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Quantitative Psychology

The Quantitative Psychology graduate sequence focuses on the use of quantitative methods in the solution of problems in theoretical and applied psychology. The sequence provides critical foundation preparation for advanced graduate study and can facilitate entry into careers in community college teaching or in the business-industrial sector.

The objectives of the sequence include building a solid foundation of basic psychological principles that help students to understand and explain human behavior. Students are trained to be adept at using computers and technology in data collection, management, and analysis based on a proficiency in common statistical software packages as well as using the Internet in data collection and analysis.

The master's degree can be completed in two years with full-time enrollment on campus.

University Admission Requirements

A student applying to a master's program must:

  • Have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university prior to fall admission
  • Send official transcripts from each college or university, other than Illinois State, where graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can should be emailed from the school to Admissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions website.

Additional Program Admission Requirements

A student applying to this sequence must:

  • Submit a complete application by January 1
  • Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for either the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or at least a 3.0 GPA for 9 hours of graduate coursework
  • Have completed at least 21 hours of undergraduate psychology courses that include general psychology, experimental psychology or research methods, and psychological statistics. Applicants should have a proficiency in math based on a passing grade in finite math or Precalculus (MAT 120 or 144 or equivalent), a grade of B or better in psychological statistics (PSY 340 or equivalent) or a score of 144 or higher on the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE General Test. Applicants who have not completed the required undergraduate courses may be admitted, but will have the missing course(s) added to the curriculum. Any missing courses must be completed during the first year of graduate study.

A complete application requires:

  • Official GRE General Test scores (use institution code 1319)
  • A curriculum vitae or resume that includes the following information, if applicable:
    • Any experiences (paid, unpaid, internship, volunteer, etc.) including dates, employer or organization, business addresses, and the nature of the experiences that are relevant to admission to this graduate sequence
    • Any academic honors and awards including the year it was received and, if not evident from the title, briefly explain what the honor or award recognizes
    • Any research experiences, skills, and accomplishments
  • A writing sample (scholarly work approximately 5-15 pages long), which is optional for this sequence
  • A personal statement (approximately 2-3 pages, double-spaced) that addresses the following
    • Professional and career goals
    • Research interests and experiences
    • Qualifications for admission to this graduate sequence
    • How your interests and goals fit with this graduate sequence
  • Three recommendations (see application instructions about providing names and email addresses; recommendations must be uploaded to the application)

Applicant Interview Day: March 9, 2018 (Friday)

Some applicants may be invited to visit the department during the spring semester. The Applicant Interview Day schedule includes meeting with current graduate students and other invited applicants, interviews with faculty members, lunch, and a late afternoon social. Invited applicants will be contacted by the graduate coordinator.

Admission is offered only for the fall semester and is very competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Admission offers are sent in March. The Council for Graduate Schools stipulates that an applicant has until April 15 to accept or decline an admission offer. Some admission offers may be delayed until applicants notify the department that they are declining admission.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Fall (August)  January 1 
Spring (January)  No spring admission 
Summer (May/June)  No summer admission 

Graduate Assistantship Information

The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.

Eligibility

To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally:

  • Be admitted as a degree-seeking student to a graduate program
  • Be in good-standing
  • Be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 graduate credits) during the fall or spring semesters

Benefits

Graduate assistants receive:

  • Monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
  • A waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
  • A waiver for up to 12 credits of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment

The department awards graduate assistantships to applicants who accept admission. Graduate assistantships are subject to verification of employment eligibility under U.S. immigration laws and the receipt of anticipated state funding by the University.

Cost & Funding

See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Matthew Hesson-McInnis  DeGarmo 415  mshesso@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7266 

Plan of Study

The Quantitative Psychology master's degree sequence focuses on the use of quantitative methods in the solution of problems in theoretical and applied psychology. The sequence provides critical foundation preparation for advanced graduate study and can facilitate entry into careers in community college teaching and a variety of careers in the business-industrial sector. For the master's thesis, students are encouraged to work with any faculty member in the department on any topic of interest in which measurement and statistics is relevant or applied in novel ways. The graduate sequence can be completed with two years of full-time enrollment.

Graduate Curriculum

The Quantitative Psychology sequence objective is to build a solid foundation of basic psychological principles that help students to understand and explain human behavior. Students use computers and technology in data collection, management, and analysis through coursework. The training requires a proficiency in common statistical software packages and using the Internet for data collection and analysis, and applied experiences. Students must complete a master's thesis based on original research. Completing a thesis is an indispensable part of learning the intricacies of integrating theory, design, measurement, and analysis. Work on the thesis typically begins during the student's second semester, and it is usually complete at the end of the second year.

To accomplish our objectives, students are required to complete a minimum of 32 graduate credits and the master's thesis. Listed below are the required courses and other courses that are strongly recommended (depending on the student's specific interests). All courses are three credits unless otherwise noted.

Required Courses

  • PSY 425 Quantitative Psychology Professional Seminar
  • PSY 440 Statistics: Data Analysis and Methodology
  • PSY 441 Experimental Design
  • PSY 442 Test Theory
  • PSY 443 Regression Analysis
  • PSY 444 Multivariate Analysis
  • PSY 445 Covariance Structure Modeling
  • PSY 499 Master's Thesis (4-6 credits)

Recommended Courses

  • PSY 375 Personnel Psychology
  • PSY 376 Organizational Psychology
  • PSY 400 Independent Study (1-4 credits)
  • PSY 418 Learning and Cognition
  • PSY 420 Theories of Personality
  • PSY 431 Theory and Research in Social Psychology
  • PSY 455 Cognitive Science
  • PSY 498A03 Professional Practice

Approved 300-level or 400-level courses in the following departments:

  • Applied Computer Science
  • Educational Administration and Foundations
  • Mathematics

Electives: Other courses appropriate to the student's interests and goals

Sample Two-Year Plan

Year 1

FALL

  • PSY 425 Professional Seminar
  • PSY 440 Statistics: Data Analysis and Methodology
  • PSY 443 Regression Analysis
  • 1 elective (e.g., 418, 420, or other graduate courses congruent with professional goals)

SPRING

  • PSY 425 Professional Seminar
  • PSY 441 Experimental Design
  • PSY 442 Test Theory (if offered)
  • 1 or 2 elective(s)

Year 2

FALL

  • PSY 425 Professional Seminar
  • PSY 444 Multivariate Analysis
  • PSY 499 Master's Thesis
  • 2 electives

SPRING

  • PSY 425 Professional Seminar
  • PSY 442 Test Theory (if not taken during Year 1)
  • PSY 445 Covariance Structure Modeling
  • PSY 499 Master's Thesis
  • 1 elective

NOTE: The schedule above is composed of courses currently identified in the Graduate Catalog. Courses proposed in the future could change the structure of this master's degree sequence.

Quantitative Professional Seminar

FALL 2017

Class meets on alternative Tuesdays from 3:30- 4:20 p.m. in 48 DeGarmo Hall.
Speaker evaluation surveys must be completed on ReggieNet in a timely fashion. Feedback is due the following Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

Announcements

Articles and PowerPoint slides from current and previous semesters can be accessed through ReggieNet. When an article is listed below after a speaker, students should download the article from ReggieNet and read it prior to the presentation.

Students should note, however, that articles are not typically included in the fall semester when second-year students are presenting their theses; articles are presented in the spring semester when first-year students introduce and lead the discussion based on a specific article. Grades will be assessed based on the quantity and quality of participation and timeliness of speaker and topic feedback provided on ReggieNet .

Any last minute changes to the schedule below will be posted on ReggieNet and announced to ProSeminar participants through ReggieNet.

Aug. 22 — Introductions and Orientation to Pro Seminar by Dr. Matthew Hesson-McInnis

Sept. 5 — Thesis Processes, Procedures, and Policies by Dr. Jef Kahn

 

Sept. 19 — Thesis Update by Ms. Olivia Cody

 

Oct. 3 — Thesis Update by Ms. Kyla Cary

 

Oct. 17 — Thesis Update by Mr. Thomas Holzhauer

 

Oct. 31 — Thesis Update by Mr. Jordan Thomas

 

Nov. 14 — Research Article Discussion by Dr. Julie Campbell (The article will be announced at a later date.)

 

Dec. 5— Topic to be announced at a later date.

 

Quantitative Professional Seminar Archive

2016-17

FALL 2016

Quantitative Topic: Writing Your Thesis

 

Thesis Research Updates: Tim Deering, Feng Ji, Duc Nguyen, Alison Slaughter, and Zachery Stillman

 

SPRING 2017

Quantitative Topic: Statistical Consulting

Thesis Progress Reports: Kyla Cary, Olivia Cody, Thomas Holzhauer, and Jordan Thomas

2015-16

FALL 2015

Information unavailable

SPRING 2016

Students and faculty members attended four Research Colloquia for Clinical-Counseling and Developmental/Quantitative Faculty Candidates

 

Discussion of Articles by Students: Timothy Deering, Feng Ji, Duc Nguyen, Alison Slaughter, and Zachery Stillman

 

2014-15

FALL 2014

Quantitative Topic: Writing your thesis

 

Thesis Progress Reports: Kamila Gabka, Ellen Klieme, Rebecca Oglesby, Ryan Tuggle, and David Wolfe

 

SPRING 2015

Quantitative Topic: Life and death psychometrics

Discussion of Articles by Students: Adam Hampton, Hannah Jones, Melissa Matheys, Zachary Richardson, Zachary Roman, and C J Zobell

 

2013-14

FALL 2013

Quantitative Topics: Writing a thesis; Panel discussion about life after ISU Quantitative Psychology

 

Discussion of Articles by Students: Anthony Czesak, Andrew Eichler, Amanda Fisher, Andrew Salmonson, and Aaron Whitley

 

SPRING 2014

 

Discussion of Articles by Students: Kamila Gabka, Ellen Klieme, Rebecca Oglesby, Ryan Tuggle, and David Wolfe

2012-13

FALL 2012

Quantitative Topics: Writing a thesis; Data analysis tips and tricks

 

Thesis Progress Reports: Shane Boyd, Philip Drazewski, Martin Gallegos, Devin Gill, Nicole Hilaire, Michael Hoffman, J. D. Hogue, Heather Hyman, and Josh Rohlfs

 

SPRING 2013

 

Quantitative Topic: Dual sequences

 

Discussion of Articles by Students: Anthony Czesak, Andrew Eichler, Amanda Fisher, Andrew Salmonson, and Aaron Whitely

 

2011-12

FALL 2011

Quantitative Topic: Thesis procedures

 

Thesis Progress Reports: Drew Abney, Mackenzi Harmon, Ashley Niemczyk, Sebastian Pazderski, Frances Rynders, Kandace Waddy, Kevin Wallpe, and Kelly Whalen

 

SPRING 2012

 

Quantitative Topic: Statistical consulting

 

Discussion of Articles by Students: Devin Gill, Michael Hoffman, J. D. Hogue, Heather Hyman, and Josh Rohlfs

 

2010-11

FALL 2010

Quantitative Topics: Thesis procedures; Research and post-mortem

 

Thesis Progress Reports: Adam Bradshaw, James Clinton, Justin Durtschi, Derek Herrmann, Lindsay Pater, Stan Treger, and Josh Wondra

 

SPRING 2011

 

Quantitative Topics: How to lead an effective article discussion; Statistical consulting; SPSS and Excel data management: Tips, tricks, and acts of sheer wizardry

 

Discussion of Articles by Students: Drew Abney, Frances Rynders, Kandace Waddy, and Kevin Wallpe

 

2009-10

FALL 2009

Quantitative Topic: Research

 

Thesis Progress Reports: Derek Drozd, Thomas Hughes, and Sunthud Pronprasertmanit

 

Featured Guest Speaker: Kathryn Melcher, The DeGarmo Group

 

SPRING 2010

 

Quantitative Topic: The perils of PowerPoint: How to use PowerPoint effectively

 

Thesis Progress Reports: Adam Bradshaw, James Clinton, Derek Drozd, Justin Durtschi, Thomas Hughes, Sunthud Pornprasertmanit, and Stan Treger

 

2008-09

FALL 2008

Quantitative Topic: The thesis process

 

Discussion of Articles by Students: Brooke Hunter, Donald Johnson, Daniel Raver, Nicholas Strong, and Yin Ong

 

SPRING 2009

Quantitative Topic: Effective use of PowerPoint in academic presentations

Thesis Progress Reports: Brooke Hunter, Donald Johnson, Sunthud Pornprasertmanit, Daniel Raver, Nicholas Strong, and Yin Ong

 

2007-08

FALL 2007

Quantitative Topics: Statistical consulting; Thesis procedures and time line; Institutional Review Board procedures, Psychology research, and Research & Sponsored Programs; Data management tips and tricks

 

Discussion of Articles by Students; Marat Abdukarimov, David Daly, and Arati Patel

Featured Guest Speaker: Rod Funk, Chestnut Health Systems: Godley, M D., Kahn, J. H., Dennis, M. L. Godley, S. H., & Funk, R. R. (2005). The stability and impact of environmental factors on substance use and problems after adolescent outpatient treatment for cannabis abuse or dependence.

SPRING 2008

 

Quantitative Topics: Computer text analysis; Cross-products regression

 

Thesis Progress Reports: Marat Abdukarimov, David Daly, Brooke Hunter, Daniel Raver, and Yin Ong

 

2006-07

FALL 2006

Quantitative Topics: The thesis process; Institutional Research Board procedures; Psychology research website, and Research and Sponsored Programs; Statistical consultation

Discussion of Articles by Students: Kate Hudson, Eric Malek, Amy Mast, and Kyriakos Tsiappoutas

SPRING 2007

 

Quantitative Topic: Data management tips and tricks

 

Thesis Progress Reports: Marat Abdukarimos, Kate Hudson, Eric Malek, Amy Mast, Andrew Monroe, Michael Mukavetz, and Kyriakos Tsiappoutas

 

Dual Sequence

Students admitted into a master's sequence in Psychology (Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology, Industrial/Organizational-Social Psychology, or Quantitative Psychology) may complete coursework for a second (“dual”) sequence.

Application Process

Students should complete the DUAL SEQUENCE APPLICATION. The application is an interactive Microsoft Word document. The student should open the application and complete it on a computer. The student should print, sign, and date the application and submit the signed application to the sequence coordinator by October 15. The sequence coordinator may write a letter of support for the student's application. The second sequence coordinator should receive the application and letter of support, if applicable, from the sequence coordinator by November 1.

Approval Process

The faculty members of the second sequence review the application and determine if the second sequence is appropriate based on the student's goals, qualifications, and the second sequence's resources (e.g., space limitation, faculty availability, etc.). After a decision is reached, the second sequence coordinator approves or denies the dual sequence application. The second sequence coordinator completes the lower portion of the application and submits it to the Graduate Programs Office for processing.

Recording the Second Sequence

If the second sequence coordinator approves the application, the Graduate Programs Office updates the student's graduate record in Campus Solutions. The Graduate Programs Office notifies the student and both sequence coordinators when the student's graduate record includes the second sequence.

Graduation

After completing all degree requirements, the University confers a master's degree in Psychology will a concentration that identifies both sequences.

Thesis Procedures

Graduate students must complete a thesis in order to satisfy graduation requirements for a master's degree. Students must complete all of the degree requirements, including the thesis, in six years beginning with the first semester of enrollment. Students are responsible for reviewing and complying with the department's Thesis Procedures, which are explained below.

Students should also review the Thesis section in the Graduate Catalog and the Graduate School's Academic (Thesis Assistance) website for additional information about the University's thesis policies, continuous enrollment, graduation deadlines, etc. A thesis:

  • Should have a theoretical framework as its conceptual base
  • May represent a test or prediction derived from a theory, or an extension of an existing group of studies
  • May replicate an existing study, provided it attempts to repeat the study with some meaningful variation
  • May be reports of surveys related to themes of professional interest (see American Psychologist)
  • May have as a goal the development or improvement of instrumentation (see Behavior Research Methods)
  • May be ethological or statistical in nature, originating a new design, improving an existing design, or reapplying a quantitative statistical technique (see Journal of Mathematical Psychology and Educational and Psychological Measurement)
  • May be theoretical in nature providing an exposition of constructs, assumptions, interactions among constructs, translation into empirical variables, or illustrations of applications (see Psychological Bulletin and Psychological Review)
  • Must investigate a real problem (i.e., if the answer is obvious based on existing literature, the thesis poses a non-problem). However, research may be conducted to solve a practical problem, provided the solution can be generalized.

Thesis Standards

A thesis should be written in the professional style of a journal article, except for the rare thesis that is non-empirical in nature. The thesis chapters are usually identified as: Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. Graduate students are required to comply with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition, 2010) and with the University's thesis policies, which are available on the Graduate School's Academic (Thesis Assistance) website.

The Graduate School's thesis policies covers the administrative aspects and appearance of a thesis. The APA's Publication Manual governs the professional format and style of a thesis. There are subtle differences between the Graduate School's thesis policies and the department's Thesis Procedures. Students are expected to comply with the department's Thesis Procedures to successfully complete their theses. Students must also follow the standards of the APA's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct when conducting research.

Important Deadlines

Students are encouraged to review the  Dates and Deadlines on the Graduate School's Graduation and Commencement website for specific deadlines related thesis procedures including the last day for: submitting a Proposal Approval Form, submitting a Right to Defend request, and for a thesis defense. If these deadlines are not met, graduation will be postponed until the following semester.

Forming a Committee

During the first semester of graduate study, students should review the  Faculty Research Interests website, as a resource for potential research topics. Students should talk to faculty members who are knowledgeable or who are willing to become familiar in the area in which students would like to complete their thesis research. Students need to solicit faculty members to serve as the thesis committee chair and on the thesis committee.

By the middle of the second semester of their first year, students should solicit one faculty member to serve as the thesis committee chair. Graduate School thesis policies require the committee chair be a full member of the Graduate Faculty. An associate member of the Graduate Faculty may serve as a committee co-chair, along with a full member of the Graduate Faculty.

When a faculty member agrees to serve as a committee chair (or two faculty members as co-chairs), students must complete the DEPARMENT APPROVAL OF THESIS COMMITTEE CHAIR form. The Committee Chair form also includes an override request for PSY 499 Master's Thesis. The Committee Chair form should be signed by the student, committee chair, and the program or sequence graduate coordinator. The signed Committee Chair form should be submitted to the Graduate Programs Office. Students cannot register for PSY 499 until the signed Committee Chair form has been received by the Graduate Programs Office and the override request has been processed. Students will be notified, by the Graduate Programs Office, when they can register for PSY 499.

In consultation with their thesis committee chair, students should solicit a second faculty member for the committee. After the second faculty member agrees to serve on the committee, students must complete the DEPARTMENT APPROVAL OF THESIS COMMITTEE form. The Committee form should be signed by the student, committee chair, and faculty member. The signed Committee form must be submitted to the Graduate Programs Office for approval by the department chair. If there are committee co-chairs, students and their co-chairs may decide not to solicit another faculty member for the thesis committee, provided both co-chairs are full member's of the Graduate Faculty. Graduate School thesis policies require the majority of the thesis committee (i.e., chair and members) to be full members of the Graduate Faculty. If one co-chair is an associate member of the Graduate Faculty, another faculty member, who is a full member of the Graduate Faculty, must be solicited for the thesis committee.

If a committee member is unable to complete his or her service or is willing to yield his or her position on the committee, students should consult with their thesis committee chair about soliciting a new faculty member for the committee. Students must complete the CHANGE OF THESIS COMMITTEE and/or TOPIC form. The Change form should be signed by the student, committee chair(s), current committee member, and new faculty member. The signed Change form must be submitted to the Graduate Programs Office for approval by the department chair. Students will be notified if the faculty member has been approved as the new thesis committee member. If the thesis has been proposed and approved by the thesis committee, students must also complete the Graduate School's COMMITTEE CHANGE FORM, which is available on the Graduate School's Academics (Forms) website.

Writing a Proposal

Graduate students must write a proposal that will be evaluated by their thesis committee. Students should discuss the contents of the proposal with their committee chair. The committee chair determines how much guidance will be provided to students in the development of the hypothesis, research project, and proposal. There should be a clear understanding between students and their committee chair of what is expected from each party.

The proposal should include a brief synopsis of the thesis topic and hypothesis, and the details of the research project. A thesis usually involves data collection; however, other data-based approaches are acceptable (e.g., meta-analyses, archival data sets, etc.). The proposal should address the use of human participants or animals in the research, if applicable. The proposal should also identify any ethical issues with the use of human participants or animals. Students should be diligent in the completeness of their thesis topic and research project. The committee chair should approve a draft of the proposal before it is submitted to the thesis committee.

Students should review the information on the department's Tools and Links for Researchers website in preparation for their thesis research. Before conducting any research involving human participants, the student's research project must be approved by Illinois State's Institutional Review Board (IRB). The proposal must include, in its method section, a detailed explanation of how the ethical issues will be addressed (e.g., possible risks to human participants, how such risks will be minimized, confidentiality procedures, informed consent, debriefing procedures, etc.). Students must also comply with the department's Ethical Guidelines and Procedures for Research Using Human Participants. If students anticipate using human participants from external sources (outside the University), the proposal must include a statement of the ethical procedures of the external source, and how the research project will conform to those requirements. The department recommends students obtain a signed agreement or memorandum of understanding, from the external source, that identifies the specific data students have permission to collect and use for their research project.

Before conducting any research involving the use of animals, the student's research project must be approved by Illinois State's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The proposal must include, in its method section, a detailed explanation of how the ethical requirements for the care and use of animals will comply with the IACUC procedures.

Scheduling a Proposal

Graduate students must propose their thesis in a public forum. Before presenting a proposal, students must determine if the proposal contains any copyrighted material. Students should review and complete page 2 of the Graduate School's PROPOSAL APPROVAL FORM, which is available on the Graduate School's Academic (Forms) website. If any box under section (5) Copyright Checklist is checked for copyrighted material, students must consult with the Copyright Officer and obtain the Copyright Officer's signature on the Proposal Approval Form.

After consulting with the committee chair about proposing the thesis, students must contact the Graduate Programs Office to request a reader. The reader, who is a psychology faculty member, is appointed by the department. The reader represents the department and ensures that students and their thesis committees comply with the department's procedures and the University's requirements. The Graduate Programs Office will notify students when a reader has been assigned.

The proposal must be presented at a time that is mutually agreeable to the student, thesis committee, and reader. The proposal must be presented between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, while classes are in session (i.e., excluding University holidays, final exams week, or semester breaks). When an acceptable time has been determined, students should contact the Graduate Programs Office to reserve a room. The Graduate Programs Office will notify the student when a room has been reserved.

When the proposal date has been determined, students must complete the information on page 3 of the Proposal Approval Form. Only the thesis committee should be identified on the Proposal Approval Form, along with their department/school and Graduate Faculty status. Students should contact the Graduate Programs Office at psygrad@ilstu.edu to determine the Graduate Faculty status for the thesis committee. The reader is not identified on the Proposal Approval Form. If the thesis committee does not satisfy the Graduate School's thesis committee requirements (described on page 1 of the Proposal Approval Form), the exception section on page 3, under section (6) Graduate Committee Information, must be completed. A brief rationale must be provided for the exception. If a committee member is not an Illinois State faculty member, students must also include the committee member's curriculum vitae, with the Proposal Approval Form, to satisfy the exception requirement.

At least one week before the scheduled proposal date, students must submit, by 12:00 p.m. (Noon), the Proposal Approval Form and a printed copy of their proposal to the Graduate Programs OfficeStudents must also provide a copy of the proposal to the thesis committee and reader; the copy may be printed or sent electronically, depending on the preferences of the committee members or reader. The Graduate Programs Office will announce the scheduled proposal on the department's graduate students and faculty email listserv, and will post the information on the University Events website and on the bulletin board across from the department's office.

Presenting a Thesis Proposal

The department encourages psychology graduate students to attend thesis proposals in order to observe the process. The proposal is also open to the University academic community. Students should consult with their thesis committee chair if students would like to invite non-academic parties (i.e., family and friends) to the proposal. Individuals observing the proposal may ask the student questions and provide comments about the presentation. However, participation by such individuals should not monopolize the presentation. Since the proposal is a formal evaluation of the student, the thesis committee chair has the discretion of whether or not to recognize individuals for questions or comments during the presentation. The department prohibits any refreshments at a thesis proposal.

At the proposal, students should discuss their thesis and any relevant literature, and explain their research project. When the presentation has ended and there are no more questions, everyone should leave the room except for the thesis committee, reader, and any other psychology faculty members. The committee will discuss the proposal. Psychology faculty who have an opinion about the proposal are encouraged to present their remarks for consideration by the thesis committee. The decision to approve or withhold approval of the thesis proposal is the responsibility of the thesis committee. The committee must reach a consensus about the status of the proposal. When a consensus is reached, the student will be asked to return to the room and will be informed of the committee's decision.

If the proposal is approved, the thesis committee and the student should sign the Proposal Approval Form. If the committee determines that changes are required in the thesis, the committee should discuss the changes with the student. The committee chair should give the student a written list of the required changes. Students are responsible for incorporating the changes in the thesis and must provide the thesis committee and reader with an updated proposal. When the thesis committee is satisfied with the revised thesis proposal, the thesis committee and the student should sign the Proposal Approval Form. The student must submit the signed Proposal Approval Form to the Graduate Programs Office, for approval by the department chair.

The Graduate School must also approve the Proposal Approval Form. The Graduate Programs Office cannot submit the signed Proposal Approval Form to the Graduate School until a Protocol number, if applicable, has been recorded in section (4) Compliance Requirements on page 2 of the Proposal Approval Form. If the Protocol number is not available when the Proposal Approval Form is signed, the Graduate Programs Office will retain the signed Form. Students must notify the Graduate Programs Office when a protocol number has been assigned to their thesis research. The Graduate Programs Office will record the Protocol number on the Proposal Approval Form and will submit the signed Form to the Graduate School. Students will be notified by email when the Graduate School approves the Proposal Approval Form. The email will also include a copy of the Proposal Approval Form signed by the Graduate School. The approved Proposal Approval Form should be retained by the student; the information on the Proposal Approval Form will be required by the Graduate School when the student is ready to defend the thesis.

If the thesis committee does not approve the proposal, students have two options:

  1. Students may choose, with the agreement of their committee, to rewrite the proposal. The thesis committee and student should discuss the problems with the current proposal. The second proposal must address and correct the identified problems. Students must schedule a second proposal presentation. This option requires students retain the same thesis committee.
  2. Students may chose to develop a new thesis topic. If this option is selected, students may retain their thesis committee, if the committee members agree to stay with the thesis committee, or solicit other faculty members for a new committee. The department's thesis procedures must be repeated, including the forms for a new committee, if applicable, and proposal presentation.
 

Establishing a ProQuest Account

The University uses a national electronic database, ProQuest, for submission of all theses. The department recommends students create a ProQuest account after their proposal has been approved. Students can access the ProQuest website on the Graduate School's Thesis Assistance (Plan Your Defense) website. The approved proposal should be uploaded to ProQuest. If the ProQuest account is not created after the thesis proposal is approved, it must be created before students submit the Right to Defend form to the Graduate School.

Continuous Enrollment in PSY 499

Students should review Continuous Registration requirements in the Thesis section of the Graduate Catalog. After the proposal is approved and all degree coursework has been completed, students must enroll for at least one credit of PSY 499 every fall and spring semester until the thesis is successfully defended. Registration for PSY 499 in the summer is required only when a student expects to defend the thesis and complete the degree by the end of the summer semester. Students should contact the Graduate Programs Office at psygrad@ilstu.edu to request an override for PSY 499.

Conducting Thesis Research

After the proposal is approved, students should begin conducting their thesis research. While it is appropriate to consult with faculty members, students are expected to conceptually understand the statistics and data analysis that is presented in the thesis. Any significant changes to the research project, after the proposal has been approved, may require additional IRB or IACUC review and approval, if applicable. Students should consult with their thesis committee chair before making any changes to their approved proposal or research project.

Defending a Thesis

Graduate students must defend their thesis in a public forum. Before scheduling a defense, students must have a current thesis uploaded to ProQuest. Although the thesis does not have to be fully formatted, it should contain all of the required thesis chapters. The thesis must comply with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and the Graduate School's thesis policies, which are available on the Graduate School's Academics (Thesis Assistance) website. Student must complete and submit the RIGHT TO DEFEND FORM, which is available on the Graduate School's Academics (Forms) website. The completed Defend Form should be submitted to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will review the thesis in ProQuest. If the thesis is acceptable, the Graduate School will notify students by email that they may schedule their thesis defense. If the Graduate Programs Office is not copied on this email, students must forward the Graduate School's email to the Graduate Programs Office. The Right to Defend email must be on file in the Graduate Programs Office before students can schedule their thesis defense.

The thesis should be defended at a time that is mutually agreeable to the student, thesis committee, and reader. The thesis must be defended between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, while classes are in session (i.e., excluding University holidays, final exams week, or semester breaks). When an acceptable time has been determined, students should contact the Graduate Programs Office to reserve a room. The Graduate Programs Office will notify the student when a room has been reserved.

At least one week before the scheduled defense, students must submit to the Graduate Programs Office by 12:00 p.m. (Noon) a printed copy of the thesis. Students must also provide a copy of the thesis to their thesis committee and reader; the copy may be printed or sent electronically, depending on the preferences of the committee members and reader. The Graduate Programs Office will announce the scheduled defense to the department's graduate students and faculty members. The thesis defense will also be posted on the University Events website and on the bulletin board across from the department's office. Students must also complete the Graduate School's OUTCOME OF DEFENSE FORM, which is available on the Graduate School's Academics (Forms) website. Students should take the Outcome of Defense Form to their thesis defense.

The department encourages psychology graduate students to attend a thesis defense in order to observe the process. The defense is also open to the University academic community. Students should consult with their thesis committee chair if students would like to invite non-academic parties (i.e., family and friends) to their defense. Individuals observing the defense may ask the student questions and provide comments about the presentation. However, participation by such individuals should not monopolize the presentation. Since the defense is a formal evaluation of the student, the thesis committee chair has the discretion of whether or not to recognize individuals for questions or comments during the presentation. The department prohibits any refreshments at a thesis defense.

At the defense, students should discuss the importance of the thesis topic, their research and the methods employed, analysis of the data, and their conclusion. When the defense has ended and there are no more questions, everyone should leave the room except for the thesis committee, reader, and any other psychology faculty members. The committee will discuss the quality of the thesis and defense, taking into account the consistency between the thesis proposal and defense, and the incorporation of required changes identified at the thesis proposal, if applicable. Psychology faculty who have an opinion about the thesis are encouraged to present their remarks for consideration by the thesis committee. The decision to approve or withhold approval of the thesis defense is the responsibility of the committee. The committee must reach a consensus about the status of the defense. When a consensus has been reached, the student will be asked to return to the room and will be informed of the committee's decision.

The thesis committee can reach one of three decisions about the thesis: approved, a provisional approval with required changes, or not approved. If the committee approves the thesis, the committee members should sign the Outcome of Defense Form. If the decision is a provisional approval, the committee should discuss the changes required in the thesis with the student. The committee chair should provide the student with a written list of the required changes. Students are responsible for incorporating the changes before the thesis committee will approve the thesis. After the changes have been made and the thesis is approved, the thesis committee should sign the Outcome of Defense Form. Students must submit a copy of the signed Outcome of Defense Form to the Graduate Programs Office. If the thesis is not approved, the student should discuss any viable options with the thesis committee.

Students must upload the approved thesis to ProQuest. Students must also complete the FINAL DEPOSIT CHECKLIST, which is available on the Graduate School's  Academics (Forms) website. Students must submit the signed Outcome of Defense Form and the Final Deposit Checklist, and any copyright permissions, if applicable, to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will examine the thesis in ProQuest to determine if the thesis complies with the University's thesis policies. If the Graduate School notifies students of required changes, those changes must be made and the revised thesis must be uploaded to ProQuest before the University will accept the thesis as meeting degree requirements for graduation. If the required changes are not completed before the thesis final deposit filing deadline, graduation will be postponed until the following semester.

Publication of Data

If the thesis is published or if a paper is presented at a professional convention, authorship should follow the provisions of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. An agreement between students and their thesis committee should govern whether committee members are identified as co-authors.