Master’s Thesis Process

(For all M.A. in Theology students enrolled prior to Fall 2019, or M.A. in Philosophy students regardless of date enrolled. Exceptional M.A. in Theology students enrolled in Fall 2019 or later, can write a thesis is approved by the appropriate academic dean.)

Statement of Purpose

Students who aspire to continue for more advanced degrees (e.g., a licentiate, Ph.D., or S.T.D.) may choose to write an M.A. thesis, a major research paper of approximately 50-60 pages, in fulfillment of their summative evaluation project, and it will be noted on their transcripts.

The Master of Arts thesis indicates scholarly competence in a topic in the student’s area of concentration. For that reason, students may elect to receive 3 credits for writing it so that it will count toward completion of the degree requirement of 36 credit hours.

Requirements for M.A. Thesis Direction

(Managed by the Academic Dean, or for online students, by the Assistant Academic Dean of Online Learning.)

  • Student enrolled in M.A. program.
  • Student has completed at least 24 semester hours of coursework.
  • Student has maintained a 3.0 grade point average in his/her classes.
  • Student has written a thesis or dissertation using qualitative research methodologies in a prior graduate program or has successfully completed the three-credit course entitled ENG 891 Academic Research, Design, and Writing.


Upon a student’s completion of his or her thesis, he or she will engage in an oral defense of the work either on campus or via video conferencing software.

After obtaining the clearly expressed consent of both the Advisor and the Reader or Reviewer, the Student may invite one or more guests to attend the Oral Defense Session. If guests attend the Oral Defense Session, they must do so as silent auditors. Any guests along with the Student must be dismissed when the Advisor and the Reader or Reviewer confer regarding final evaluation of the Summative Evaluation. Guests are not to be readmitted when the Advisor informs the Student of the final evaluation.

Fee Structure

The cost of pursuing a thesis is the same as that for a three-credit course plus an additional reviewer fee. A continuation fee is added for each additional semester a student invests in producing his or her thesis. These fees are itemized in the Tuition and Fee Schedule section of this catalog.

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