[Psychmasters] Enrollment in Thesis courses

Miller, Rowland Spence PSY_RSM at shsu.edu
Fri Apr 27 13:20:21 CDT 2007

University policies change over time, and we need to take heed of two standards regarding enrollment in thesis and dissertation courses that are now being enforced by Graduate Studies and the Registrar:
1)  Once you enroll in Thesis I or Dissertation I, you must continue to enroll in subsequent thesis or dissertation courses until your project is complete.  Once you take Thesis 1, for instance, you must register for Thesis II in each ensuing Fall, Spring, and Summer semester until your completed route sheet arrives at the Registrar's office.
2)  Any of these courses will entail 3 hours of academic credit (and tuition).
The intent of these standards is multifaceted.  The idea is that you should be reimbursing the University for your use of library resources, faculty time, and the like.  You should also be carving out a coherent part of your semester load to be actively devoted to your project.  And, in some circumstances, the continuous enrollment requirement should be an incentive to complete the project in a timely manner.
Some of you have taken Thesis I but are not currently enrolled in Thesis II.  This is a result of uncertainty regarding these requirements, and, in particular, as a result of my insider knowledge that these requirements were on the agenda of the Graduate Council, a group that advises the Dean of Graduate Studies and of which I am a member.  The Council has now, at last, thoroughly considered these standards, and they are here to stay.
Here's more detail on how things stand.  
If circumstances make it advisable for you to take a break from your project, you may petition Dean de Castro for a leave of absence that will allow you to interrupt your enrollment in thesis or dissertation courses once it has begun.  During such a leave, you may not consult the faculty, file IRB proposals, or otherwise consume University resources on behalf of your project.
In rare situations, perhaps involving a procedure in which, by design, you'll be collecting data for a long length of time, you may petition the Dean for permission to enroll in a thesis or dissertation course for fewer than 3 hours of credit.  You must, however, remain continuously enrolled in an appropriate course if you are actively working on  your project.
You must be enrolled in the appropriate course to hold a proposal defense, file an IRB proposal, consult the Library staff, or defend your finished project.
It remains possible to take more than one thesis or dissertation course at a time.  Under unusual circumstances, for example, you may take both Thesis I and Thesis II in the same semester.
Finally, our College, the NGL, and Graduate Studies will be standing firm on new deadlines for various steps of the thesis and dissertation process that are always available long in advance at http://www.shsu.edu/~grs_www/current/thesisdissertationtimeline.html.  Several steps must be completed earlier in one's final semester than has been the case before now.  If you've already done a thesis, for instance, don't let yourself be surprised to find that you must now defend your finished dissertation at least two weeks earlier in the term than you were able to stage your thesis defense in semesters past.  In Fall, 2007, for example, you have to hold a defense of your finished project by November 2.  That means that it needs to be done, with your committee's approval, by late October.
I will defend to Graduate Studies and to the Registrar those of you who did not continuously enroll in thesis courses this year.  However, and this is a key point of this message (and thanks, by the way, for reading this far), if you have taken Thesis I but have not yet completed your thesis, 
                                    ***you MUST add Thesis II to your summer schedule***
and keep taking it in the Fall and thereafter until your thesis is done.  Now that University officials have reaffirmed the policies described above, we must comply with them.  It will be perilous to violate them henceforth.
With the very best wishes,
Rowland Miller 
Coordinator of Master's Studies

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