Thesis projects may be descriptive research, investigative research, public health policy development and assessment, or a program evaluation. The thesis must have an analytic component, which may be qualitative or quantitative. A standard thesis will have three components, including:
- A publishable paper of superior quality
- A 10-20 page literature review documenting the relevant research studies relevant to the topic of the publishable quality paper
A 10-20 page policy analysis with recommendations related to the topic of the publishable quality paper
- Appendices, which may include supporting materials, such as a survey instrument. If completed by the student, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) proposal for the research project and all supporting materials, as well as documented IRB approval to complete the study should be included in the appendix.
The development of the thesis should reflect the guidance of the student’s advisors. The thesis constitutes significant effort often requiring several semesters. Students must choose their thesis advisor and reader and submit the thesis proposal by April 17th of their first year (Appendix A). Students whose thesis projects require review and approval by the Brown Institutional Review Board (IRB) will require several additional months of preparation before they can begin data collection. By April 17th of the first year, the thesis project should be well conceptualized and designed and have received approval from the thesis advisor, reader, and the Program Directors. Once the thesis project and the thesis advisor and reader are approved by Program Directors, it is the responsibility of the thesis advisor and thesis reader to determine when the thesis project has been satisfactorily completed.
Students are advised to allow sufficient time to make corrections and prepare the thesis for submission to the Graduate School. This should include developing a timeline with the thesis advisor and reader to be sure that they have sufficient time to read the thesis, return comments (multiple times) and sign the approval form prior to the deadline. Students are advised to meet with their thesis advisor and reader on a regular basis. It is important to plan a meeting schedule with the thesis advisor throughout the development of the thesis. Students must submit a progress report signed by their thesis advisor by January 15th for graduation in that year. The advisor should indicate whether or not the student has made adequate progress toward completion of the thesis and if the student will be able to complete the thesis in a timely manner prior to graduation.
The final thesis (with the signatures of the thesis advisor and reader) is due March 1st of the year of graduation. Upon submission of the completed thesis, each student’s thesis advisor will verify which thesis competencies the student has achieved.