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Types of Theses

Current MA students who are interested in seeing sample theses should consult the Gallatin Master's Thesis Archive, which is accessible with an NYU Net ID.

Research Thesis

The research thesis is essentially an extended research paper, approximately 50-100 pages in length, consisting of a systematic inquiry into a phenomenon, question, or problem that you attempt to address or resolve. The research may entail the collection and analysis of original (primary) information through some form of empirical data-gathering; it will certainly involve the use, analysis, and critique of already published (secondary) sources. Both primary and secondary research will demand appropriate scholarly methods.


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Artistic Thesis

The artistic thesis is appropriate for those students who wish to display the creative process in the performing, visual or literary arts. A student might make a film or video; choreograph an evening of dance; act in a play; mount an exhibit of paintings; write a screenplay, novel, play or collection of short stories; or choose another artistic endeavor. The artistic thesis represents the culmination of a Gallatin arts concentration in which the student has studied the genre under consideration.

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Project Thesis

The project thesis consists of two elements: (1) the project, a professional activity designed and executed primarily by the student as a way of solving a problem, and (2) an accompanying essay about the project. This thesis is especially appropriate for students in such fields as business, education, social work or public administration. The project thesis may appeal to those students who are active in their profession and who take responsibility for the creation of some kind of program or practice.

Students should understand that the project cannot simply propose a professional activity; the design for such an activity must actually be carried out (at least in a pilot version) and evaluated. Some examples of projects: a student in education may develop and apply a new strategy for teaching reading to recent immigrants; a person working in a corporation may construct new methods for managing financial information; or a community worker in a settlement house may organize a group of local residents to combat drug abuse.

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