Master's Thesis Description

Thesis Description
The thesis component of the M.A. in Urban Education at Rhodes College is meant to demonstrate advanced study and inquiry into a particular facet of urban education in relation to the experiences of teacher candidates in the program. The thesis is a work of original scholarship, designed with guidance from a thesis advisor and thesis committee. A copy of the final project is added to the College Archives. 

The Thesis Committee
Students are responsible for assembling their thesis committee. The thesis advisor should be selected based on areas of inquiry and expertise: finding the professor who is most closely aligned to the field(s) of study relevant to the thesis project. Working with their advisor, candidates will choose two additional members of their committee. At least two committee members must have their PhD. A third committee member may be selected who has alternative demonstrated expertise or who has considerable relevant practitioner experience. At least one committee member must be Rhodes Educational Studies faculty. All committee appointments are subject to review and approval by the Master's Thesis coordinator and program faculty.

The Thesis Proposal
The proposal should explain the purpose of the study or inquiry, including the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of Relevant Literature
  3. Methodology or Forms of Inquiry

Thesis proposals should be roughly 2,000 words, excluding references. Guidelines for specific requirements of each section of the proposal will be assigned by the thesis advisor. The thesis committee will review the proposal, and submit requests for revisions to the candidate as necessary. 

The Completed Thesis
The thesis should be organized into the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of Relevant Literature
  3. Methodology or Forms of Inquiry
  4. Discussion/Results/Analysis
  5. Conclusion

Complete theses should be between 6,000-8,000 words, including references. A separate document outlines the formatting requirements for the thesis.

The Thesis Defense
The thesis defense is the culminating moment of the M.A. program. The defense will be open to the Rhodes community and Summer Institute participants for the presentation section. Candidates will be allotted 20-30 minutes to present their thesis and respond to questions from the audience. After this, the audience will be excused and the candidate and thesis committee will meet in private. Successful completion of the thesis includes making any revisions requested by the committee following the defense.