According to the US Census Bureau, more than one in ten people in the United States have a master’s degree or some college education, but less than two percent of people have earned a doctorate. One difference between a thesis and a dissertation is that a dissertation is usually required for a master’s degree and a dissertation for a doctorate; However, this is not always true. Some master’s programs do not require a thesis or dissertation at all. These programs generally have two different pathways that students can follow: a thesis option and a non-thesis option. A student pursuing a PhD is generally encouraged to choose the thesis option to prepare the dissertation that she will have to write as a PhD student.
Perhaps the biggest difference between a thesis and a dissertation is the intended purpose. A thesis, which is usually required for a master’s degree, is intended to demonstrate a student’s understanding of the field of study. The student formulates a proposal, or thesis, based on previous work done by others in the field. This previous work is explored by the student in her dissertation while defending a particular idea. A thesis is usually completed by a doctoral student and focuses on original research.
A student who receives a thesis must create a topic in the field of it that has not yet been researched. The student must then formulate a hypothesis and conduct original research to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
What is a thesis?
A thesis is a complex piece of work that you write in your last year of higher education. Students generally want to take a topic that they have studied in class and find ways to research and write an article on that topic. According to US News and World Report, students must choose a topic related to their prior knowledge. Students will submit their topic to their advisor and meet with their advisor as they research and begin writing their paper. Afterwards, a team of professors will read your work and decide if you meet the requirements for graduation.
Those looking for an answer to the question of whether all graduate students do a thesis should know that some schools allow students to do a final research or capstone project: do a thesis instead of a thesis. This is usually the best option for those who prefer hands-on experience over doing even more classwork. For example, a great computer scientist might create new software or a computer program instead of writing about recent technological innovations.