Thesis

 

 Students who want to participate in MAY 2013 graduation exercises must submit the FINAL research paper (not a draft version) to the faculty at least twenty-one (21) days before the end of the semester - APRIL 15, 2013.

**  The last day for May 2013 graduates to file application for graduation is February 21, 2013. 

THESIS AND NON-THESIS (RESEARCH PAPER) OPTIONS

 

Students must use the MSU Radiologic Science Standard Cover Page and follow the guidelines for citations in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) for all papers and project reports.  Click here to view the format of the cover page.

MSRS students must write either a Thesis or a Research Paper as part of the degree requirements.  Students should discuss these options with the graduate advisor before making a decision because post-graduate plans influence the appropriate selection.  Students considering advanced degrees beyond the Master of Science degree are encouraged to write a thesis for the experience of writing and reporting research in preparation for a doctorate.  But the research paper option may be most appropriate for an individual student's long term goals. 

 

Specific steps and requirements for both the thesis option and the research paper option are published in the MSU Graduate Bulletin.  The MSRS program also has additional specific guidelines for completion of these documents.  It is the responsibility of the student to know and follow all MSU and MSRS requirements and steps to fulfill the degree requirements.  For example, when appropriate to their projects, students must obtain appropriate consent forms and comply with the MSU Human Subjects Review Committee (HSRC).  All documentation must be on file with the MSRS program graduate secretary. Please see the Institutional Review Board  site for HRSC forms.

MSRS Thesis

A thesis for the Master of Science in Radiologic Science degree demonstrates capability for master’s degree level writing. The thesis should demonstrate the student’s ability to gather information from a variety of resources and synthesize it into a meaningful document.  It should highlight a point of interest from a new perspective, introduce a new methodology or protocol, or deliver some message for practitioners.  It must meet the requirements of quantitative or qualitative research and may require experimental or survey research or a comprehensive review and analysis of literature.  It should have academic rigor sufficient to warrant consideration by a peer-reviewed publication. 

Thesis topics must be related to the students’ major in the Radiologic Science Program.  For example, education major students should write about an education-related topic, management major students should write about a management-related topic, and radiologist assistant majors should write about a clinically-related topic. 

Graduate students who select the thesis option are required to complete at least two (total of six credit hours) thesis preparation courses (RADS 6983, RADS 6993).  Students must allow plenty of time for research, writing, submission, faculty review, revisions, second faculty review, etc. 

Additional information regarding the thesis is found in the academic requirements section of the MSU Graduate Bulletin. 

The following guidelines will help students complete a thesis: 

  • Prior to enrolling in the first thesis course (RADS 6983), students must collaborate with the Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC) Chair on the thesis topic and prepare a one-page proposal.  The thesis proposal should demonstrate knowledge of and interest in an issue related to radiologic sciences. The proposal will include topic description, research questions, and methodology and must be approved by the students’ GAC before the students proceed.  See Appendix D Graduate Advisory Committee Form.
  • If necessary, students will identify and comply with current MSU Human Subject Review Committee (HSRC) requirements and guidelines.  All forms and supporting documentation will be collected and reviewed by the students and their GAC chairs.  If indicated, students must have HSRC approval to proceed with their research.
  • The thesis is to be prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 
  • Students should work closely with their GAC to develop the thesis and conduct research. 
  • By the end of the first thesis course (RADS 6983), students should submit to the GAC the first three thesis chapters: (1) Introduction, including research question, (2) Literature Review, and (3) Methodology including hypotheses. 
  • By the end of the second thesis course (RADS 6993), students should complete the final two chapters: (4) Results and (5) Discussion. 
  • At least six (6) weeks before the date of expected graduation students must present a reading copy of the thesis to the GAC. 
    • The reading copy will include all five chapters. 
    • At least thirty-five (35) calendar days before anticipated graduation, students will provide a final reading copy of the thesis to the GAC. 
    • In collaboration with the GAC chair, students will schedule a thesis defense at least twenty-one (21) calendar days before anticipated graduation. During the defense, students should be prepared to conduct a formal presentation of the thesis and respond to any questions from the committee. 
    • At the conclusion of the defense the GAC, will provide feedback to students with either an unconditional or conditional approval. An unconditional approval indicates completion of RADS 6993. Students who receive a conditional approval must make all recommended changes within one week.
    • Once students make recommended changes and the GAC has approved the thesis, one copy must be presented to the Dean for approval. The Dean will have one week to make recommendations. All revisions or modifications suggested by the Dean must be completed before subsequent copies are made. 
      • Once the Dean’s revisions or modifications are complete, the student must submit three copies of the final thesis to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs with the cover sheet signed by the members of the GAC and Dean.  The cover sheet /signature page must be the same type of paper as the rest of the thesis. 
      • All copies must be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs no later than two weeks before the end of the semester in which all degree work is completed.
      • One copy of the thesis must be bound and maintained in the Radiologic Sciences Program / College of Health Sciences.  
      • Enrollment is required each long term (fall and spring) and one summer term each year until the thesis is successfully defended.  A one-semester leave of absence may be granted by the graduate coordinator.  After the completion of RADS 6983 and RADS 6993 the first time, all subsequent thesis preparation courses until the thesis defense will be classified as RADS 6993. 

 
MSRS Research Paper

A research paper for the Master of Science in Radiologic Science degree demonstrates capability for master’s degree level writing. The research paper should demonstrate the student’s ability to gather information from a variety of resources and synthesize it into a meaningful document.

Thesis topics must be related to the students’ major in the Radiologic Science Program.  For example, education major students should write about an education-related topic, management major students should write about a management-related topic, and radiologist assistant majors should write about a clinically-related topic. 

Research papers may be a significant extension of work previously completed as a course requirement, but students should understand that research papers represent substantially more effort than a course paper.  The research paper is to be prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 

It should highlight a point of interest from a new perspective, introduce a new methodology or protocol, or deliver some message for practitioners.  It does not need to meet the requirements of a research thesis and does not need to include experimental research, but it should have academic rigor sufficient to warrant consideration by a peer-reviewed publication. 

Students must allow plenty of time for research, writing, submission, faculty review, revisions, second faculty review, etc.  This process typically takes at least two semesters, possibly more.  It is the responsibility of the students to obtain written approval from the RADS 6883 faculty before proceeding with the research paper. 

Suggested Sequence of Events for MSRS Research Paper

 -  Preliminary literature search to identify topic that can be supported by scholarly sources.
 -  Submission of research question and outline to RADS 6883 faculty.
 -  Thorough review of the literature, data collection, analysis.
    *  Note:  survey-based research requires additional steps such as survey design and clearance from the MSU
Human Subjects Review Committee.  Students must consult with faculty on these steps and must allow additional time to accomplish them.
 -  Submission of draft to RADS 6883 faculty by midsemester.
 -  Completion of revisions (usually mutliple cyles are necessary) and resubmission to RADS 6883 faculty.
 -  Submission of the final research paper to RADS 6883 faculty at least twenty-one (21) days before the end of the semester.


Examples of research paper strategies: 

 

With an education topic,  

A research paper comparing teaching techniques would include a background description of how teaching techniques have evolved and the challenges of teaching radiologic science content to the current profiles of students.  The next section would describe different question item types.  The final section would analyze the appropriateness of different question item types to specific course content and for specific groups of students.  This research paper would depend heavily on a review of the literature.

 

With a management topic,   

A research paper on middle management motivation would require a historical perspective on changes for radiology middle managers over the past ten years including the reasons they may or may not be motivated.  The next section would analyze the efficacy of several established motivators when applied in a typical radiology department.  A small-scale survey of radiology managers would enhance this paper.  The final section would report the findings of the survey and include recommendations for effective middle management motivators.

 


With a radiologist assistant topic, 
 

A research paper on advanced clinical practice would require a historical perspective on changes for radiology services delivery over the past ten years including the emergence of advanced clinical practitioners.  The next section would analyze the roles and responsibilities of radiologist assistants in a typical radiology department based on a small-scale survey.  The final section would report the findings of the survey and include a summary of the contributions of radiologist assistants to quality improvement in the radiology department.

 

Students register for RADS 6883 Research Paper (credit / no credit) each semester they work on their research paper.  They must retake the course as often as necessary (within the six year maximum allowed for the degree) to complete the research paper. 

 

After the GAC approves a student's research paper, the signed approval page and paper are submitted to the Dean for final approval.  After revisions, modifications, and recommendations from the Dean are incorporated, three copies of the paper are submitted to the GAC chair, the graduate coordinator, and the Dean. 

 

Students must satisfactorily complete this research paper requirement prior to graduation.  The final research paper must be submitted to the Dean at least twenty-one (21) calendar days before the end of the semester.  A copy of the approval page will be sent to the Office of the Registrar and Admissions to verify completion of the paper. 

 

Additional information regarding the research paper is found in the academic requirements section of the MSU Graduate Bulletin.