Guidelines for Preparation

Work with your advisor to focus your topic and to develop your ideas into a manageable plan for research and writing. Your proposed plan should be described in 1000 words or less as a Word document attached to the Thesis Proposal form.

Complete the Thesis Proposal form including the signatures of both your thesis advisor and you. Then bring it to the Liberal Arts Studies Office for review and approval by the Liberal Arts Studies Director. Once you receive notification of approval you may begin work on the thesis. Your proposal may be returned to you for revision. Allow plenty of time to complete the thesis proposal and complete any needed revisions well before the deadline at the beginning of each semester.

Your proposal is not set in stone. You will find that your thesis varies from the original plan as you go along. This is to be expected in a developing idea. Your proposal is a broad guideline, not a straitjacket. Your final product may differ from the proposal as stated. However, if your developing thesis turns out to be fundamentally different from the original proposal, to the extent that you are changing your topic or adding or deleting a major portion of your proposed research and methods, please submit a new description to the Liberal Arts Studies Director for additional approval.

Your proposal should describe:

  • The nature and scope of the topic.
  • The existing literature on the topic and your hypotheses to be used in developing your approach to the topic.
  • The research you intend to conduct and the materials available to support it.
  • A preliminary bibliography
  • The argument you hope to establish and the outcomes you hope to achieve.
  • Your planned schedule of meetings with your thesis advisor.
  • Your timetable for enrolling in Thesis I and II, for conducting research, and for completing your degree.


If you have questions about the Liberal Arts Studies M.A. program, please contact us so we can help you!