Thesis option for MI & MMSt students
Information on this page:
- About the thesis option
- Program of study for MI thesis students
- Program of study for MMSt thesis students
- Supervisors & readers
- Proposal submission
- Research using human subjects
- External examiner
- Oral final examination
- Thesis submission
- Examination failure
About program changes to the MI degree (November 2012)
The MI program underwent significant changes in November 2012. However, for the thesis option, the requirements remain unchanged.
For students entering the program in 2013 and on: the thesis option is now one of two choices for students who choose to take the General Program Pathway.
For students who entered the MI program in September 2012 and prior: The thesis option requirements remain the same.
The thesis option allows students to gain experience in developing and executing a research project from beginning to end. Faculty approval is required. The final product is a work of about 80–100 pages.
This option is designed for students who have a clearly defined topic, can find a supervisor, and can meet tight deadlines in order to graduate within the usual completion of degree time frame. The thesis option is typically carried out in the 2nd year of the two-year program.
Students in both the MI and MMSt degree programs may choose the thesis option. Other than the difference in the programs of study, the thesis process and procedures are the same for students in both degree programs. MMSt students may not take their studies on a part-time basis.
Part-time students (MI only):
Time frames are arranged in consultation with the student’s proposed supervisor, after the successful completion of eight half-courses. Time frames must allow completion of the degree within the allotted six-year period.
The requirement of 16 half-courses (8.0 FCE) is to be met as follows:
- Four core courses (2.0 FCE)
One research methods course (0.5 FCE), appropriate to the program of study, with a final grade of at least A–
Five additional courses (2.5 FCE), which may include up to four graduate-level half-courses (2.0 FCE) taken outside the MI program
A thesis (3.0 FCE)
The requirement of 15 half-courses (7.5 FCE) is to be met as follows:
- Four required Museum Studies half-courses (2.0 FCE)
One research methods course (0.5 FCE), appropriate to the program of study, with a final grade of at least A-
Five other half-courses (2.5 FCE), of which at least 1 elective (0.5 FCE) must be an MMSt elective course.
- A thesis (2.0 FCE)
Students must obtain the consent of:
- A thesis supervisor, who must be a regular iSchool faculty member
- A second reader, who may be a regular or adjunct iSchool faculty member, or a regular faculty member at another U of T department
The thesis supervisor and second reader make up the student’s Thesis Committee, and are part of the Thesis Examination Committee.
- Complete a Thesis Proposal Form, with signatures from the supervisor and second reader
- Attach a 7–8 page written proposal, summarizing the intended research
- Submit both to the Chair of the Committee on Standing before the beginning of the term in which the student wishes to be enrolled in the thesis option.
- The dates by which all documentation must be submitted are as follows: September 5 for the first term (September-December), January 5 for the second term (January-April), and May 1 for the third term (May-August).
Once the proposal has been approved, the iSchool Student Services staff will enrol the student in the thesis option. The course code is RST9999Y.
Research protocols must be approved by the University of Toronto's Social Sciences & Humanities Review Committee– Human Research Area, if human subjects are involved.
Students pursue their thesis work concurrently with their remaining courses.
Fall term (September – December) of 2nd year:
Complete data collection and data analysis.
Winter term (January – March) of 2nd year:
Write thesis and submit written drafts to supervisor and second reader.
- The thesis undergoes several drafts and revisions
- The student submits the thesis to the second reader once the supervisor is satisfied with the quality of the work presented
- The second reader has two weeks to make written comments, and submit them to the supervisor
- The supervisor advises the student about additional revisions required
- If more time is needed to finish the thesis, the student must request a course extension
- When the Thesis Committee is satisfied with the revisions, the thesis is defended
- The student defends the thesis at an oral final examination before the Thesis Examination Committee
- The date and time of the defense should be set in consultation with the supervisor. The timing of the defense should allow the student to convocate in either the June or November convocation
A Committee for the Final Oral Examination Form must be completed and approved four weeks before the scheduled defense.
The Thesis Examination Committee consists of: the thesis supervisor; the second reader; a non-voting Chair; and an external examiner who is:
- External to the Faculty of Information
- A faculty member from another U of T department, a qualified senior practitioner, or an appointed individual from a local academic or research institution
- Arm's-length from the candidate and the thesis project
- A recognized expert in the field
The external examiner submits a short written report (1–2 pages) to the supervisor two weeks prior to the examination. The supervisor will make the report available to the student.
The oral final examination consists of a 10–20 minute presentation by the student, followed by a question period not exceeding 60 minutes.
Assessment is based on examination performance, and quality of the written thesis.
Quorum for the examination is two voting members.
At the conclusion of the examination, the Thesis Examination Committee makes its recommendation of Pass, Pass with Modifications, or Fail.
The student is informed in writing if modifications are required. A member of the Thesis Examination Committee is appointed to review the modifications.
Consulted detailed procedures for more information.
The Thesis Examination Committee fills out the Thesis Completion Form at the end of the examination.
After this is authorized, the student submits the thesis electronically, according to SGS guidelines.
The Thesis Completion Form must be submitted to the iSchool Student Services Department as proof of completion.
Students are provided with written reasons in the case of a Fail recommendation.
A second examination may be scheduled within six months.
If a second Fail recommendation is made, the student fails the thesis option, and may not repeat it.
A failed student may have his/her registration terminated. However, four elective courses may be substituted with SGS approval, and on the recommendation of the iSchool.