Student Handbook MA/MSc

Program Requirements for Thesis Master's Degree Programs

  1. Program Advising Forms, Supplementary Coursework
  2. Master of Arts / Master of Science (MA/MSc) thesis

Masters Thesis Information

  1. Supervisor and Supervisory Committee
  2. Thesis Proposal
  3. Thesis Preparation
  4. Scheduling Oral Examination
  5. Format of Oral Examination
  6. Evaluation
  7. Thesis Revisions

Program Requirements for all Master's Degree Programs

1. Program Advising Forms, Supplementary Coursework

Program Requirements for all Master's Degrees in Kinesiology and Health Science

Advising Form
Prior to initial registration in any of the Master's programs, the student and supervisor will submit a completed Advising Form to the Graduate Program Office. The Advising Form outlines the required and elective courses to be completed prior to graduation. Once the form is completed, it must be submitted to the graduate program assistant, who will remove the advising block, before the student can enroll in courses.

Supplementary Courses
The successful Master's applicant (all degrees) may be required by his/her supervisor, to enroll in certain undergraduate courses or to complete suitable courses offered in other graduate programs. Supplementary courses may be substituted for all or part of either Master's thesis practica, KAHS 5400 3.0 or KAHS 5410 3.0, and this will be taken into account when determining the student's practicum responsibility.


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2. Master of Arts / Master of Science (MA/MSc) thesis

Candidates will be required to complete the following, in addition to the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies pertaining to all Master's degrees:

  1. one of either Univariate (KAHS 6010 3.0) or Multivariate (KAHS 6020 3.0) Statistics;
  2. graduate seminar (KAHS 6210 3.0);
  3. one practicum (KAHS 5400 3.0);
  4. two half course electives (3.0) from within the Kinesiology and Health Science graduate course offerings;
  5. one of either a second practicum (KAHS 5410 3.0) or a third elective graduate 3.0 course, as specified by the supervisor; and
  6. a thesis that demonstrates independence, originality, and advanced understanding of the area of study. (see Theses and Dissertation Guidelines).

Practica
Both practicas, KAHS 5400.30 and KAHS 5410.30, each involve 10 hours per week for 12 weeks and are normally taken in the first year. Practicum work is limited to the training necessary for a student to carry out their thesis research successfully, and may involve such activities as library research, conducting and assisting in experiments, data analysis and the preparation of written reports. If supplementary work in preparation for thesis research is deemed necessary by the supervisor, then either an undergraduate make-up course or a graduate course may be substituted for all or part of either masters thesis practica, KAHS 5400 3.0 or KAHS 5410 3.0.

Graduate Seminar
Master of Arts (MA) and Science (MSc) thesis degree students shall complete KAHS 6210 3.0 (Graduate Seminar) by attending scheduled colloquia and seminars during the first year of study. Students shall give a presentation on their research in the second year of study. This course shall be graded on a pass/fail. The content shall include visiting speakers, faculty and student presentations.

Student Evaluation and Progress
Master's thesis progress shall be assessed at the September, January and May meetings of the Graduate Executive Committee via the Student Evaluation and Progress Report Form, in consultation with the Supervisor and Supervisory Committee, if necessary.


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Masters Thesis Information

1. Supervisor and Supervisory Committee

Supervisor
The supervisor, as the director of the candidate's research, is expected to keep in close touch with the candidate's progress and to be available for consultation. The supervisor should:

  • Advise on the writing of the thesis as drafts are submitted, and
  • Approve the draft before the final stage. It is understood that such approval is of the content and form for examination purposes and not necessarily a judgement of the standard of the work.

Supervisory Committee
Master's Supervisory Committee consist of a minimum of two faculty members appointed to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, at least one of whom must be from the program in which the student is enrolled, and who serves as the principal supervisor. Selection of the other member of the Supervisory Committee is the responsibility of the supervisor in consultation with the student. The Supervisory Committee must be established no later than the second term of study, after which the Faculty of Graduate Studies Supervisor and Supervisory Committee Approval Form must be submitted to the graduate program assistant The Graduate Program Director will then approve the committee membership and inform the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies of the composition of the Supervisory Committee.

Roles of the Supervisor and Supervisory Committee
Roles of the Supervisor and Supervisory Committee are found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.


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2. Thesis Proposal

The purpose of the thesis proposal is to enable the student to clarify the rationale and strategy for approaching the subject, and to permit members of the Thesis Supervisory Committee to provide advice.

The Thesis Proposal must be completed by the end of the student's 16th month in the Graduate Program.

Any student who has not completed a thesis proposal by the end of term 4, will be placed on probation by the Graduate Executive Committee unless it is determined that extenuating circumstances exist.

The thesis proposal should include an introduction, a brief literature review and a methods section. The introduction should provide a rationale for the study and a concise statement of the problem and specific purpose(s). The review of literature should include those references that illustrate where the study fits in relation to the existing body of knowledge in the topic. The methodology should contain a description of the procedures to be conducted and the experimental design. Preliminary results should be included if available.

The supervisor works in close consultation with the student in preparing the thesis proposal. The thesis proposal must be approved by the Supervisory Committee. When the Supervisory Committee is in agreement that a thesis proposal is acceptable, they sign the Form TD1: Thesis and Dissertation Proposal Form and submit to the graduate program assistant

In the case of a research project involving Human Subjects, Animals and Biohazardous Materials, all students must follow the FGS Research Ethics Forms and Procedures and complete the applicable forms (e.g. TD3, TD4).


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3. Thesis Preparation

All students must refer to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Guidelines for the preparation of Theses and Dissertations.
A thesis must embody the results of original research and must be successfully defended at an oral examination. The quality and length of the thesis shall be such that it is, in principle, publishable in a refereed journal relevant to the discipline in question.


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4. Scheduling Oral Examination

Thesis Oral Examination
All program requirements should be completed within 24 months of entering the graduate program.

20 work days prior to your oral exam, the student is required to submit the Recommendation for Oral Examination Form (original hard copy; not electronic) to the graduate program assistant who will book the exam room, order audio/visual equipment, and obtain approval from Graduate Program Director before forwarding to FGS for processing (Note: FGS require 3 weeks prior to exam date to process).

Please follow the steps below:

  1. review the Oral Examination guidelines
  2. set oral exam date with the members of your Oral Examination Committee
  3. email oral exam date and start time to kahs@yorku.ca, so that a room and book audio/visual equipment can be reserved.
  4. complete the Recommendation for Oral Examination Form, and submit to the graduate program office, at least 20 work days prior to the examination date.
  5. apply to graduate.

NOTE: if internal (arm's length from thesis) member is a KAHS faculty member, you must provide a rational with the oral exam for that states:

  • the faculty member comes from a different research stream from that of both the student and the supervisor;
  • the faculty member is not affiliated with the student’s Area or any Area with which the supervisor is affiliated;
  • the faculty member is at arm’s length from the research project, the student, and the supervisor (i.e., the faculty member from the other stream must not have taught and collaborated with the student).

Members of the Examination Committee must receive a copy of the thesis (from the student) at least 15 work days before the oral examination is held.


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5. Format of Oral Examination

The student must present for 10 – 20 minute to the Thesis Examination Committee. (PowerPoint presentation may be used.)

Following the presentation, the student will be examined on his/her thesis by the members of the Examination Committee. Each committee member will question the candidate. Typically two rounds of committee questions are conducted prior to deliberation. Normally, the first round of questions will refer to general aspects of the work. Subsequent questions will deal with more detailed matters. The total length of the seminar and examination should be approximately 2 hours.

The oral exam is a public academic event. Faculty members, graduate students and others may attend oral exams at the discretion of the Chair of the exam committee. They may, at the discretion of the Chair, participate in the questioning. Only members of the exam committee may be present for the evaluation and for the vote at the conclusion of an oral exam.


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6. Evaluation

The quality of the thesis and the performance of the student will be assessed by each of the Thesis Examination Committee members following the examination. The final deliberation of the Thesis Examination Committee is exclusive to the committee members and not be open to the public. Master's Thesis Oral Exam Evaluation Guidelines and Reporting of Results are listed on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.


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7. Thesis Revisions

For thesis revisions, refer to the Master's Thesis Oral Exam Evaluation Guidelines and Reporting of Results

Students must remain registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies during the time period in which they are completing their thesis revisions.


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