Timeline for Preparing and Submitting an MA Thesis
University of Central Arkansas
This timeline is for English graduate students preparing a master’s thesis. It combines department and Graduate School requirements. Students working on a thesis need to consult UCA’s “Thesis and Dissertation Preparation Guide” as well as the “Dissertation/Thesis Submission Checklist,” both of which are available on the Graduate School’s webpage:
1. Before completing 15 hours of coursework and before finalizing a thesis committee, file a notice of intent to write a thesis with the department chair. (An email will suffice; beginning in Spring 2017, use the Graduate School’s form.)
2. As soon as the thesis committee has been assembled, submit the “Thesis Committee Selection Form.” (Link to form provided below. Requires signatures.) The third reader should, if possible, be a graduate faculty member from outside of the English department. If all efforts to secure a third reader from another department fail, the student may ask another English faculty member to serve.
3. Circulate a research proposal/prospectus to committee members. (Roughly 6-8 pages.) The proposal must be submitted to all members of the thesis committee. The proposal should communicate the thesis topic, specify the primary texts to be analyzed and selected secondary sources, identify a tentative thesis statement/argument, situate the argument among current scholarly arguments/debates, outline the theoretical framework/critical approach to be used if applicable, and give readers an idea of the writer’s plan for organizing the thesis.
4. Schedule a formal presentation of the research proposal to the entire thesis committee. This presentation should last approximately 30-40 minutes. It should focus on discussion of the proposal, and the committee should communicate any necessary changes or revisions that need to be made in order to yield a successful thesis.
• Submit the proposal to the committee by October 15.
• Secure approval of the proposal by November 15.
• Submit the proposal to the committee by March 15.
• Secure approval of the proposal by April 15.
*The formal presentation needs to be scheduled sometime before the deadline for securing approval.