Why you should write a master's thesis

Many graduate students question whether they should write a master's thesis.

Why you should write a master’s thesis

Am I done with school? Will I ever get another degree?

A question that I often ask graduate students in the Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education program who are taking the Education Research Methods class is if they plan to get a terminal degree after completing their master’s. Students find this question odd because they are trying to determine whether to write a thesis or capstone. Sometimes, the student hasn’t thought beyond their current program. They’re shocked and a little overwhelmed that I would ask this question.


A terminal degree could be in your future

More students are realizing that a PhD or EdD might be in their future, and this can be a reason to write a thesis. A master’s thesis, in the CUWAA SPAHE program, is a five-chapter research paper which mimics a dissertation and can be a great way to practice what might be forthcoming. Higher Education is a community that values degrees and where a master’s degree might have previously been enough, often it is just an entry point now.

According to census.gov, even though the number of Americans who hold a doctoral degree was only 4.5 million as of 2018, it more than doubled from 2010 when it was 2 million (Bureau, 2021).  This growing population of individuals with terminal degrees indicates a trend that will only grow. The advent of fully online and hybrid Doctoral programs has made access much easier to many students.  Digital research libraries have improved access to scholarly literature and it easier to access from anywhere on the globe.

A young student affairs professional in a master’s program should not discount the idea of continuing their education. This future goal should help drive decisions regarding one’s thesis as well as the search for a terminal degree program. Once a student has committed to this next degree, it’s time to determine when one might want to start. A little break after a master’s degree can be good, but a long break can turn into never starting.


Do you want to know more?

If you’re interested in learning more about Concordia University Ann Arbor’s SPAHE program, visit us here.

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