Master Thesis: DSBA 6991

This overview outlines the procedures and prerequisites for choosing the Master Thesis as the Capstone experience in the DSBA program (available starting Fall 2024). DSBA 6991 provides a tailored path for those aspiring to research-oriented careers or further academic pursuits, allowing participants to refine critical thinking, analytical, and research skills. This Capstone entails 6 credit hours spread over two semesters or more, offering flexibility in research distribution (e.g., 1+5, 3+3, 2+2+2). However, solely accruing credit hours does not fulfill the program’s Capstone requirement. Candidates will engage in original research, crafting a thesis, and successfully defending their thesis in front of a Committee composed of graduate faculty.

The Master Thesis Pathway

Before registering for DSBA 6991 students must identify a thesis advisor and develop a preliminary research proposal.  With the approval of your Thesis Advisor, you will submit a Thesis Advisor Form and request authorization to register for your first semester.  

Pre-Thesis Registration:

  • Select a thesis advisor from the SDS graduate faculty. You need to submit a completed Thesis Advisor Form.
  • Register for DSBA 6991 Master Thesis Research.

1st Semester(s): Research

  • Begin a literature review and formulate research questions under the guidance of your thesis advisor.
  • Develop a research proposal outline.
  • Form a thesis committee through the Graduate School and defend your thesis proposal (can be done in the final semester). The committee must have a minimum of three faculty members including an SDS joint or affiliate faculty member as chair. 

2nd Semester: Thesis Defense

  • Complete your thesis research and write the document.
  • Submit the completed thesis to your committee for review.
  • Schedule and prepare for your thesis defense.
  • Successfully defend your thesis.

A reminder, the DSBA 6991 is only offered in the Fall and Spring Semesters.  For detailed steps and forms, refer to the following Graduate School websites.  


Can I enroll in DSBA 6991 during the summer semester?

No, the Master Thesis Research course is offered only during the regular semesters (fall and spring).

Can I switch to the internship option after earning 6 credits from Master Thesis Research?

Yes, up to 6 elective credits from DSBA 6991 may count toward your degree.

Can I earn 6 credit hours in one semester?

No, you can earn up to 5 credit hours in a single semester. Discuss the expected workload with your advisor.

Can the proposal defense occur in the same semester as the final defense?

Yes, but it is strongly advised to defend your proposal early in the semester. The deadline for the final defense is only ten weeks after the proposal defense deadline.