Students interested in completing a master’s thesis, and who are in good academic standing, have the option to interview with members of the speech-language pathology and related faculty during their first year, for the opportunity to complete research during their graduate program. Each Spring quarter, faculty members conduct interviews and open their research labs to students who may be interested in completing a thesis. The selection process takes both faculty and student preferences into account. If selected, most students start their thesis work during Summer quarter of their first year and complete it by the Summer of their second year (final quarter in the program).

The number of thesis opportunities awarded each year is based on multiple factors, including the number of interested students and the number of available spaces in faculty research labs. If selected, students are assigned a thesis chair who will guide their research and a thesis committee is established with 2-4 total members (including the chair). Thesis chairs must typically be graduate faculty within the department, but other thesis committee members can be from different disciplines and departments.

Additional Coursework for Students Completing a Thesis

All students selected to complete a thesis are required to take the following additional courses. Upon enrolling in thesis coursework, the completed project becomes a requirement of graduation. Please note that the decision to complete a thesis could extend a student’s program beyond the standard 8 quarters.

Required: SPHSC 700 – Master’s Thesis. Students must register for at least 9 credits total of SPHSC 700. Once thesis works begins, students must register for some number of SPHSC 700 credits each quarter until the thesis is complete. Please be aware that students must be registered for at least 1 credit of SPHSC 700 during the quarter in which they defend their thesis and apply to graduate.

Optional: Statistics courses at 400 level or above. As necessary, the student’s thesis mentor will guide the student in registering for an appropriate statistics course based upon his/her research focus.


Example Timeline for a Thesis Project

Year 1   Year 2  


  • Register for SPHSC 700
  • Revise ideas with mentor
  • Start data collection
  • Finalize Human Subjects
  • Determine your interests
  • Visit websites of faculty
  • Find pertinent readings
  • Make a list of general ideas
  • Register for SPHSC 700
  • Continue data collection
  • Begin writing
  • Interview
  • Visit labs
  • Begin to narrow your question
  • Review literature
  • Register for SPHSC 700
  • Analyze data
  • Write
  • Register for SPHSC 700
  • Select committee
  • Review literature
  • Design methods
  • Write prospectus
  • Consider needs for Human Subjects review
  • Possible statistics course
  • Register for SPHSC 700
  • Write
  • Defend
  • Submit

MS Thesis Submission

In the quarter you plan to graduate, you will need to submit your master’s degree request. Login to the student view of MyGrad and choose the option to “Submit a master’s degree request.” You may not complete this step early. It must wait until the quarter that you will officially graduate from the program.

You must give a public presentation of your thesis and defend with your committee. After you agree upon a date and time, you will need to schedule the logistics of securing a room and publicizing your presentation with your Graduate Program Advisor. Send the following information to

  • Date & Time of Presentation
  • Title of Thesis
  • Names of all the members of your committee.

After you have defended and completed any revisions requested by your committee, submit your thesis to the Graduate School.

Review the Graduate School instructions on thesis submission here.

The Master's Degree Supervisory Committee Approval Form must be received by the Graduate School by the last day of the quarter.

Additionally, you must submit a copy of the Master’s Degree Supervisory Committee Approval Form to your Graduate Program Advisor for SPHSC department records. This document may be a copy.