Before signing up for PHIL 799 Thesis, students must have a thesis proposal, a thesis director and a thesis committee.
Time lines for thesis submission:
Your thesis proposal is developed in consultation with—and must be approved by—your three-person committee before starting your first semester of PHIL 799.
Your thesis director and at least one other member of your committee must be members of the GMU Philosophy faculty and must be GMU full-time faculty.
To prepare the proposal, you may wish to sign up for an independent study course under the direction of your selected thesis advisor in the semester prior to your first semester of PHIL 799.
Writing a detailed thesis proposal is the key to successful and timely completion of work. A discussion of ideas with each committee member prior to writing the proposal will help clarify the approach to be taken.
The thesis proposal should include the following:
The proposal is generally 5-15 pages, including:
The thesis committee will request revisions to the proposal if these criteria have not been met or clearly conveyed. Proposals containing grammatical errors or poor writing will not be approved. Students must fulfill these requirements and their proposals must be approved before registering for a second semester of PHIL 799.
A thesis is original, independent research presented in the form of a scholarly document that has the potential to be published in a professional journal. A thesis is an unbiased examination of a research hypothesis followed by analysis and presentation of conclusions. The thesis will include a complete bibliography and documentation of source material within the text. A thesis is focused on issues of significance to the field(s) of interest chosen by the student. Academic research involves posing a question or hypothesis and using appropriate methodology to prove or disprove the proposed hypothesis.
Thesis prerequisites are completion of 24 credits toward the MA in philosophy, approval of the thesis proposal by the thesis committee, and permission of instructor (thesis director).
Theses are graded S (Satisfactory) or NC (No Credit). The director may grant an IP (In Progress) grade during the first semester of PHIL 799 if the proposal is not completed within one semester. The director may grant an IP (in progress) grade if the thesis is not completed within the second semester of PHIL 799.
George Mason graduate policy requires all students enrolled in PHIL 799 to maintain continuous enrollment in at least one credit (PHIL 799) per semester while working on a project or thesis. Continuous enrollment does not apply to the summer session unless the student anticipates graduating in that session.
Theses must meet university standards for formatting and submission. For more information about thesis formatting and submission, students should contact the Dissertation/Thesis Service coordinator (C203 Fenwick Library or 703.993.2222). A collection of completed theses can be found at the Fenwick Library. Students are advised to consult the University Dissertation & Thesis Service (UDTS) .