Students anticipating academic doctoral studies after the completion of their MDiv program are advised to undertake the thesis option as some academic institutions require a master’s- level thesis for entry into doctoral programs. Students undertaking the thesis option should plan to take more than seven semesters to complete the program.
The thesis counts as 8 of the general elective credits allowed for the MDiv degree. Students should register for 2 or more thesis credits per term for at least two semesters. Therefore, initial registration for a thesis must be no later than two semesters prior to graduation. Students electing to write an MDiv thesis must apply to the director of the program and must (1) demonstrate superior scholarship over a minimum of two consecutive semesters, normally with a GPA of 3.50 or above; (2) take Research Methods before the thesis is started; and (3) submit a paper of superior quality before permission is granted by the director to begin writing the thesis. The student is guided in thesis preparation by a three-member committee appointed by the director in consultation with the student and department chair in which the subject of the thesis is chosen. The chair of this committee serves as the thesis adviser.
The format of the thesis must conform strictly to the Andrews University Standards for Written Work. Students are strongly urged to consult the dissertation secretary before formatting and printing a thesis.
At least six weeks before graduation, the committee-approved draft of the thesis should be submitted to the dissertation secretary. After appropriate changes have been made, the corrected copy should be submitted at least four weeks before graduation to the dissertation secretary for approval. Copying on non-acid paper should be completed at least two weeks before graduation. Three copies of the thesis, including a 150-word abstract and an approval sheet, must be submitted to the dissertation secretary. The abstract should contain a short statement of the problem examined, a brief exposition of methods and procedures, and a condensed summary of the findings.
Students obtain a Thesis Completion Form from the dissertation secretary. They must take the form to the Academic Records Office no later than noon on Friday, a week preceding graduation. A fee is charged by the university for binding the three copies of the thesis, two of which are deposited in the library and one in the department in which the student earns the degree.
Students who do not adhere strictly to the deadlines noted above will have their graduation postponed. Thesis candidates must pass an oral examination no later than two weeks before graduation. The candidate is expected to demonstrate mastery of the thesis topic.