Selection of a Thesis Research Topic
The department wishes its graduate students to have as much free choice as possible in selecting a thesis topic, within the confines of the department's financial resources and faculty interest.
At the beginning of the Fall Semester, new students entering the graduate program will hear a presentation of possible thesis topics from all faculty members having open research positions. These presentations will be made during the Colloquium class. During the 2 to 6 week period which these presentations are made, new students will have the opportunity to speak to all faculty members offering thesis research topics on a person-to-person basis. The purpose of these meetings is to allow a more in-depth investigation of the thesis topics available. It is expected that each student will speak to all the faculty members having thesis topics that are of interest to the student. The meetings also allow the faculty to evaluate the students as potential research assistants in their laboratory.
By the sixth class day following the last presentation (before 5:00 p.m.), the student should place his/her name under the chosen topics on the blackboard set up in the Receiving Room. At least three topics must be chosen and the order of preference should be indicated by numbers 1, 2, and 3 for first, second, and third choices. During this six-day period, students are free to change their choices up to the final deadline.
Matching thesis research topics to students' choices will be determined by the entire faculty. Every effort will be made to assign students their first or second choices. However, students must remember that individual faculty can only accommodate a limited number of new students and that the Department has made a commitment to all of the faculty to provide them with sufficient students to fill available funded projects. A student who is dissatisfied with the topic assigned to his/her may appeal the decision to the faculty.
There will be no seminar presentation of thesis topics by the faculty for new graduate students entering during the Spring Semester or Summer. Instead, the students will be provided with a list of thesis topics from which they are to choose and they must meet with the faculty members concerned on an individual basis. The listing will be available from the Chair of the Graduate Program Committee who will also advise the student of other details of thesis topic selection procedure in his/her particular case.
Reviewed on 12/19/11