You may take the master's thesis option if you wish to research to advance generalizable knowledge (basic or applied) in your chosen field. Typically, thesis research involves an empirical test of hypothesis or a set of hypotheses in an attempt to validate, or refute, their truth status. Since generalizability is of paramount concern, the test is conducted rigorously—either by a quantitative (e.g., statistical), by a qualitative method (e.g., case study), or a combination of both. An example of a testable hypothesis is, “the more transparent the regime is, the less corrupted it becomes.” Another example is, “the more competitive the personnel recruiting practice, the better the organisation’s quality of human resources.” If you are interested in the thesis option, you must enroll in an “Advanced Research Seminar(ARS)” course (3 credits).
Formation of the Program of Study(POS) Committee
To complete your degree program successfully in time, you need to form a Program of Study(POS) committee as early as possible from among KDI School faculty members. Normally, the POS committee consists of two faculty members, one designated as major professor and the other designated as 2nd professor. If you wish, you may invite the faculty advisor assigned to you at the time of your admission to serve as your major professor. If your concentration and research interest require that you work with a different faculty member, feel free to invite another faculty member to be your major professor. Regarding the 2nd professor, you may ask any KDI School professor of your preference to your POS committee, provided that he or she is available. Note that the demand and workload on professors are heavy so you will want to initiate contacts as early as possible.
The deadline for submitting your POS form (which includes names of your committee members) to the Academic Affairs Division is the 2nd week of the second semester (fourth semester for part-time students).
Once you have formed your POS committee, you will be working closly with the committee members most likely, with your major professor—on all matters relating to your course selection and research on your graduation project. The importance of your major professor and committee member cannot be overemphasized. Not only are they going to be your mentors, but they are also likely to be the faculty for your career reference.
Submission of the Research Plan
Soon after you have formed your POS committee, you will submit a short, practical research plan (a prospectus) to your POS committee, respectively. While working on the prospectus, you will work closely with your major professor and receive his or her approval. The deadline for submitting your research plan is the 10th week of the second semester (fourth semester for part-time students).
The prospectus does not have to be an extended essay; a 2-5 page research plan is written in double space will be sufficient. This prospectus’s main purpose is to help you construct a practical road map that will guide your research and organize your time. The more precise the road map, the faster the speed of your research.
Structure of the Thesis Report
There is no set requirement for the length of a thesis and its format. Given relatively a short period available for research, we expect that a thesis will be 30 or more double-spaced pages in length. In terms of the format, you may adopt the following, universal structure. Depending on your argumentation’s nature and the preference of your POS committee you may tailor the structure to your need.
- 1Title page
- 3Table of content
- 6Research method
- 10Reference (The APA Manual)
- 11Appendix (optional)
Advanced Research Seminar (ARS)
The School also offers several sections of a 3-credit course “Advanced Research Seminar(ARS)” to help you complete the full first (rough) draft of your thesis, which is required on the completion of your coursework or before your depart from the KDI School. You must enroll in an “Advanced Research Seminar(ARS)” course (3 credits) in the third semester (fifth semester for part-time students), after submission of POS Committee Composition. The Advanced Research Seminar is not an instructional but research consultation course designed to provide you with a step-by-step completion of your thesis/capstone draft. This course is also strongly recommended for those who are planning to write a thesis or capstone project.
Given a relatively short period for research, you may not be able to perfect your thesis before departing the KDI School. Therefore, we ask that you present the first (rough) full draft orally to your POS committee at ARS Oral Presentation Session, which is held during the final week of the semester. Students who are taking the ARS course must participate in the session. During the oral, you will need to elicit comments and suggestions from your committee members and incorporate them in the final report. In turn, the POS committee will report the results of the oral, including the suggestions for further improvement, to the Academic Affairs Division. When you have completed the ARS course and the oral presentation successfully, you will earn 3 credits.
Upon successfully completing the first draft and the oral, you will need to submit the final draft to your POS committee and Academic Affairs Division by the 5th week of fourth semester (sixth semester for part-time students). Your two-member POS committee will review the final draft and another independent reviewer appointed by your major professor at his or her discretion. Upon the committee approval, you will be awarded the remaining 3 credits counted toward your graduation.