Thesis Process

To obtain your Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities degree, you must author and present a thesis to the public and to your committee.

Your thesis prospectus

A thesis prospectus is a document outlining your plans for your thesis that may include:

  • resources you will use
  • literature review
  • proposed committee members
  • research questions
  • purpose and outcomes of your research
  • theoretical assumptions
  • methods
  • timeline of progression

You will have to defend your thesis prospectus to the department chair and your committee members. All will have to sign off on the prospectus before you begin your thesis. Your thesis prospectus should be completed by the end of your third semester. 

Guidelines for SUS committees
Prospectus guidelines
Prospectus approval meeting guidelines
How to Select Your Committee and Chair

Your thesis

To assist in your research and writing, six credit hours of Thesis Development is required to graduate. Usually, your last semester is dedicated solely to writing your thesis.

After you have written your thesis, you must defend your work to the department chair and committee members and give a public presentation. The public presentation is more of a celebration of your work and anyone is invited.

The oral defense, however, determines the approval of your thesis.

Guidelines for SUS committees
Guidelines for oral defense
Report on final oral exam
Thesis formatting checklist