Independent Research Project
An Independent Research Project is completed in the first two years of study under the supervision of one or more faculty members. Usually, students begin a project in their first year and complete it in their second year.
At the end of the first year, students present work in progress in a poster format at the Spring Graduate Research Conference in the beginning of May. The poster should give evidence of substantial thought and careful planning, but data need not be collected at this point. In some cases, however, work presented at the end of the first year may represent a completed project. First Year Project Guidelines
Second Year Project
At the end of the second year, students present a completed research project in a talk format at the Spring Graduate Research Conference with a short question-and-answer session following each presentation. The project will be written up in journal article format by the end of August of the second year. The portfolio committee will judge when this part of the requirement has been satisfactorily completed. Students who fail to complete this requirement will not be allowed to take a full course load in the fall and will have to continue on special status until the write-up is completed. Second Year Project Guidelines
Completion of Pre-Dissertation Requirements
Students desiring a formal M.A. degree may submit their research to the University as their M.A. thesis. There will be no thesis defense. The University requirements, which are concerned primarily with formatting issues, are available in the Graduate School Office. Students entering the program with a completed M.A. will work with their portfolio committee and the program chair to decide which courses they can transfer to the program. The portfolio committee will also decide if each student needs the experience of presenting at the Spring Graduate Research Conference, and if so, whether a poster or paper presentation would be most beneficial to the student. Students may not miss the early May Graduate Research Conference deadline and must present something at the conference, unless there are extenuating circumstances requiring special status or a leave of absence. Insubstantial work at the end of the second year without approval for special status or leave will result in termination of the program at the M.A. level.