Students in their first semester will register for classes in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. Students must choose a major advisor no later than the end of the first year (procedures are described below). This information will be placed in the student’s file. Students may change their major advisor at any time, and this must be noted in their file.
Students should meet with their advisor at least twice each semester and should meet with the Director of Graduate Studies at least once at the beginning of each semester. Students should also meet with the Department Chair once per semester.
The student must form a thesis committee of at least 3 members: the major advisor and two additional faculty. The purpose of the committee is to lend guidance and expertise in all phases of thesis preparation, including organization, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and writing. The major advisor and at least one of the other two members must be regular (i.e., not visiting or part-time) faculty in the Department of Anthropology. The third member can be any faculty member of the Department or from another Georgia State department. With the advisor’s guidance, one member can be invited from outside the university should s/he hold special expertise appropriate to the project.
To form the committee, students should identify faculty with the most applicable research/teaching expertise and discuss their thesis plans. By the end of the second semester (or the semester before the prospectus will be undertaken), each student must submit to the Director of Graduate Studies a committee form that proposes three members, ranked in order of preference (your preferred advisor should be listed as #1). The faculty will make every attempt to accommodate student committee preferences, but in some cases matters of faculty workload or research fit may lead to adjustments. Any changes will be made only in consultation with the student and with relevant faculty members.
Projects involving the study of human subjects will require IRB approval from the Office of Research-IRB. IRB requirements may change over time and according to circumstances. Please see the Office of Research website for instructions and additional information. The submission and approval process is time-consuming, and planning (by a student together with the student’s advisor) should be initiated months in advance of the anticipated start of research.
3. Thesis Prospectus
The content of the prospectus will reflect the general foci of the department and the particular concentration of the student. A common format entails three sections: (1) theory; (2) methods and research ethics; and (3) context of research or practice, i.e., description and preliminary assessment of student’s current research findings. However, the format and content of the prospectus is at the discretion of the student’s major advisor, who is responsible for designing the three sections to be included.
Students should plan to undertake the prospectus after completing their required courses and prior to beginning work on a thesis. For a full-time student, this should occur by the third semester.
The prospectus will be written during an intensive two-week period set by the Department each term, but the student should be preparing with his or advisor during the preceding months. The student will submit a comprehensive, annotated bibliography to his or her advisor in the beginning of the semester in which the exam will be taken, as well as a list of potential topics. The bibliography and topics list will guide the student’s preparation, and will assist the faculty in the formation of their questions.
The student will submit the completed examination to his or her major advisor as well as the other two members of the committee. The members of the committee will give their evaluations and feedback to the student’s advisor within two weeks. The major advisor will arrange for a meeting with the student to discuss the content of the prospectus and explore its issues further. The student will be evaluated on each question, and will receive an overall grade of Pass, Rewrite (one section of the exam needs to be rewritten, on a schedule decided by the student’s advisor), or Fail (two or more sections need to be rewritten). If a student fails, the process can be repeated once, and this will take place during the next semester. After completion of the prospectus, the advisor will fill in a Completion Form and will submit it to the Director of Graduate Studies. Failing the prospectus twice will result in a student’s termination from the program.
Theses should be approximately 60 to 80 pages long and should be based on original research. According to guidelines of the Office of Graduate Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences, the purpose of the thesis is to “demonstrate the candidate’s ability to carry out independent scholarly research, to draw logical conclusions from the data gathered, and to present the results in a clear, intelligible, and consistent form.” A document from the Division of Graduate Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences contains guidelines for thesis preparation. Students should obtain a copy of current guidelines.
5. Submission of first draft
Graduating MA students will submit the first draft of their theses to their advisors at the latest by the second Friday after semester midpoint. If the draft is complete in all its parts, students will be expected to graduate that semester, provided that they successfully defend at least two weeks prior to the College of Arts and Sciences graduation deadline. Extensions will be granted only in case of documented hardship. Otherwise, students who fail to submit a complete draft by this deadline will postpone graduation to the following semester.
Students are also responsible for observing College of Arts and Sciences deadlines for uploading the thesis draft for formatting approval. This deadline typically falls near the semester midpoint, and meeting it is a College requirement for graduation.
The student must orally defend the thesis before his or her committee and any other member of the anthropology faculty who wish to attend. The students also may invite others to attend. The date for the defense is arranged by the student and the thesis advisor, and the defense must be held at the latest two weeks prior to the College of Arts and Science graduation deadline.
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Dr. Jennifer Patico
Dr. Faidra Papavasiliou
Dr. Steven Black