School of Social Work

Thinking of a Thesis?

Things to Consider

  1. You will do the same data collection and analysis as a research project; however, a thesis involves more extensive writing using a thesis template, forming a thesis committee, and oral defense.
  2. You will not be required to take SWO 652 or a third elective.
  3. Be comfortable working independently and meeting deadlines.
  4. Enjoy working closely with your faculty advisor/committee chair



  1. Choose your Committee Chair and Committee Members (three): Two social work faculty members and either a third social work faculty or a faculty member from a different discipline or a content expert in the community.
  2. With your Chair narrow your research topic and question to write a thesis proposal (about three pages), which will be reviewed by the Research Committee (social work faculty)
  3. Once your proposal is approved you will develop a timeline with your Chair. This will include all steps of the research process and a plan for writing the thesis to ensure you complete the thesis before your graduation date. You will work closely with your Chair every step along the way, including edits and revisions.
  4. You will present your research at Thinking Matters with your peers in April before graduation.
  5. Working closely with your Chair you will finalize a draft to send to your committee members at least one week before your oral defense for review and feedback.
  6. A thesis defense is a public meeting and you are welcome to invite people to attend. It is expected to be a lively discussion and celebration of your hard work.


Processes & Application Format for MSW Thesis SWO 695