Student Thesis Proposal

Students wishing to pursue the thesis option in the MACJ must submit the required proposal by November 15 for the Spring semester and April 15 for the Fall semester. The faculty will review the proposal and decide if it is acceptable. If the proposal is found to be acceptable, the department will decide which faculty member will be assigned as the student mentor. 

Requirements for the Thesis Proposal

Graduate students must submit a proposal that describes the project they want to pursue. The proposal should be a minimum of a 4 page discussion of the topic and it must address the following issues:

Purpose of the Study

  • The research question
  • What is the significance of your study to the field of criminal justice?
  • Proposed methodology
  • Preliminary hypotheses
  • IRB approvals that might be required or that you have already obtained
  • If your study involves sensitive populations, (juveniles, prisoners, etc.), written authorization permitting access to the subjects

Literature Review

  • A preliminary reference list of at least ten studies. Discuss at least five studies.
  • How do you plan to use these and other studies in your thesis?
  • Expected findings

Thesis Requirements

The thesis proposal must be approved by the mentoring professor before work on the actual thesis begins. The final document must be at least 50 pages excluding acknowledgments, references, and appendices. It must be double spaced, 11 pitch type.

  1. Introduction: This describes the problem, the purpose, and the importance of the study to the advancement of the field of criminal justice.
  1. Literature Review: This presents an overview of the topic and describes how the problem being examined relates to past and needed research.
  1. Methods: This section discusses the design of the study and how the problem will be solved.
  1. Results: This section presents the findings of the study.
  1. Discussion: This section includes the summary, conclusions, and speculations. It should include what was learned from the study. What are the implications of this study for future research and application? What are the limitations of the study?
  1. References
  1. Appendices: This includes graphs, tables, tests, etc.