The thesis is an original research project that students typically work on over three or more semesters. Students will typically enroll in 1-credit of POLS 593 during the two semesters prior to their completion of the degree and enroll in a 4-credit course in their final semester. The Department strongly encourages students to dedicate a semester to the final four credits of their education as taking the 5-credit thesis in addition to other courses can be overwhelming.
As per Graduate College guidelines, students must take at least one credit of POLS 593 in any semester in which they are working on their thesis. Students, in coordination with the three members of their committee, will collectively schedule a defense date. Of note, it is up to the student and the advisor to decide when a student ought to defend. If a student is unlikely to be successful in a defense, an advisor will recommend delaying the defense until the student is ready.