Graduate Program

MFS Graduate Program - Requirements for the Master's Thesis

A Master's thesis, which may be of research, expository, critical, or creative nature, is required of every Museum and Field Studies degree candidate who has chosen the thesis option (past thesis and project titles).

Thesis Proposal

A thesis topic must be developed in consultation with the student's committee, and a written proposal should be approved by the committee and the Museum and Field Studies Program Director, for the information of the Museum Director, by the end of the third semester in residence. The plan should include a summary of the problem or hypothesis to be addressed, the methods to be employed, and a schedule for completion. This plan can be amended by consent of the committee.

Every thesis must:

  • Deal with a definite topic related to the student's museological and/or specialty disciplinary interests.
  • Be based upon independent study and original investigation.
  • Show mature scholarship and critical judgment as well as familiarity with tools and methods of research.
  • Be a contribution to knowledge in the student's field.
  • Follow Thesis Specification of the University Graduate School.
  • Represent the equivalent of four (4) to six (6) semester hours of work.

Thesis Defense

An oral defense of the thesis will be conducted by the committee when the student presents an essentially complete thesis, usually in the fourth semester of study. The thesis must be approved and signed by all three members of the student's Master's committee, at least one of whom must be faculty in the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. The Museum and Field Studies Curator will report results of the defense to the Graduate School for formal documentation. One electronic copy of the thesis should be filed at the Graduate School and one at the Museum and Field Studies program office.