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All students in the MS Thesis Option are required to prepare an MS thesis proposal to be submitted to and accepted by the student’s graduate committee at least one semester before completion of the program. The MS thesis proposal must contain at least an Introduction, Background, Methodology, and Research schedule. The example provided has more details. The typical length of an MS thesis proposal is expected to be 3-5 pages.

THESIS PROPOSAL OUTLINE

  1. Introduction (Context)
    1. Problem definition;
      1. describe what you are trying to do;
      2. clearly state the question being addressed
      3. when appropriate formulate a testable hypothesis.
    2. Describe the motivation; who is interested in the solution.
    3. Summarize the expected results and their significance.
  2. Background
    1. Describe current understanding of the problem, existing solutions, and the barriers to these solutions.
    2. Review of the pertinent literature.
  3. Methodology
    1. Describe your approach to address the problem; identify any key new insights and/or approaches.
    2. Describe how the success of the research will be measured.
  4. Research Schedule

EXAMPLE MS THESIS OUTLINE

  1. Introduction
    1. Problem definition
      1. describe what you trying to do
      2. clearly state the question being addressed
      3. when appropriate formulate a testable hypothesis
    2. Describe the motivation; who is interested in the solution.
    3. Summarize the results and their significance.
  2. Background
    1. Describe current understanding of the problem, existing solutions, and the barriers to these solutions.
    2. Review of the pertinent literature.
  3. Methodology: Describe the approach to addressing the problem
  4. Presentation of Work (Could be more than one chapter)
  5. Conclusions
    1. Summary of results
    2. Recommendations: generalize conclusions to appropriate design decisions, practices and/or procedures
    3. Implications
      1. Implications to existing knowledge/theory
      2. Implications for further study
    4. Future Work
  6. References

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