Students should note that while there is no official "Thesis Course" to register for in SSOL, completion of a Master's Thesis is a program requirement, and the following guidelines should be precisely followed:
Plan to submit all materials as early as possible. Computers crash. Papers jam in the printer. Degree conferral dates do not change. It is the responsibility of the student to meet all deadlines.
|Subject (short description) and written agreement from a faculty mentor to MA program||5/30/2017||9/6/2017||12/13/2017||5/29/2018|
|Proposed Title and Outline (0.5 to 1 page) to MA program||6/27/2017||10/4/2017||1/9/2018||6/26/2018|
|Completed Thesis Draft to Mentor and MA Program||8/16/2017||12/13/2017||3/21/2018||8/15/2018|
|Approval from mentor and mentor-approved electronic version to MA program||10/4/2017||1/24/2018||5/2/2018||10/3/2018|
|Approval from the MA program and one final (approved) bound copy to MA program||10/11/2017||1/31/2018||5/9/2018||10/10/2018|
|Application for Degree submitted to Registrar and to Program||9/1/2017||11/1/2016||12/1/2017||9/1/2018|
Electronic submissions to the MA Program should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org The Application for Degree form http://registrar.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/degree-app.pdf should go to the Registrar and also to email@example.com
The thesis can be about any subject related to the natural science aspect of Biotechnology. This includes, but is not limited to, almost anything that is touched on in the W4034, W4300 and G4305, as well as almost all the research fields of the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences and many in the Health Sciences Campus. Non-natural science issues such as business, law, ethics, can be included only as a small portion of the major picture. They should not be the main, or the only, theme of the thesis.
Option 1: Review articles with strong "views" and "future" components. The thesis shall give in-depth evaluations of the field, including the history, current status, and future directions.
Option 2: Grant proposal for Predoctoral Fellowship using Form PHS398
Option 3: Scientific report. For students who have done independent research beyond that for Supervised Research, the thesis can be about their research while enrolled in the MA program. The general format should follow the Research Articles in Nature Biotechnology. An exception is that the thesis should have a much more extensive background section. Remember that materials already used for reports and credits cannot be used again for thesis except to include them as appendices.
Any Columbia faculty member can serve as a thesis mentor. The involvement of the faculty member can range from “holding-hands-every-step-of-the-way” to just reading the final draft, depending on the agreement between the student and the advisor. If you would like to have a non-Columbia faculty as your primary advisor, you need to have prior approval from the Program.
Most people, advisor and advisee alike, find it helpful to have at least some ideas about what and how you plan to write before approaching somebody for advice. You must have one faculty advisor who will read your final draft critically. In order not to overwhelm research faculty with reading commitments, we may have to limit the number of thesis each faculty can be asked to advise.
Please inform your advisor of all rules and deadlines. Keep in mind that many people take summer vacations in August.
|Table of Contents||Required|
|List of Figures & Tables||Required|
|Main Body of the Thesis (includign introduction and chapter pages, graphs, photos, figures, and tables)||Required|
Follow the requirements exactly. It not only makes a better-looking thesis, it keeps a thesis from being rejected due to technicalities. Theses that are formatted correctly will be easier for the Mentor and Program to review and will facilitate appoval.
When binding your thesis please remember: NO SPIRAL BINDING! For examples of acceptable thesis binding formats, see this image.
Thesis binding may be done at Staples, Kinko's, Village Copier, or through Columbia Print (2950 Broadyway-106 Pulitzer Hall) 212-854-3233
THINK: I think a lot and write very little.
- Ernest Hemingway
SIMPLIFY: Rule Seventeen: Omit needless words. Omit needless words. Omit needless words.
- William Strunk Jr.
REVISE: In my writing, I average about ten pages a day. Unfortunately, they're all the same page.
- Michael Alley
"The Elements of Style" by W. Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, ISBN: 020530902 (paper back only costs $6.95)
"The Handbook of Good English" by Edward D. Johnson ISBN 0-87196-141-5
"Lapsing Into a Comma" by Bill Walsh. ISBN: 0809225352
Thesis should be submitted electronically to advisors and the MA office in one file. Here is an MS Word template if you have difficulties with page numbers.
If your file is too big to transmit electronically because it contains too many high-resolution graphics, separate the graphics from the text. In that case, it is OK to send one text file and one graphic file.