Thesis Prospectus Guidelines for the

Master of Science Program in Mathematics

Sam Houston State University

General Guidelines:  In accordance with the graduate catalogue, students who pursue the thesis option must prepare a thesis prospectus that specifies the thesis topic, details the purpose of the proposed investigation, describes the proposed method(s) of investigation, indicates the relationship of the proposed study to relevant research in the area of study, and provides commentary on source materials and/or facilities available for the successful completion of the research.  The prospectus should be typed in a 12 point font, double spaced with one inch margins, and include page numbers in the top right corner of each page.  At a minimum, the following five sections should be included.

A. Introduction:  A thorough overview (2 – 3 pages) of the area of study should be composed and include citations of supporting literature.  This section should provide details on past and present research on the specific research topic.

B. Definition and Objectives:  A clear statement of the objectives of your study (1 – 2 paragraphs) should clearly define the problem(s) that your thesis will address and outline the objectives of your research program.

C. Methods and Materials:  This section (1 – 2 pages) should describe a clear plan for meeting the objectives in the previous section.  Many times this will include referring to references in the literature regarding how similar problems have been addressed and, in particular, how the proposed research will be different in approach.  If appropriate, include any hardware, software, and facilities that will be used in the study.

D. Significance of Research:  Finally, a description of the expected outcome(s) of your research efforts (1 – 2 paragraphs) should summarize the importance of your efforts in this area of study.  This section should address how the proposed research will extend the frontiers of knowledge in mathematics and science.

E. List of References:  Provide a list of the sources that you cited in the proposal using an approved scientific format, e.g., the AMA manual or Chicago Manual of Style.

(Approved by the Mathematics Graduate Committee Spring 2012)

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