The MALS Thesis and Special Project

Each MALS student must complete either a thesis or a special project as the culminating experience of his or her program of study. For most students, this is the largest academic assignment they have ever approached, and it can be daunting. However, some good planning and a little knowledge about how best to use the resources available can make a huge difference in your experience with this endeavor. This page contains tips and links to help you get a better idea of what is expected as you write your thesis or project support paper, as well as how to work with the faculty on your graduate advisory committee as your research develops.

The actual time it takes to bring a thesis or project from idea to successful defense is highly individual, depending on the nature of your research, whether you are studying full- or part-time, and whether or not you enter MALS with a thesis or project idea in mind. In reality, your thesis/project preparation begins when you design your Program of Study. While you may not have an exact topic in mind yet, your Program of Study provides the foundation for your interdisciplinary research, and your thesis or project must relate to your coursework.

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Thesis and project guidelines

Both the MALS program and the Graduate School have specific requirements for the content and format of a thesis or project. The specifics are available on the MALS Program Thesis and Project Site and in both the MALS Handbook and the ETSU Graduate Catalog:

MALS Handbook - Thesis and Project Guidelines

ETSU Graduate Catalog


Tips for writing your thesis and project support paper

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