your own coursework schedule around any other obligations. You can complete coursework from practically any location that’s convenient for you. No GRE is required for admission, and you may be able to complete your degree in as little as two years.

We invite all career-minded individuals who’ve completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college to apply to our online MA in history program .

https://www.gograd.org/resources/thesis-or-non-thesis-masters-degree/

https://www.bestmastersdegrees.com/best-masters-degrees-faq/will-i-have-to-write-a-thesis-to-get-a-masters-degree

Choosing Between a Thesis or Non-thesis Master's Degree

As of 2015, approximately 25.4 million Americans held advanced degrees , with more citizens joining these ranks each year. As studies continue to show the career advancement and salary benefits of completing a master's degree, more and more students elect to pursue advanced educations. When considering their options, many question whether to enroll in a master's requiring a thesis or not. The following guide examines some of the reasons degree seekers may want to write a thesis while also highlighting why they might not. Students on the fence about this important decision can find expert advice, actionable tips, and relevant guidance to help them make an informed choice in the guide that follows.

Understanding the Master's Thesis

What is the difference between a thesis & non-thesis master's program, the decision not to do a thesis.

As students research various master's programs in their chosen discipline, it's common to find that many degrees require a thesis – especially if they want to enter a research-heavy field. While this word gets thrown around a lot in academia, some learners may want more information regarding what it entails in order to make an informed decision.

What is a Master's Thesis?

The master's thesis is an original piece of scholarship allowing the student to dig into a topic and produce an expanded document that demonstrates how their knowledge has grown throughout the degree program. These documents require significant independent research of primary and secondary sources and, depending on the subject, may require interviews and/or surveys to support the overarching argument.

Individual schools and departments dictate the length of these documents, but they typically range between 60 and 100 pages – or approximately 20,000 to 40,000 words. While tackling a document of such heft may seem overwhelming at first, learners need not fret. Each master's candidate receives a faculty advisor early in their tenure to provide support, feedback, and guidance throughout the process. Because the final thesis is expected to be of a publishable quality, learners seeking the highest marks typically send their supervisor excerpts of the document as they write to ensure they are on the right track.

When picking a thesis topic, no magical formula exists. Students should consider their interests and read extensively on that topic to get a better sense of existing scholarship. They should also speak to other academics working in that sphere to familiarize themselves with ongoing projects. Only after they feel reasonably well-read should they begin looking for uncovered angles or interesting ways of using emerging methodologies to bring new light to the topic.

When considering formatting, degree seekers should check with their specific schools and departments, as they may have unique requirements. To get a general understanding of what to expect, learners can review Simon Fraser University's guidelines on thesis formatting. After completing the thesis, some programs require an oral defense before a committee while others read the document and provide a grade. Check with your prospective schools to get a better sense of procedure.

Format & Components of a Master's Thesis

While this guide attempts to provide helpful and actionable information about the process of deciding whether to follow a thesis or non-thesis track in a master's program, readers should remember that specific components and requirements of a thesis vary according to discipline, university, and department. That being said, some commonalities exist across all these – especially when it comes to what students must include in their final drafts.

As the first section a reader encounters after moving through the table of contents and other anterior text, the introductory allows the writer to firmly establish what they want to accomplish. Sometimes also called the "research question" section, the introductory must clearly state the goals of the paper and the overarching hypothesis guiding the argument. This should be written in a professional yet accessible tone that allows individuals without specializations in the field to understand the text.

This section allows learners to demonstrate their deep knowledge of the field by providing context to existing texts within their chosen discipline Learners review the main bodies of work, highlighting any issues they find within each. Constructive criticism often centers around shortcomings, blind spots, or outdated hypotheses.

Students use this section to explain how they went about their work. While scientists may point to a specific method used to reach conclusions, historians may reference the use of an emerging framework for understanding history to bring new light to a topic. The point of this section is to demonstrate the thought processes that led to your findings.

This section allows for learners to show what they learned during the research process in a non-biased way. Students should simply state what information they gathered by utilizing a specific framework or methodology and arrange those findings, without interpretation, in an easy-to-read fashion.

After providing readers with all the necessary information, the discussion section exists for candidates to interpret the raw data and demonstrate how their research led to a new understanding or contributed a unique perspective to the field. This section should directly connect to the introduction by reinforcing the hypothesis and showing how you answered the questions posed.

Even though the previous sections give prospective degree seekers a better sense of what to expect if they decide to write a thesis during their master's program, they don't necessarily help learners decide whether to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track. The following section highlights some of the reasons students frequently choose to complete a thesis or bypass the process altogether by providing a pros and cons list.

Why a Thesis Program

Why a Non-thesis Program

How to Choose a Master's Program: FAQs

Within some academic disciplines and professional fields, research and writing plays a key role in work done on a daily basis. Because of this, master's programs in these fields require learners to complete theses to compete against peers and be seen as competent in their work. Other disciplines, conversely, rely on other tools to accomplish work and progress ideas – making theses less important.

Yes. Master's programs focused more on application than research typically don't require a thesis – although they may still give students the option. Examples of common non-thesis master's programs include nursing, business, and education.

Even though non-thesis students won't be writing a 100-page paper, that doesn't mean they avoid completing a significant project. In place of a thesis, most applied master's programs require students to take part in at least one internship or complete a culminating project. These projects typically ask learners to take what they learned throughout coursework and create an expansive final project – examples include case studies, creative works, or portfolios.

While students who followed a non-thesis path routinely receive acceptance to Ph.D. programs, those with theses often find the process easier. Even if a learner pursues a Ph.D. in a discipline that isn't research-heavy, admissions panels still want to get a sense of your academic interests and ability to engage in independent, nuanced thought. Students with theses can provide solid proof of these skills, while those without may struggle to demonstrate preparedness as thoroughly.

The answer to this question depends on many factors, but typically it is okay not to do a thesis if you plan to enter a field that doesn't depend heavily on research or writing, or if you don't plan to complete a Ph.D.

Students wanting to work in academic, research, or writing should always opt for the thesis track. They should also follow this path if they have any doctoral degree aspirations.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to complete a thesis rests with the individual student. Figuring out how to proceed on this front requires lots of careful consideration, and learners should ensure they consider various aspects before coming to a final decision. The following section helps students consider how they should and should not come to a conclusion.

Dos and Don'ts of Choosing a Thesis or Non-thesis Program

From the Expert

Sudiksha Joshi

Sudiksha Joshi, Ph.D. is a learning advocate. Her mission is to empower our youth to think bigger, bolder thoughts and forge a career path that will change the world. She taps into her natural curiosity and ability to identify strengths to help students and those in transition find their path from feeling lost in the traditional ways of achieving success to charting their own path. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Medium and LinkedIn.

Why might a student decide to follow a thesis track? Why might they follow a non-thesis track?

A student might decide to take a thesis track if she/he wants to pursue a Ph.D. Also, if the students want to focus on careers where research and writing have a strong focus, the students opt for the thesis option. Research assistantships at the graduate level are also more often available to students who opt for the thesis option.

A student who might feel that writing is not one of their strengths might choose to go the non-thesis track. Likewise, a student who has other work commitments may find a non-thesis option more convenient.

Do you have any tips for deciding on a program?

I chose a thesis option because being able to conduct independent research was a big reason to go to graduate school. Also, showing the ability that I could do research was what afforded me research assistantships which meant that my tuition was paid for and I got a stipend that paid for expenses while I was in graduate school. This also allowed me the opportunity to work closely with the faculty mentor that provided me with the support and the accountability I wanted.

I would not recommend taking a non-thesis option if all the degree requires is for you to take courses. You have little to show in terms of your learning other than your grades unless you are already working on something on the side that does that for you and all you need is a certificate.

Opt for a non-thesis option if you can still work closely with a professor or on a project and if you'd rather be involved in multiple projects rather than focus on a single project. If you already have a good (informed) reason for choosing one over the other, go for it.

What's the most important thing to consider when choosing a program?

The most important thing to consider when choosing a program is getting excited about the projects that at least one of the faculty members are involved in. Do some research and see why you are excited about a particular work that at least one of the faculty members have been involved in.

Who should students talk to when considering options?

Students should talk to other students and also reach out directly to the graduate coordinator and even individual faculty members. This means that students should have done prior homework and have some good questions ready. Asking good questions will get you at least halfway through to make the right decision.

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What to Think About When Choosing Between a Thesis & Non-Thesis Master’s Degree

What to Think About When Choosing Between a Thesis & Non-Thesis Master’s Degree

When choosing a graduate program, you’ll find that you may have to decide between pursuing either a thesis or non-thesis master’s degree. Although employers do not consider which you choose during the hiring process, your decision can significantly impact the skills you acquire in your academic career. 

What Is the difference?

A non-thesis master’s degree focuses on coursework . Students are immersed into projects and learning environments that help strengthen their knowledge in their field. Similar to undergraduate programs, a non-thesis program is structured around assignments, group and individual projects, and exams. Research may be included somewhere in the program, but it is primarily focused on helping students achieve skills that will help them become more successful in their careers. This degree path typically has more courses than a non-thesis degree but can be completed in a shorter amount of time.

A thesis master’s degree is more research intensive. Students who aim to work on a thesis can expect to do more reading and writing as they specialize their knowledge. The coursework is generally centered around preparation for a final thesis, building their skills in research, data collection, analysis, and writing. Professors act more as guides and advisors who help students clarify their goals and aid in their research projects and thesis development. Master’s theses are a great primer for anyone looking to pursue a Ph.D., as research skills will be crucial in the development of a dissertation.

Which One Should You Choose?

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong degree path. Both degrees offer a quality education that can help you excel. One thing to consider when deliberating is why you’re pursuing your graduate degree. If you’re going back to college to help you change fields or get to that next level of your career, a non-thesis master’s degree can help you get there. If you want to dive into a career in research and development or pursue a Ph.D., a thesis master’s degree may be more worthwhile. 

Graduate Student Doing Research

Another thing to consider is your learning style. What methods of learning do you enjoy more? If you thrive in group projects and assignments, a non-thesis degree may be more efficient in helping you retain information. For those of you independent thinkers who love to dive deeply into subjects, you might relish in the idea of the research needed in the production of a thesis. Think about what type of academic environment will motivate you to earn your degree. 

Here are 7 questions that you can ask yourself to help you decide:

If you have any questions or want to learn more about what each program has to offer, reach out to your school’s faculty and admissions officers. After all, the most important thing about a program isn’t the name of the degree, but what you gain from it.

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Illinois Tech offers more than 200 graduate degree programs that require either a thesis or a non-thesis track. Both options have benefits.

What Is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Non-Thesis Graduate Degree?

Thesis programs involve more research than non-thesis programs. It is important to keep in mind that nearly all master’s degrees require some form of research as part of their course of study. 

Thesis degree programs typically take longer to complete than non-thesis programs, as students are required to dedicate multiple semesters to focus on research and data collection. Upon completion of their research, each student is required to write a large-formatted paper sharing their methods, data, and discovery to be published. Students who desire to have a career in research typically take the thesis route in preparation for Ph.D. study.

Non-thesis  programs traditionally require each student to submit a large project, also known as a capstone, upon completion of the program. Students in non-thesis degree programs may be required to write papers explaining their projects; however, there are no expectations that these papers will be published. The non-thesis option is best for working professionals who do not have the time and resources to conduct multi-semester research. 

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What is a College Thesis?

College Thesis vs Field Experience

How to pick the right one, a few thesis paper topic ideas.

Before graduating from school, some students wonder if everyone must do a college thesis. You might hear various things, but the truth is a thesis is not always required from graduate students to complete their school programs. Of course, it depends on many things, including the type of study. Some schools offer two ways that include thesis writing  and a non-thesis variant where students have to take more classes without creating a thesis. In our short article, you can learn about some alternatives to a thesis. It will help you to decide which option to choose or if you should simply ask thesis writing service for help. We will provide you with full information about a college thesis and thesis writing services that can help avoid struggling with this paper. Of course, the final decision is yours! 

A college thesis is quite complex work students have to create within their last year before graduating a school. In general, students are required to select a topic they studied and make research around the chosen subject. The topic must be related to the students’ part experience. After selecting a subject, students have to submit it with an advisor. They can start their research and writing after the meeting with an advisor. Later, when their paper is completed, college professors read it and decide if the document meets all the needed requirements and instructions for graduating from school. 

Final Research or Capstone Project 

If you’ve heard that some graduate students are not required to create a thesis, you should know that in some schools, students have to finish a capstone project instead of a thesis. This is a kind of final research on the chosen topic. It’s a better choice for those students who don’t like to work in a classroom and prefer things connected to the experience. For example, a student who studies computer science can make new software or a new program for a computer instead of creating a huge work about innovations in computer science and technology.   

Some students in a school who have completed their field experience can not be required to create a school thesis. For some people, it may seem like a simpler variant. If you’re thinking about selecting this option, you have to know that your school may require completing around 300 or more hours of fieldwork under your supervisor’s control. Needless to say, this work should be done after finishing the studies. It means that it may take about 3 or more years to get your degree. If compared with students who choose thesis writing, they can get a degree within 2 years or even less. Are you one of them? Pay attention to all thesis parts and their detailed descriptions from the beginning. Of course, the choice is yours. Keep in mind that if you will choose fieldwork, you may be required to provide detailed logs of your work and show these logs to the department before you get a degree.  

Of course, you have to decide what variant is more acceptable for you. Some people don’t want to create a thesis because they don’t like long research. We believe you understand how long is a thesis and how much time you should spend with books in the library. In this case, a non-thesis variant is a good option. It’s suitable for those students who want to get more experience in the selected field and avoid a lot of paperwork. The option of writing a research project will fit those students who want to make a project without detailed research, and fieldwork will appeal to those people who agree to work extra time before graduating from a school.   

Some professors would want you to come up with thesis paper topics on your own, without giving you advice at all. Sure, it is quite a challenging task for the majority of students. Here we have compiled ideas for thesis  that we believe are worth consideration to expedite your creativity. Feel free to check this list to get a better understanding as to how good thesis topics should look like:

If you have decided to write a thesis, but feel like it’s too difficult for you to complete this task, don’t be upset! You still have a chance to make a proper document and get a degree without problems. Just ask our professional team to assist in making your thesis, and we will finish this paper on time. Our talented specialists are here to work on your college thesis!

If you want to deliver a senior thesis and start a professional career quickly, then you need not only to research a topic well but also to find all the necessary information for the final work and know how to properly format and structure a thesis. Thus, having a clear plan and understanding what s...

Are you about to write a bachelor thesis? Congratulations - you are on the home straight and need to take the very last but important step to earn a bachelor’s degree. You have successfully handled all academic assignments; however, it doesn’t make bachelor thesis writing any easier. Writing a thesi...

Writing a master’s thesis requires a lot of patience. It's not something you can create in a few days. It’s a large scale project, so you’ll have to make a strict schedule and write a little piece every day. Do you feel it's a difficult job for you and you need thesis help? Instead of devoting your ...

Requirements For The Degrees

The Master of Engineering: Mechanical degree requires the completion of 30 credit hours of course work beyond the bachelor’s degree and does not require a thesis. Courses for this degree may be selected from a range of fundamental and applied topics in mechanical engineering and related subject areas.

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Master's non-Thesis degree, MSE

Information concerning the pursuit of a Master's non-thesis degree in MSE, including degree requirements, time frame for completion, graduation details, and more.

The Master's degree program is designed to give students the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and necessary skills in a specific area of Materials Science. A non-thesis option Master's primarily involves academic course work followed by the defense of a written document, such as critical literature review, during the final term of enrollment. The structured research component of the MS with Thesis is not present in the non-thesis option.

Two forms of the MS non-thesis are available to MSE students: 1) as a final degree, after which the student exits the program, or 2) as an intermediate degree earned upon successful completion of the Ph.D. Candidacy Exam.

Time frame for completion

The typical length of time for completion of a Master's non-thesis degree while enrolled as a full time student is approximately three to six terms. For the MS non-thesis as final degree, the student will prepare a document, such as a critical literature review or technical report, which is defended before a two member committee of MSE faculty. Development of this document typically takes place in the student's final term in the program. For students earning the degree based on the Candidacy Exam, the Candidacy typically occurs in the third to seventh term of enrollment.

Degree requirements

Master's non-thesis degree requirements MSE-specific requirements to earn a Master's non-thesis degree in materials science and engineering.

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COMMENTS

  1. What Are the Best-Reviewed Online Nursing Degrees?

    With the increasing need for more qualified nurses in the United States, even prestigious colleges and universities have made their nursing programs available online. The University of Cincinnati has a reputation across many educational rev...

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    If you want to expand your areas of expertise as an attorney, a number of highly esteemed institutions offer online law programs for distance learners who aspire to take their legal careers to the next level.

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    University of the People is currently the only source for a free, accredited, online bachelor’s degree. However, numerous websites enable you to take free college courses online. Some of these courses are available for credit with an extra ...

  4. Do all Bachelor's degrees have a thesis or major paper?

    No, not all Bachelor's degrees have a thesis or major paper. For example, a Bachelor of Arts degree does not require a thesis. Instead, students write a

  5. Do you have to Write a Thesis for Undergrad or Bachelor's

    You do not have to write a thesis for your undergraduate or bachelor's degree if it is not a requirement in your course. However, some

  6. Are there higher education systems in which is not required to write

    Many undergraduate degrees do not require a thesis. Although which ones do and do not depend upon the school. Many graduate degrees also do

  7. Who typically writes a thesis?

    A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor's or Master's degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts

  8. Thesis or No Thesis? That Is the Question.

    Writing a thesis takes up a portion of the credit hours of a master's degree program. Since a non-thesis option doesn't devote those hours to a thesis

  9. Choosing Between a Thesis & Non-Thesis Master's Degree

    Are there specific subjects that don't require them vs those that do?

  10. What to Think About When Choosing Between a Thesis & Non

    A non-thesis master's degree focuses on coursework. Students are immersed into projects and learning environments that help strengthen their knowledge in their

  11. Thesis vs Non-Thesis

    Thesis programs involve more research than non-thesis programs. It is important to keep in mind that nearly all master's degrees require some form of research

  12. What is a College Thesis and Why You Should Write It

    Before graduating from school, some students wonder if everyone must do a college thesis. You might hear various things, but the truth is a thesis is not

  13. Mechanical Engineering

    Requirements For The Degrees. The Master of Engineering: Mechanical degree requires the completion of 30 credit hours of course work beyond the bachelor's

  14. Master's non-Thesis degree, MSE

    MS non-thesis as final degree. This degree does not involve laboratory research instead requiring more academic study than the MS with Thesis. Thus this degree