In the non-thesis project, you’ll write a 20-page research paper and take a comprehensive oral exam.
Choose a topic that sparks your interests and highlights your knowledge.
Deadlines for non-thesis project
For the research paper: Two weeks before your comprehensive oral examination date.
For the comprehensive oral exam: Prior to the thesis submission deadline set by the Missouri State Graduate College for that semester.
Non-thesis resources: declaration form and guidelines
Fill out and submit the thesis/non-thesis declaration form after your second semester in the program (or once you’ve completed 18 credit hours).
For specific guidelines and requirements about your thesis, read the non-thesis project and process sheet.
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Submit the declaration form to the thesis/non-thesis coordinator, Dr. Andrei Shoumikhin.
Steps for non-thesis project
After your second semester in the program:
- Fill out and submit the thesis/non-thesis declaration form.
- Choose your comprehensive oral exam board. Select three professors who taught or will teach one or more of your classes.
- Have your exam board approved by Dr. Shoumikhin.
- He will serve as one of your exam board members unless you request otherwise.
- Send a written request to the defense and strategic studies (DSS) department head if you would like an exception.
During your fourth (final) semester in the program:
- Propose a specific time and date to take your comprehensive oral exam.
- You’re responsible for setting a specific time and date. Make sure your exam board can attend on that date.
- Complete your research paper (20 pages). Submit it to your exam board, along with two-to-three previously completed papers in the DSS program.
- Provide both electronic and hard-copy versions of your research paper.
- Each prior paper should be at least seven pages in length.
- Take your comprehensive oral exam. Review exam sample questions (.pdf).
- Expect to defend your non-thesis research paper before your comprehensive oral exam.
- Your exam can take place in one of the department’s classrooms or video conference.
Review the DSS non-thesis project and process document for more information.
More resources for non-thesis project
Evaluating your non-thesis project
You’re reviewed and graded on:
- Your defense of your non-thesis research project.
- Your in-depth knowledge of theoretic and practical materials presented to you during your time in the DSS program.
- Your ability to analyze evolving defense and security issues around the world and in the United States.