I want to take a moment to remind you that there is a handy-dandy checklist in the PDF version of the graduate handbook for you to keep track of your progress. I’ve copied and pasted it below. Also, some more specific reminders:
- Attend the graduate student orientation at the beginning of the semester.
- Meet with all faculty members to discuss your research interests and potential topics for your MA.
- Work closely with the Director of Graduate Studies at least until you select your advisor.
- If you are proficient in a language other than English, take the Foreign Language Reading Test. The sooner you fulfill this requirement, the better. For languages offered and scheduled tests, see: http://wlc.gsu.edu/home/graduate/graduate-foreign-language-requirement/gflre/. If you are a native speaker of a language other than English, consult the Director of Graduate Studies for a waiver.
- Take the Responsible Conduct of Research CITI test at https://www.citiprogram.org, and submit a printout of your Test Completion Page to Dr. Black.
- Take a methods course in your subfield. If no such course is offered during your first semester, make sure you take it in your second semester.
- Take a methods course in your subfield, if you have not done so already.
- If you plan to complete a thesis, speak with potential advisors and committee members and submit your committee form to by the semester midpoint. Find out if you need an IRB. If so, submit your application once your advisor has been selected. Start your research, and begin preparation for your thesis prospectus.
- Apply for graduation. Deadlines are available at http://www.gsu.edu/applying_for_graduation.html. You will not be allowed to apply for graduation in your final semester!
- Thesis track: work with your advisor to finish preparing for your thesis prospectus and complete the prospectus by the assigned date. Give a hard copy to each committee member. Ask your advisor for feedback and make the revisions s/he requests.
- Capstone track: meet with potential advisors early in the semester. By mid-semester, submit your advisor form. Meet at least once with your advisor about your capstone paper.
- Check graduation requirements and calendar at http://www.cas.gsu.edu/grad_graduation.html.
- Schedule a meeting with your advisor as well as the Director of Graduate studies to make sure you have fulfilled all of the requirements.
- If you are writing a thesis, take the CAS formatting seminar and be prepared to upload your draft for format check by the mid-semester deadline. Check your email and the College website to make sure you are aware of these deadlines.
- Give your advisor a complete draft of your thesis or capstone paper at the latest by the Friday after the semester midpoint. If the draft is complete in all its parts, students will be expected to graduate that semester, provided that they successfully defend at least two weeks prior to the College of Arts and Sciences graduation deadline. Students who fail to submit a complete draft by this deadline will postpone graduation to the following semester. Extensions will be granted only in case of documented hardship, and will have to be approved by the Department Chair and the Director of Graduate Studies.
- Do not underestimate the amount of time you will need in order to turn your first draft into a viable thesis or capstone paper. Use your summer or winter break in order to write a full first draft. Most students go through at least 3 to 4 rounds of revisions (or more!) before their advisor allows them to schedule a defense/presentation.
-Schedule a defense with your committee members after your final draft has been approved by your advisor. All defenses should be held at the latest two weeks prior to the CAS graduation deadline.
-Submit a hard copy of your final draft to your committee members at least one week before the defense date. Reserve the seminar room for your defense.
-Prepare a 15 minutes presentation where you summarize your research question, methods, and findings.
-Make sure your defense is held at least two full weeks before the College of Arts and Sciences graduation deadline (the more time you give yourself, the better. You will need all of it for additional revisions!).
-Have your signature page ready on the day of the defense. The committee Chair will sign it once all the revisions have been made. Please note: Under no circumstances can signature pages be signed before the thesis has been successfully defended.
-Submit your signature page to the Office of Graduate Services by the CAS deadline.
- Confirm with your advisor that your capstone paper is ready to present at the departmental colloquium and watch for announcements of the date.
- Prepare a 15 minute presentation where you summarize your paper’s question, methods, and findings.
- Have your advisor sign the capstone paper completion form and submit to the Director of Graduate Studies.
Please remember: this checklist is not a substitute for the information contained throughout the MA program handbook or conveyed through individual advising. Work closely with your advisor, and check in with the Director of Graduate Studies at least once a semester.