Students should begin to discuss their ideas about a thesis topic with their graduate advisors over the course of their first term. For some students, it is helpful to use an independent study course in the second term to develop research skills and conduct pilot work that may develop into a thesis topic. The final thesis proposal should be presented by the end of the third term.
The format and length should be decided in consultation with the graduate advisor.
In addition to judging the quality and feasibility of the work at the time of the proposal, the thesis committee members should also ensure that the scope of the work is constrained such that it can be completed within 8-10 months.
The thesis committee should consist of a supervisor plus two other committee members. If co-supervision is involved, co-supervisors equal two members and only one additional member is required.
The proposed work should be of sufficient quality/quantity to be publishable in a peer-reviewed journal.
To monitor the student’s progress, and ensure that the deadline can be met, the student should submit a brief report (maximum one page) of progress one-page report to his/her committee once a term after the proposal presentation.
If the committee or student feels that a face-to-face meeting is needed they should makes arrangements with all of the members on the committee. Otherwise they should at least meet once before the thesis defence, preferably at the halfway mark.
On occasion students have postponed presenting a proposal until they had eliminated all possible problems and produced an “airtight” document. The intent of the proposal is to assist and protect the student who, in most instances, is conducting his/her first sustained research project.
There is a tendency for students to develop too broad of a topic. The student should discuss their research ideas with the thesis committee before the thesis proposal is written and given to the committee. The purpose of these discussions is to ensure that the thesis idea is sound before the student commits to writing the proposal and going forward with the proposal defence.
Each student must submit a written research proposal to his/her thesis committee before the proposal presentation.
For the convenience of all readers the document should be bound and must be in the committee’s hands long enough in advance to allow them to read it carefully, typically two weeks before the presentation.
It should be comprised of the introduction, methods and data analysis OR the first three chapters of the thesis, although the written literature review at this stage may not be exhaustive. A reference list should be included.
Further changes while carrying out the research are almost inevitable but you must make sure that your committee is kept informed of them via written memos and not informal oral communication
Students must present the proposal at public meeting to which the department and other interested persons are invited. This may be a Kin 670 seminar or other open meeting. This gives you the opportunity to practice thinking on your feet, organize an oral presentation and benefit from the suggestions of your colleagues.
- The student contacts all members of the committee to set up available dates and times (usually held during KIN 670 Seminar).
- The student books a room for the date and time agreed to by all committee members. Book the room for at least a two hour period. Notify all committee members of location and time.
- Please complete the MSc Thesis Proposal Notification Form (PDF) two weeks prior to your presentation date and return it to the Graduate Coordinator. Your thesis supervisor chairs the presentation
- Provide each member of the committee with a copy of your thesis proposal one to two weeks in advance of the presentation date. For the convenience of all readers, please have the document placed in 3 ring binders. A department copy of the proposal is NOT required.
- The Graduate Coordinator will announce the upcoming thesis proposal presentation to all departmental faculty and students by sending out an e-mail announcement.
- The Graduate Coordinator will provide the Supervisor/Chair with the MSc Proposal Report prior to the presentation date (on-campus mailbox).
- After the presentation has taken place, the supervisor will return the MSc Thesis Proposal Report Form to the Graduate Coordinator with the decision marked.