Master s of Science in Educational Psychology Graduate School of Education George Mason University EDEP 799

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1 Master s of Science in Educational Psychology Graduate School of Education EDEP 799 Guidelines for Educational Psychology Thesis Goals and Objectives (6/07/2010) The Educational Psychology Thesis is intended to be a capstone experience for students completing their M.S. in Educational Psychology program. The alternative option is that students may choose to complete a Guided Individual Reading, Directed Research, and Individual Project (see Guidelines for Guided Individual Reading, Directed Research, and Individual Project document for details). The goal of the thesis is for students to apply their research knowledge and skills to a substantive area in educational psychology. The student will form a thesis committee and work with the committee members to propose, conduct, and report on an empirical research project that makes a scholarly contribution to the current body of knowledge in some area of educational psychology. The final product of this experience is a manuscript written in APA style. Procedures Enrollment Requirements The students must register for EDEP 799, Educational Psychology Thesis for the semester in which the Thesis requirement is to be fulfilled (3 credits per semester, with a maximum of 6 credit hours in 2 semesters). Students should not register for more than two courses in addition to EDEP 799 without written permission of the Thesis Committee Chair. The student is required to contact the Thesis Committee Chair one semester prior to the semester in which they wish to enroll in EDEP 799. Deadlines for submission of the Proposal to the committee chair are as follows: April 1 st for a fall semester thesis and November 1 st for a spring semester thesis. After consultation with the Thesis Committee Chair, a thesis proposal form should be completed and approved by the members of the Thesis Committee. Registration requires that the Individualized Section form be filled out and signed by the Associate Dean for Teaching and Academic Affairs, Dr. Ellen Rodgers. (Please refer to the attached form). Once the approval of the Thesis Committee and Associate Dean has been obtained, the Thesis Proposal form should be submitted to Kim Howe, Program Manager for the Educational Psychology Program, A copy of the final report of the Thesis that has been approved by the Thesis Committee Chair should also be submitted electronically to the Program Manager by the last week of classes the semester the student intends to graduate.

2 Format Guidelines Students should follow the guidelines provided by the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association when writing the thesis proposal and final report. To register for EDEP 799, all students must submit the following materials: The Thesis Proposal Form A Cover Sheet (See Appendix) The student s goal statement submitted during the application process for the M.S. degree and a revised goal statement related to the student s professional goals in relation to the Educational Psychology program standards and dispositions as well as the CEHD Core Values A description of the Educational Psychology concentration area (Taken from Educational Psychology program material or website) A statement of the purpose of the proposed Thesis project that includes (four to eight pages) Its connection to the program of study goal and the concentration Educational Psychology area; Specific purpose of the proposed project; and A section that clearly and comprehensively describes the procedures and timelines to be followed to complete the project. Students completing a thesis should visit the following website In addition, all students are required to do a format review with the librarian (contact University Dissertation Thesis Services prior to the final defense (if applicable) or prior to having anyone sign off on the signature sheet. Please refer to Appendix 2: Educational Psychology Signatory Page, that should be signed by the appropriate people and submitted to the library. References Relevant Appendices (Optional) Description of the Thesis Process Thesis Committee The thesis committee consists of at least three members (including the chair). After selecting a thesis, the student should choose a chair that agrees and has the expertise to supervise the thesis. In consultation with the chair, the student will choose other committee members. At minimum, the chair and one member of the committee must be from the Educational Psychology program. One member from a graduate program outside of the Educational Psychology program or may serve on the committee at the option of the committee chair. Thesis Proposal When the student has drafted a thesis proposal approved by the chair, the thesis committee will meet to discuss and approve the proposal. At least one week prior to the meeting, the student should provide copies of the proposal to committee members. The proposal must describe the problem, summarize relevant literature formulate the purpose and related research question, outline the procedures to be followed, and discuss the significance of the proposed thesis. No data may be collected before the proposal has been approved and the Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) Subjects.html approval has been granted. Students will also need to complete CITI training (Collaborative IRB Training Institute)

3 Thesis Preparation The manuscript should follow the APA style guide. The manuscript should have an introduction of the problem/significance of the study, literature review, formulate the purpose of study and related research question, methods and procedures, results, discussion, (including implication limitations and recommendation for future research and practice) reference, tables and figures. The thesis represents the student s original work and is subject to monitoring for originality using the GMU approved Turnitin software system, as indicted by GMU policy. Thesis Defense When the student has completed writing the thesis and the chair has approved the final draft, the student will contact the committee members to schedule the thesis defense. Copies of the thesis should be distributed to the committee at least two weeks prior to the defense. Committee members are encouraged to submit to the chair any serious concerns about the student s preparation to defend one week prior to the defense. At the defense, the student presents a summary of the thesis, followed by comments and questions from the committee. After the defense is concluded, the thesis committee meets privately to reach a decision. They may decide that the thesis should be accepted, accepted contingent on specific revisions, or not accepted at this time. If the thesis is accepted contingent on revisions, the committee chair is responsible for certifying these revisions. The chair may rely on the judgment of other committee members as appropriate. If the thesis is not accepted, the student and committee (as individuals or as a group) will work out a plan for further work the student should do before attempting another defense. After all changes have been approved, the student is to submit an electronic copy to the committee members and the Educational Psychology program manager Kim Howe

4 APPENDIX 1 Suggested Format for Cover Sheet TITLE EDEP 799 A Proposal for Educational Psychology Thesis for Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Masters of Science Degree in Educational Psychology John Smith Bachelors of Science May 2, 2009 Educational Psychology Program College of Education and Human Development Fairfax, Virginia

5 APPENDIX 2 TITLE OF THESIS GOES HERE by GMU Student name A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science Educational Psychology Committee: Chair Program Coordinator Dean, College of Education and Human Development Date: Summer Semester 2010 Fairfax, VA

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