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MA Thesis procedures

Steps for proposing, completing and submitting a thesis

 Student develops preliminary thesis idea and chooses a full-time faculty member to be Thesis Advisor. In consultation with Thesis Advisor, the student writes the thesis proposal.

Each student preparing a thesis will select a Thesis Advisory Committee, consisting of a Thesis Advisor and at least one Committee member. The Thesis Advisor and the Committee Member are to be from the full-time faculty of the Department of Art Education. A third member may be another faculty member from the Department of Art Education, a limited term appointment - if their area of expertise warrants it, or may be an individual from outside the Department faculty, i.e. a University faculty member in a relevant discipline, or a professional with relevant expertise.The composition of the committee is subject to approval by the Thesis Advisor, in consultation with the Department's Graduate Program Director.

Full-time permanent facuty in Art Education at Concordia University members, holding a terminal degree, and who hold the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor are eligible to supervise students.  Other faculty members who meet the criteria established by the department with which they are affiliated, which usually entail substantial and relevant research accomplishments, may be nominated by the Graduate Program Director to the School of Graduate Studies for approval. All members are expected to hold a doctorate degree or terminal degree as appropriate.  

Part-time faculty do not serve on thesis advisory committee in Art Education.

On a case by case basis, committee membership may be adjusted with justification of expertise required for the research project undertaken by a graduate student.  

For Art Education, this membership could include a host of experts with or without terminal degrees, such as a Professor Emerius, a First Nations Elder, a master teacher, and/or related artist, researcher, teacher experts.  Appointment requires approval from the Department and SGS.

It is expected students will follow the appropriate protocols when forming an expert commitee with a First Nations Elder:

Expert committee membership requires an email from the supervisor to the GPD outlining the following justification on why the expert is needed:

  •  How the expert will contribute to the research thesis
  •  What role the expert will perform on the committee
  •  The expert's background/qualifications as it relates to the research study

Once confirmed by the GPD, the request is forwarded to the School of Graduate Studies.  The School of Graduate Studies approves all such requests. 

Note: No honorarium is provided for advisory committee service.    

When the thesis is ready for examination, only advisory committee members are required. 

Once the Thesis Advisor has approved the Thesis Proposal, the student schedules a time for a Thesis Proposal Meeting. The student must submit copies of the Thesis Proposal form and all required attachments in a single PDF file via email to and within 2 weeks of proposal meeting

The student must provide a recording device and record the meeting in order to make notes summarizing the Committee's recommendations. The student and Committee will record the outcome of the meeting on the Department's Thesis Proposal Form. Students may refer to the Thesis Proposal Form for details.

All research must conform to the University’s policy on the ethical standards for conducting research with human subjects. If applicable, it is the responsibility of the student to submit a completed Summary Protocol Form (SPF) (long version) to the Thesis Advisory Committee along with the Thesis Proposal. Once the committee approves both the Thesis Proposal and the Summary Protocol Form, the student will submit a summary Protocol Form to the University Human Research Ethics Committee (UHREC). Once the UHREC has approved the SPF the thesis research involving human subjects may begin.

Following the thesis proposal meeting, it is the student’s responsibility to follow through on whatever actions resulted from the thesis proposal review, as designated on the Thesis Proposal Form. When this is accomplished, the student must send the completed form and all required attachments in a single PDF file via email to and within 2 weeks of the committee meeting.

It is the student's responsibility to make sure that the following items are included in the email PDF file within 2 weeks of the committee meeting:

  1. The Thesis Proposal
  2. Thesis Proposal Form
  3. Summary Protocol Form (SPF) 
  4. Any recommendations and/or modifications

The student is expected to keep in regular contact with the Thesis Advisor throughout the period of thesis research and writing. Holidays, summer vacations, professional travel and sabbatical leaves may restrict the availability of the supervisor and/or committee members, so students should plan accordingly.

The minimum lengths of text for the three thesis options are as follows: a minimum of 15,000 words for Research and Thesis; 6,000 to 10,000 words for the essay in Studio Inquiry and Essay; 6,000 to 10,000 words for the report in the Teaching Project and Report. All theses should remain under 100 pages in total.

After obtaining the Thesis Advisor's approval, the student distributes copies of the thesis to Thesis Committee members asking whether they see any problems that should be corrected before thesis is officially submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. If thesis Committee members see any problems, they communicate them to the Thesis Advisor.

When the student and Thesis Advisor agree that the completed draft is ready for general review, the student submits copies of the thesis to the Thesis Office (first submission) for a check of the format and distribution to committee members for review prior to the thesis defense. The thesis manuscript must follow the University's requirements for format as outlined in the Thesis Preparation and Examination Regulations available from the Thesis Office (Refer to the University Graduate Studies Calendar for the deadline date for first submission.)

Upon approval of the thesis manuscript by the University Thesis Officer, the Thesis Advisor completes an "Examiners Report", evaluating the thesis and indicating whether or not it is ready to be defended at a Thesis Examination. If the thesis is judged to be ready for defense, a defense will then be scheduled in accordance with the procedures outlined by the University (refer to the Thesis Preparation and Thesis Examination Regulations).

The Thesis Examining Committee will consist of the student’s Thesis Advisory Committee and any additional members appointed by the Department's Graduate Program Director. The student arranges the Thesis Examination meeting with the committee members.

Following the Thesis Examination, the student has time to make any required format corrections or content modifications before the final (second) submission of the thesis to the University Thesis Office by the designated deadline (refer to the Graduate Studies Calendar for the exact date).

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