Students should be considering their line or area of research as soon as they enroll in the program. It is essential for students to choose a research area that is interesting to them professionally, as well as personally, and begin to gather relevant literature during their first course. Each course in the program is designed to allow students to produce an annotated bibliography on their chosen topic in the context of said course. This is useful as students prepare for their capstone research thesis or project which is the culminating event in this program. The literature students examine in the context and perspective of various courses in their chosen area of research can form a solid scientific and philosophical basis for an exceptional masters-level capstone research project or thesis.
The capstone will reflect the depth and extent of knowledge acquired throughout the graduate program and will demonstrate high academic quality aimed at helping students by providing the opportunity to submit their final projects to companies and organizations as white papers, submit for publication in academic journals, and offer clear leverage for entrance into quality Ph.D. programs. Students choosing to do a research thesis are required to secure a Research Supervisor from the approved faculty at PBA. Students completing a project are required to secure a Project Adviser. Project students must have their paper dually approved by their PA and an unbiased faculty member who will grade and offer any corrections that must be made prior to final submission. Students should consider gaining a Research Supervisor or Project Adviser within the first few sub-terms. All students must contact the Program Director for approval prior to requesting an internal or external faculty member to serve as a Research Supervisor or Project Adviser. All projects and thesis topics must be approved by the Research Capstone Professor of record. Students choosing to conduct a research project will be held to the same academic standards as thesis students, but the audience for projects would normally be corporations or organizations whereas thesis students are targeting an academic audience.
As students begin their courses, they should be scouring the library databases for articles from good journals that help them better understand the problem they intend to address in their research. Students should remember to go into their research as unbiased as possible and avoid searching for literature that simply aligns with their worldview or supports a preconceived notion. Students will research their topic extensively presenting controversies and debates on their chosen topic in the context of various courses. In other words, students will look deeply into all sides of the argument. The research should be well organized, free of logical fallacies, interesting, relevant, and substantive. Our professors are dedicated to guiding and encouraging students to further their line of research in the context of specific courses, some courses in the program being more philosophically oriented, and others more psychologically and organizationally oriented.
As students build on their chosen line of research from course to course, it is important to utilize articles from previous classes and avoid self-plagiarism. Self-plagiarism is wrong because it misleads your readers by presenting previous work as completely new and original. Students will not submit work or articles from a previous course in another course so they can continue to build new understanding from various perspectives throughout the program preparing them for the capstone research. Students will be encouraged to intentionally address aspects of their research topic in the prospective courses and can extend their earlier work in differing contexts, which is a good thing to do in any research or scholarly writing endeavor. Thesis students will sit for an online thesis examination with their Research Supervisor and one unbiased faculty member that will last one to two hours and allow the examiners to ask questions about the student’s research journey and other specific questions about their thesis. In both cases, students will be offered the opportunity to make corrections to their project or thesis prior to final approval and submission. In the end, our students should not only obtain a valuable degree, but also leave the program with a high-quality project or thesis that brings great credit to the student, the Program, and the School.
All project and thesis students are required to complete their final submission within three consecutive sub-terms. The first sub-term is a 3 credit class. Students requiring corrections must register for the following Research Capstone Continuation 1 credit classes and can take up to two Research Capstone Continuation classes. Any student will be dismissed from the program who fails to complete their final submission within three consecutive sub-terms.
Chart Your Path. Launch Your Future.