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MAE Student Information - Thesis Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Thesis?

A thesis is an independent and original piece of research work, where the student forwards a proposition and supports the validity of this in a formal written document. The thesis is a requirement for all MSME/MSAE and higher degrees.

What is a Thesis advisor?

A thesis advisor is a faculty member who provides guidance and advice to the student on the conduct of the research. Typically, the advisor, who is an expert in the field, supplies the problem to which you seek a solution.

Who can serve as a thesis advisor?

The primary thesis advisor must be a "permanent" member of the NPS MAE faculty. However, you may have a co-advisor or a second reader from another department, or even outside the school.

When do I start the thesis?

Generally, you should start working on the thesis a year or more before you intend to graduate. While you thesis slots may not occur until your last 6 months, you should have chosen a thesis advisor and be hard at work long before this time.

How long does the thesis require?

Generally, it requires almost a full year. Therefore, do not wait until the last minute before your thesis slots to find an advisor and begin your work.

Can I take additional thesis slots?

No, not for the Master's Thesis, per se. However, it is possible to take a directed study course (such as ME4902), which may contain material that is related to your thesis research. In this case, you need approval from the faculty who will direct the course, Academic Associates, Program Officer, and Chairman of Mechanical Engineering. For the Engineer's Thesis, seven (7) slots are required.

Can I do a joint thesis with other students?

No. Each student is required to submit a separate, individual thesis, which may only contains their own work, for the degree requirements to be met.

Can I combine the thesis with courses and obtain joint credit?

No. Although you may be able to do a project for a course that is related to you thesis research.

How do I select a topic/advisor?

That is entirely up to you. You should talk to every faculty member in the department in the area(s) in which you are interested. Generally it is best to work for someone who you are familiar, such as someone from whom you have taken a course. Since you will be required to interact your advisor on a regular basis it should be someone with whom you are comfortable.

Is any funding required?

No, not on the part of the student. It is the responsibility of the advisor to supply any funding that will be required to complete the research.

Are there additional resources available to help me write my thesis and present my results?

Yes. The MAE department has documents available called, "How to Write a Thesis", and "How to Make a Technical Presentation" to help you prepare your thesis and presentation. You can find additional information including procedures and templates at the research office web site http://www.nps.navy.mil/research/external/research1.html.