Specialist trainees may complete a thesis in order to satisfy graduation requirements for a specialist degree. Trainees must complete their degree requirements, including the thesis, within six years beginning with the first semester of enrollment.
The department's thesis procedures are presented on the identified websites. Trainees should also review the Thesis section in the Graduate Catalog. See the Graduate School's Thesis Assistance website for additional information about continuous enrollment, graduation deadlines, etc. A thesis:
- Should have a theoretical framework as its conceptual base
- May represent a test or a 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 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 see Educational and Psychological Measurement)
- May be reports of surveys related to themes of professional interest (see American Psychologist)
- 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 see 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.
Trainees are responsible for reviewing and complying with the department's Thesis Procedures.