College of Communication > Academics > Digital Communication and Media Arts > Student Resources > Degree Completion Options > Thesis
Master's Thesis allows you to create an original project or write a substantial (75-100 page) written analysis.
The thesis allows you to integrate your studies with more practical applications. For instance, you may choose to shoot a documentary, take on a website project, or work with a community organization to create a media-related project.
You will take two courses to work on your thesis (CMNS 594 & CMNS 595, which will take two of your open electives).
See thesis samples from DCMA alumni.
If you do not meet the 3.7 GPA requirement, you must submit two letters of recommendation to the graduate program director. These letters must be from faculty members with whom you have taken classes. The graduate program director will review the letters and decide whether you are eligible to pursue the thesis option.
If you are writing a paper, you will develop a research plan in consultation with your thesis advisor. The final paper should be a scholarly examination of some aspect of digital communication.
If you are completing a project, you choose the type of project that you want to develop. The project should have a major audiovisual component (i.e. film, video, audio recording, educational program, website, online media content, etc.). You can link the project to an existing organization.
For example, a professional audiovisual project could involve the creation of a website or a short film that addresses a particular issue faced by a media-related organization (profit or non-profit), or it could serve to open up questions related to our culture of media convergence.
While there is no set way to define a professional project or what the tangible result will be, the project must include a written document that reports on your work. You are required to make a professional presentation of the project upon completion.
If you link the project to a media organization, you should make sure that the decision-makers at the organization will provide support and resources to carry out the project.
The original idea for a project and its development are your responsibility. After you define the specific purpose of the project and secure the approval of the organization (if that is the case), you must prepare a project proposal.
Both the paper and the project should begin with a proposal, about 10-15 pages in length. The proposal should:
If you involve an organization, the proposal should include a signed statement from the organization’s representative who has the authority to give you permission to carry out the project on behalf of the organization.
If the thesis requires research involving human subjects, you need to check the
Institutional Review Board website to apply for IRB approval.
Once all committee members approve the proposal, you can continue producing your thesis.
You must give committee members enough time to review your work during each phase of the thesis (typically two weeks). You should factor these “review” periods into the project timeline. You must submit the final draft of the thesis to committee members at least two weeks before the formal presentation.
You must complete the thesis work during the regular academic year. Although you may work on your thesis during the summer, you must present your thesis during the Autumn, Winter, or Spring term. You should not expect committee members to be available for consultation outside the regular academic year calendar.
The final step to complete your thesis is a formal, public presentation for faculty, students and other interested parties.
After a review of the final thesis, committee members will determine whether you have met the thesis requirements. You must make any revisions required by the committee before the thesis is accepted for graduation.
The thesis grades are: Pass with Distinction, Pass and Fail. The committee members must agree and sign off on a final thesis form stating that you met all the requirements and passed both the written and project portions of the thesis.