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Elizabeth City State University
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Elizabeth City State University

Thesis/Product of Learning

A written thesis or product of learning and its defense are required for all master's candidates. The purpose of the thesis/product of learning is to provide an experience in scholarship and research, which will be of enduring value to the student in understanding how new knowledge is developed. The thesis/product of learning provides tangible evidence of the student's development as a scholar and especially his or her capacity to discover and effectively communicate research findings. The thesis/product of learning should expand the body of knowledge in the student's chosen field. The thesis/product of learning must represent an original investigation into a subject, which has been approved by the student's Thesis/Product of Learning Graduate Advisement Committee and the Dean of the school. The Director of Graduate Education will ensure that Graduate Education guidelines and policies are adhered to and will signify completion of requirements for the thesis or product of learning.

The student must choose a thesis or product of learning committee in consultation with the major advisor. The committee will consist of a minimum of three (3) – five (5) graduate faculty members, one of whom must be chair of the Thesis/Product of Learning Graduate Advisement Committee and one from outside the student's major department. The committee must be approved by the graduate coordinator, the department chair (if applicable), the Dean, and the Director of Graduate Education.

Each student must submit a proposal to do a thesis/product of learning. The proposal must be approved by the Thesis/Product of Learning Graduate Advisement Committee. The Director of Graduate Education will ensure that Graduate Education guidelines and policies are adhered to and will signify completion of the proposal.

Once the thesis/product of learning is completed, an application for the oral defense must be filed with the Director of Graduate Education by the chairperson of the Thesis/Product of Learning Graduate Advisement Committee. The application must be filed at least one (1) week prior to when the defense is to be held and must be accompanied by certification that the thesis/product of learning is complete except for revisions which may be necessary as a result of the oral defense.

A written notice of the time and place of the defense of the thesis will be sent by the Director of Graduate Education to the candidate and each member of the committee. The oral defense is an academic evaluation of the thesis/product of learning by the committee, and is open to the committee members, university faculty, and approved guests. During the defense, the Thesis/Product of Learning Graduate Advisement Committee may ask the candidate questions regarding subject matter in the student's major field.

The defense must be at least four (4) weeks before graduation, and the results must be sent within three (3) days of the defense to the Director of Graduate Education. A student may defend the thesis/product of learning a maximum of two times. The maximum credit allowed for the thesis is six (6) semester hours. Three (3)paper copies and one electronic copy of the Thesis/Product of Learning in final form must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Education prior to graduation. Detailed information on form and organization is presented in the Requirements for the Thesis Preparation Manual (www.ecsu.edu/academics/graduate/docs/ThesisDocument.pdf)