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Unread 03-12-2010, 08:44 PM   #1
kokonut
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How did you defend thesis for your Master's degree?

Has anyone ever completed a Master's degree and did a thesis defense? If so, how did you defend your thesis? Was yours an oral thesis defense, sign language...? Of course, for me, it was an oral thesis defense for the M.S. degree in Geology at University of Idaho. Mine took approximately 1 1/2 hours in front of sitting professors who grilled me, including taking questions from students who were there to watch and listen to my thesis defense, as well as lending support. I think I lost a couple of pounds that time. LOL

Curious as to how others did theirs.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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I defended a Ph.D. dissertation. It was an oral defense, as is the practice for dissertation defense.

Are you talking about a dissertation or a thesis? Very different concepts, and very different procedures. Dissertation defense at the PhD level determines whether you are granted a terminal degree or not. At the Master's level, it doesn't. And a dissertation is far more extensive than a thesis paper.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 09:22 PM   #3
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I earned an LL.M. after my JD. I didn't have to defend my paper. My supervising professor had to approve it. Not all fields require oral defense.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
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I earned an LL.M. after my JD. I didn't have to defend my paper. My supervising professor had to approve it. Not all fields require oral defense.
Quite true. Most don't require a defense of a Master thesis. Simply a supervisor or a board approval of your topic. Then a pass/fail on the final paper.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 09:28 PM   #5
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Didn't have to defend anything for my Master's.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 09:30 PM   #6
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Didn't have to defend anything for my Master's.
Me, either. Just had to have my topic approved. Didn't defend until my Ph.D. dissertation.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 09:32 PM   #7
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I will have to defend my creative thesis (a 250 page short story collection) next year for an MFA degree, which is also a terminal degree like the PhD and JD. But, because in an MFA the writing itself is the most important component, the oral defense is more of a formality. Only way it becomes a factor is if your written thesis is already very weak, and that usually never happens, at least not in my program.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:10 PM   #8
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I will have to defend my creative thesis (a 250 page short story collection) next year for an MFA degree, which is also a terminal degree like the PhD and JD. But, because in an MFA the writing itself is the most important component, the oral defense is more of a formality. Only way it becomes a factor is if your written thesis is already very weak, and that usually never happens, at least not in my program.
Agreed; I don't know of any degrees that require a defense that aren't terminal degrees. Many Master's don't even require a thesis at all if there are a substantial number of internship hours that must be completed for the degree. Master's in Social Work is one that I know of, and some Master's in Counseling if they are doing 1200 internship hours spread over 2 quarters. Some education Master's too, I think, depending on the number of student teaching hours required. Shel would know more about the ed degrees, because that's the field her Master's in in.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:32 PM   #9
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Jillio, if you don't mind my asking, what did you earn your PhD in? If you don't want to say here, that's fine.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:33 PM   #10
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Jillio, if you don't mind my asking, what did you earn your PhD in? If you don't want to say here, that's fine.
I don't mind. Just about everyone already knows. Clinical counseling psychology.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWriteAlex View Post
I will have to defend my creative thesis (a 250 page short story collection) next year for an MFA degree, which is also a terminal degree like the PhD and JD. But, because in an MFA the writing itself is the most important component, the oral defense is more of a formality. Only way it becomes a factor is if your written thesis is already very weak, and that usually never happens, at least not in my program.
Well, mine was where one *must* have successfully completed the final oral and/or written defense prior to submitting the final copies of the document to the College of Graduate Studies. I'd have 6 months to submit my thesis document after a successful oral thesis defense else I wouldn't have been able to complete my graduation requirement. Hence, no M.S. degree.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:47 PM   #12
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If a thesis is a part of the curricular requirements, then of course you have to complete the academic requirements to graduate. But if your topic is rejected, all you have to do is come up with another topic, write your thesis, and turn it in. That isn't the way it works for a terminal degree.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:50 PM   #13
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Well, mine was where one *must* have successfully completed the final oral and/or written defense prior to submitting the final copies of the document to the College of Graduate Studies. I'd have 6 months to submit my thesis document after a successful oral thesis defense else I wouldn't have been able to complete my graduation requirement. Hence, no M.S. degree.
Yes, as it should have. But yours is a science field, where verbal command of the discipline is very important to demonstrate your understanding of the data you collected.

In a creative writing thesis/dissertation, the writing itself speaks for the student's command of the subject. The oral defense is not necessarily seen as unimportant, and it is certainly required for the student to receive their degree, but it's not really something to stress over.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:53 PM   #14
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Yes, as it should have. But yours is a science field, where verbal command of the discipline is very important to demonstrate your understanding of the data you collected.

In a creative writing thesis/dissertation, the writing itself speaks for the student's command of the subject. The oral defense is not necessarily seen as unimportant, and it is certainly required for the student to receive their degree, but it's not really something to stress over.
Verbal command???????
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yes, as it should have. But yours is a science field, where verbal command of the discipline is very important to demonstrate your understanding of the data you collected.

In a creative writing thesis/dissertation, the writing itself speaks for the student's command of the subject. The oral defense is not necessarily seen as unimportant, and it is certainly required for the student to receive their degree, but it's not really something to stress over.
I see it as more challenging doing the oral thesis defense. It is by no means easy. Professors do grill you on the subject afterwards. So, no, it's not just getting up there and speak about your thesis work, you have to *defend* it and show you knowledge of the subject. My work spanned 4 years before I defended it.
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Paranoia much? Run to Mama then.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:59 PM   #16
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I see it as more challenging doing the oral thesis defense. It is by no means easy. Professors do grill you on the subject afterwards. So, no, it's not just getting up there and speak about your thesis work, you have to *defend* it and show you knowledge of the subject. My work spanned 4 years before I defended it.
4 years on a Master's Degree?????
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:12 PM   #17
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I see it as more challenging doing the oral thesis defense. It is by no means easy. Professors do grill you on the subject afterwards. So, no, it's not just getting up there and speak about your thesis work, you have to *defend* it and show you knowledge of the subject. My work spanned 4 years before I defended it.
LOL, are you trying to turn this into a pissing match or something?

Different fields have different criteria. You asked what it's like in each of our fields, and I'm tell you what its like in MY FIELD, not yours.

To me, writing a 250 page collection of short stories is a lot more work than the preparation I'll have to do for the oral defense.

BTW, 4 years???
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:22 PM   #18
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LOL, are you trying to turn this into a pissing match or something?

Different fields have different criteria. You asked what it's like in each of our fields, and I'm tell you what its like in MY FIELD, not yours.

To me, writing a 250 page collection of short stories is a lot more work than the preparation I'll have to do for the oral defense.
BTW, 4 years???
Yes, exactly. Different criteria. I understand completely.

Yes, 4 years.
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Man, what a total mess. What a big fail. I am just laughing at it all. Gotta have sense of humor in life.


Paranoia much? Run to Mama then.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:23 PM   #19
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Yes, exactly. Different criteria. I understand completely.

Yes, 4 years.
full-time status?
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:24 PM   #20
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full-time status?
If so, there must have been several retakes on courses.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:30 PM   #21
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Has anyone ever completed a Master's degree and did a thesis defense? If so, how did you defend your thesis? Was yours an oral thesis defense, sign language...? Of course, for me, it was an oral thesis defense for the M.S. degree in Geology at University of Idaho. Mine took approximately 1 1/2 hours in front of sitting professors who grilled me, including taking questions from students who were there to watch and listen to my thesis defense, as well as lending support. I think I lost a couple of pounds that time. LOL

Curious as to how others did theirs.
Haven't done Masters program yet. Don't have time and money to do it yet as I have a hefty family obligation to take care first.

but curious - what was your thesis?
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:31 PM   #22
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If so, there must have been several retakes on courses.
Well let's not jump to conclusions. I know nothing about geology study, but I am a little curious to know why it took 4 years to get a master's degree...

Enlighten us please, Koko?
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:31 PM   #23
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Bachelor's Degrees in Geology will be enough for me. Err...I'm working on it. Bloody nightmare mathematics, they slow me down.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:49 PM   #24
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What's wrong with four years? He could have had a lot on his plate. I don't think he's one who would need retakes very often, if at all.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:50 PM   #25
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I don't mind. Just about everyone already knows. Clinical counseling psychology.
That would have been my guess sooner or later.

I have only been on this board a short time, so I just didn't know.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:51 PM   #26
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What's wrong with four years? He could have had a lot on his plate. I don't think he's one who would need retakes very often, if at all.
I don't know of any Master's programs with a 4 year curriculum for a full time student.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:55 PM   #27
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I don't know of any Master's programs with a 4 year curriculum for a full time student.
Does that mean if someone has to drop out of the program for whatever reason they would have to wait until whatever they had left was offered again during the course of the program?
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Unread 03-12-2010, 11:57 PM   #28
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What's wrong with four years? He could have had a lot on his plate. I don't think he's one who would need retakes very often, if at all.
well - I've never heard of 4 years Master program. 4 years in Master program is equivalent to 8 years in undergraduate program. Quite a handful of my friends have completed their Masters in 1-2 years (engineering/science programs).... while they have full-time job...

but I'm awaiting for kokonut's clarification or explanation.
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Unread 03-13-2010, 12:03 AM   #29
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well - I've never heard of 4 years Master program. 4 years in Master program is equivalent to 8 years in undergraduate program. Quite a handful of my friends have completed their Masters in 1-2 years (engineering/science programs).... while they have full-time job...

but I'm awaiting for kokonut's clarification or explanation.
That's an interesting equivalent you stated. Eight years of undergrad? Are you counting 100- and 200-level basic courses?

Anyway, let's hear from Kokonut.
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Unread 03-13-2010, 12:13 AM   #30
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I never said 4 years Masters program. I said my work spanned 4 years (my thesis work).

Yes, fulltime student.
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Oh, goody. She's gone. No sign of her. Oh, yeahhhhh! And him, too. Sweet!

Man, what a total mess. What a big fail. I am just laughing at it all. Gotta have sense of humor in life.


Paranoia much? Run to Mama then.
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