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School of Nursing

Master's Research Project/Thesis Option Process

This information is a brief overview of the research project/thesis option process. The KU Student Handbook is the official source for guidance. It contains the definitive details.

Master's Research Project

We suggest that students take NRSG 898 Research project (2 credit hours) in the next to last or last semester of their program. For this course the student will be involved in some aspect of conducting research with a doctorally-prepared faculty member and contract to carry out specific research activities (estimate approximately 64 hours of work). The final product must include a scholarly paper related to the research project activities with a title page and original signatures and a one page summary of the content and research activities completed for the project.

It is expected that the project will be completed in one semester. Students should discuss their plans for a project with the faculty member one semester prior to enrolling for the research project as enrollment is with a specific School of Nursing faculty member's line number. Therefore the student must know who they want to work with by enrollment time. Students have the option to collaborate with another student to do a group research project.

Please click on this link to the KU Student Handbook to see options that faculty suggest for the research project.

Click on this link to find a list of faculty and their research interests from which you may choose one to chair your project. The topic should be of interest to the student (because it is no fun if you don't care about the subject).

Oral Comprehensive Examination: Please click on this link to the KU Student Handbook to read about oral exam committee membership requirements. Note that we suggest one member represent the student's specialty area.  Additional suggestions for the oral exam are available here.

The oral examination must be conducted during the student's last semester. The student may do the oral examination during the semester prior to the final practicum course if all coursework except the practicum will be completed in that semester.

It is very important for students who take the oral examination during their last semester to know the official last day for oral exams, because the deadline is well before the last day of the semester. In addition, students need to submit the "Do-All" forms 3 weeks before the oral exam date. This lead time is necessary to process the paperwork through Student Affairs, Registrar's Office, and Graduate Studies. Click on Graduate Studies Calendar to find "Last day for master's and doctoral candidates to take final examinations." You may also check with the School of Nursing Student Affairs Office (G020 SON) for these dates early in your last semester so that you can graduate at the end of the semester as planned. If you miss one of these important deadlines, you may be required to enroll for another semester to complete the process.

Thesis Option

The thesis option (NRSG 899) involves students enrolling for a total of 6 credit hours over a minimum of two semesters. Students usually take 2 semesters to complete a thesis giving them the option of enrolling for 2 or 3 credit hours the first semester and 3 or 4 credit hours the second semester (depending upon the amount of work they anticipate doing during the semester). If a student starts, but does not complete the thesis, they must do a research project. None of the thesis hours will count for the research project and they will not count as electives (count only as thesis hours when the thesis is completed).

Click on this link to find a list of faculty and their research interests from which you may choose one to chair your thesis. Students must enroll with a specific School of Nursing faculty member's line number, which means they must know who they want to work with by enrollment time. Please click on the link to the KU Student Handbook to read about the procedure to select the thesis advisor and committee members, and procedure for developing the thesis proposal.

Oral Comprehensive Examination: This is chaired by your thesis faculty advisor and must be done during the last enrolled semester. Presentation of thesis is part of the oral exam. Please click on the link to the KU Student Handbook to read about the procedure for the oral examination and defense.

It is very important to know the official last day for the oral exam, because the deadline is well before the last day of the semester. In addition, students need to submit the "Do-All" forms 3 weeks before the oral exam date. This lead time is necessary to process the paperwork through Student Affairs, Registrar's Office, and Graduate Studies. Click on Graduate Studies Calendar to find "Last day for master's and doctoral candidates to take final examinations." You may also check with the School of Nursing Student Affairs Office (G020 SON) for these dates early in your last semester so that you can graduate at the end of the semester as planned. If you miss one of these important deadlines, you may be required to enroll for another semester to complete the process.