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Thesis or Non-Thesis Option

Thesis Option

A thesis for the MSRS program requires the ability to conduct original research and disseminate findings to an interested audience. The thesis should demonstrate a 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 imaging and radiologic sciences professionals. It must meet the requirements of quantitative or qualitative research (or mixed methods) and may require experimental or survey research. The final manuscript should be worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Thesis topics must be related to a student’s major in the MSRS program.

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

The following guidelines will help MSRS graduate 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 research proposal. The thesis proposal should demonstrate knowledge of and interest in an issue related to imaging and radiologic sciences. The proposal will include a topic description, research questions, and methodology and must be approved by the students’ GAC before they can proceed.
  • If necessary, students will identify and comply with Midwestern State University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements and guidelines. All forms and supporting documentation will be collected and reviewed by the students and their respective GAC Chair.
  • 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 weeks before the anticipated graduation date, students must present a reading copy of the thesis to the GAC.
    • The reading copy will include all five chapters.
    • At least 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 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 Graduate Dean for approval. The Graduate Dean will have one week to make recommendations. All revisions or modifications suggested by the Graduate Dean must be completed before subsequent copies are made.
    • Once the Graduate Dean’s revisions or modifications are complete, the student must submit three copies of the final thesis to the Office of the Vice President with Academic Affairs with the cover sheet signed by the members of the GAC and Graduate 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 with 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/Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services.
  • Enrollment is required each long term (fall and spring) and one summer term each year until the thesis is successfully defended. The Graduate Coordinator may grant a one-semester leave of absence. 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.

Non-thesis Option

The non-thesis option requires graduate students to write a substantial scholarly research paper (literature review). The scholarly paper should demonstrate students’ ability to gather information from a variety of resources and synthesize it into a meaningful document.

Scholarly paper topics must be related to the students’ major in the MSRS program.

The scholarly paper may be a significant extension of work previously completed as a course requirement, but students should understand this project represents the submission of a substantial literature review. This paper is to be prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

It does NOT need to meet the requirements of a thesis and does NOT need to include original research, but it should have academic rigor sufficient to warrant publication in a peer-reviewed journal. 

Students must submit paper topics and synthesis matrices to gain approval from the RADS 6773 course instructors. Students must allow plenty of time for research, writing, submission, faculty review, revisions, second faculty review, additional revisions, etc. 

If final versions of the scholarly paper are not approved 20 days before the end of a semester, chances are slim the project will be completed that semester, and students should request a grade of “Incomplete.” Graduate students have 90 days into the next long semester to complete the scholarly paper before the grade of “Incomplete” will convert to a grade of F. 

Students must satisfactorily complete the scholarly paper requirement prior to graduation. A copy of the approval page will be sent to the Office of the Registrar to verify completion of the paper.