MASTER’S THESIS REQUIREMENTS AND FORMS
Academic Year 2019-2020
The MA thesis requirement is a multi-step process that should ideally begin during the first year of the program. Students in their first year are therefore encouraged to start thinking about a thesis topic in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and other faculty members in the program as early as the spring of their first year. By the end of the spring semester of the first year, students should have a preliminary thesis topic that they will have discussed with the Director of Graduate Studies and with faculty members in the program. Before the end of their first year students will submit a short pre-prospectus plan for their summer and preliminary directions on the thesis. If the research involves working with human subjects, then it will need to be approved by the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS) prior to the beginning of the research process. IRB clearance is necessary for the completion of your thesis if you plan to conduct interviews, so please plan ahead and visit here.
In the fall of the second year, students are required to formalize their thesis topic by getting it approved by their thesis committee and by the Director of Graduate Studies. A thesis committee consists of a thesis advisor and of a second reader; it should be created in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. Once a thesis committee has been selected, students are required to write a thesis topic proposal in consultation with their thesis committee. The final proposal should be 3-5 pages in length and should include a preliminary bibliography. The proposal should clearly state your topic, delineate your research question(s), discuss the motivations behind your topic, and describe your material and the methodology that you will be relying on in your thesis. See Elements of a Proposal for further guidance. Once your thesis proposal has been approved by both of your thesis committee members, you will need to submit a copy of your proposal as well as a signed copy of the Masters Thesis Proposal Approval Form to the Director of Graduate Studies by Dec 2, 2019 (electronic submission permissible).
Once a thesis topic has been approved, students should begin the research/reading/writing process in consultation with their thesis committee. Students are highly encouraged to meet with their advisor prior to the December/January break in order to agree on a TO DO list for the break. Students should plan on using the break to make significant headway on their reading and research. Ideally, students should meet with their committee members on a regular basis throughout the spring semester in order to obtain feedback on outlines and drafts, come up with deadlines and discuss progress towards completion. Students are also encouraged to meet regularly and consult with the Director of Graduate Studies.
The final draft of the thesis should be 35-50 pages long (50 pages is the absolute maximum); it should be divided into chapters and include proper citations and a bibliography. It should generally have the format and style of a substantial scholarly article in a Middle Eastern studies field. Joint Kevo/GloJo students usually submit a long form journalistic piece as their thesis, and accordingly work closely with the Journalism faculty throughout this process. In addition, joint students usually have a primary advisor from the journalism school and a second reader from Near Eastern Studies. In either case, the final thesis must present the author’s own research and relate this to existing scholarly understanding of the topic or field.
The final deadline thesis approval is Friday, May 8th, 2020. This means that by May 8th, your committee members will have had time to read your thesis, give you feedback and time to revise, and then approve the final revised version of the thesis. May 8th is NOT the deadline to hand your thesis to your advisors, it is the deadline to get it approved; so please plan accordingly. You must submit your thesis to your readers with ample time for them to read and review. If your thesis is not approved by May 8th you will not be able to graduate on time. You will need to turn in the following documents to receive approval:
GSAS MA Thesis Reader Sheet with signatures from both your adviser and your reader. A copy of the form is included with this handout. On the form, your committee members will have the option to either approve or not approve your thesis. It is your responsibility to make sure that your committee members are aware of the May 8th deadline and that they return the form to you by the deadline. If both your committee members approve your thesis by May 8th, then your thesis requirement is fulfilled. If it is not approved, then your thesis requirement will be considered incomplete, and you will not be able to graduate this May.
In addition to the GSAS MA Thesis Reader Sheet with the signatures of both of your committee members, you will need to submit a Thesis Title Page by the 8th of May. The title page should include your thesis title, your name, the date, and the following required text: “Submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Science in Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements for The Master of Arts in Near Eastern Studies at NYU”. The title page should also include the signatures of both of your committee members.
If one of your committee members is an outside faculty member who is not based at NYU, then they can scan and email the forms to Professor Jared McCormick (firstname.lastname@example.org) with their signature and comments. You will also need to provide Professor McCormick with a copy of their CV.