Here are some basic terms defined regarding the thesis and practicum.
Cheating and plagiarism are forms of academic dishonesty.
Most master’s students and PhD students must have an advisor to advise them on a program of study, direct research, and supervise their thesis, practicum or comprehensive examination work. In some departments and faculties, this advisor is called a program advisor. In some cases, the advisor may become the chair of the advisory or examining committee(s).
Most master’s students and all PhD students must have an advisory committee. The committee approves the student’s program of study and thesis and practicum proposal and to exercise general supervision over the student’s work. In some units, the advisory committee may become the examining committee.
A requirement of the PhD program, it is a formal method of evaluation at a time specified by the advisory committee.
In some master’s programs, a student may select the comprehensive examination route rather than the thesis or practicum requirement in which the student must demonstrate their mastery of the relevant literature in which they will be examined.
Sometimes the term “comprehensive examination” is used synonymously with “candidacy examination,” although the purpose of each exam differs greatly.
Conflict of interest
This is a close personal relationship between an evaluator and a student or applicant or between evaluators, which gives rise to the perception of, or potential for, bias.
The examining committee evaluates the student’s thesis or practicum and oral examination.
A practicum differs from a thesis in its emphasis on the application of theory; however, it is similar in scope, span, and rigor. The weight of work required for the practicum is equal to that required for the master’s thesis.
In general, the practicum takes the form of an exercise in the practical application of knowledge and skills. It usually involves:
- the careful definition of a problem
- the application of appropriate knowledge and skills to the problem
- a report of the results in a manner suitable for evaluation by an examining committee.
Practica will vary depending upon the discipline and department. Each student must familiarize themselves with Faculty of Graduate Studies and departmental regulations regarding the practicum.
A thesis is a formal comprehensive, written dissertation describing original research on a chosen subject. This work may include, but is not restricted to:
- investigation aimed at a discovery and/or interpretation of facts
- challenge and/or possible revisions of accepted theories or laws
- the ordering and synthesizing of existing findings to support a conclusion, which could open up new research directions
An essential feature of PhD study is the candidate’s demonstration of competence to complete a research project and present the findings. The thesis must constitute a distinct contribution to knowledge in the major field of study and the material must be of sufficient merit to be, in the judgment of the examiners, acceptable for publication.
Theses will vary depending upon the discipline and department. Each student must familiarize themselves with Faculty of Graduate Studies and departmental regulations regarding the thesis.