Thesis Procedure

Full Time Students:

International Counterterrorism Fellowship Program and Ft. Bragg Program

Students who are enrolled in the International Counterterrorism Fellowship Program and Ft. Bragg program will write a thesis during their year in residence.

1. Thesis Advisor Selection: Students indicate their preferred Thesis Advisor on 23 September 2011. A Second Reader will be assigned by the Dean to evaluate the final work. The Office of Student Services will notify students of their final advisor selection. At that time, the Office of Student Services also provides students with guidance regarding the process for approval of thesis proposal and supporting documentation. The Office of Academic Affairs will provide guidance on the submission of Thesis.

2. Students work with their Thesis Advisor to develop an individualized plan for thesis completion, including deadlines for draft chapters and final submission. Once an advisor is assigned, students should schedule an appointment to discuss their topics and to outline a working plan for the project. It is strongly recommended that students complete their first chapter by the end of the Fall Semester. Any major changes involving methodology or thesis topic must be approved by the Thesis Advisor.

3. The deposit copy is due 9 May to the Office of Academic Affairs (Click here to view the Academic Calendar for exact dates). Students who fail to submit the thesis on time will not graduate with their class. Final grades for the semester will be available on 17 May 2011.

Part-Time Students

Part-time students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above and wish to pursue the thesis option may apply to do so upon completion of at least 18 CISA credit hours. These students should be prepared to spend one year researching and writing a graduate-level thesis. Students should verify their cumulative GPA and credit hours with the Office of Student Services.

1. Thesis Advisor Selection: Students should approach a faculty member to be their thesis advisor and submit a proposal to that faculty member with a completed Thesis Proposal Form. The thesis proposal should be at least five pages in length detailing the research problem, its importance, working hypothesis, preliminary literature review, and proposed research design. A scheduled work plan and preliminary bibliography should also be attached. The Office of Student Services provides updated information regarding a recommended outline for the proposal along with the Thesis Proposal Form.

2. Thesis Proposal Submission and Approval: Once a faculty member has reviewed the proposal and agrees that it meets academic research standards, he/she will sign the Thesis Proposal Form and return it to the student. The student will then submit the proposal and signed form to the Office of Student Services for submission to the Academic Policy Council (APC) for review.

The APC will determine whether the proposal meets CISA standards and grant permission for the student to continue with the thesis option. If the Council rejects the proposal, the student will consult with their advisor and may submit one more revised proposal to the Council for consideration. If a second proposal is also rejected, the student will be enrolled in the non-thesis option for the Master of Arts Degree in Strategic Security Studies degree program.

3. Writing the Thesis: After a thesis proposal receives APC approval, the student is enrolled in CISA 6943 Thesis (six credits). Students work with their Thesis Advisor to develop an individualized schedule for thesis completion, including deadlines for draft chapters and final submission. After official enrollment in 6943, the student has one calendar year to complete the thesis. If more time is required, the student may download the Thesis Extension Form from the CISA website and submit a copy signed by their advisor to the Office of Students Services for approval by the APC.

4. Final Thesis Submission: Students should submit two copies of their thesis to the Office of Student Services with a Thesis Submission Form signed by their Thesis Advisor. They should also submit an electronic copy to the Office of Student Services. The APC reviews all thesis submissions and makes the final determination whether a thesis Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Does Not Meet Expectations. A thesis that “Does Not Meet Expectations” may be revised and resubmitted in the following semester for reconsideration.

Students wishing to graduate in January 2012 must submit their final thesis to the APC no later than the first week of December. Students wishing to graduate in June must submit the final thesis no later than the first week of May. Students should also submit an Intent to Graduate Form to the Office of Student Services by the appropriate deadlines. (See academic calendar for final deadline dates).

Human Subjects Research Policy

CISA protects the rights of all human subjects in conducting research in accordance with DOD Directive 3216.02 Protection of Human Subjects and Adherence to Ethical Standards in DOD-Supported Research. The College will adhere to these principles in all research involving human subjects. Specific plans for data collection via surveys or interviews, for example, must be approved through the Academic Policy Council. For current guidelines, contact the Office of Student Services.

Thesis Formatting and Structure Guidelines

The following are guidelines for formatting and structure of the CISA Master’s Thesis.

Margins: Left: 1.5 inches. Right: 1 inch. Top: 1 inch. Bottom: 1 inch.

Font: 12 point, Times New Roman.

Page Numbers: For Abstract use roman numerals (e.g., i, ii, iii, iv, etc.). Cover pages, disclaimer, and table of contents should not have page numbers. At Chapter 1 begin using arabic numerals (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.)

Tables/Charts/Graphs: Should be formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, Chapter 3, see especially Figure 3.12 and 3.74-3.78.

Headers and Footers: not required, not recommended.

Footnotes: Should be in accordance with Chicago Manual of Style. All hyperlinks should be removed or their font color changed to black.

The thesis should have the following elements in this order:

Title Page - standard (provided by Office of Academic Affairs).

Thesis Approval Form - standard (provided by Office of Academic Affairs).

Disclaimer - standard (provided by Office of Academic Affairs).

Abstract - is a brief summary of the thesis. Its length should not exceed approximately 250 words. It presents an introduction to the subject, the key statement of the thesis, and a summary of methodology, conclusions and caveats.

(Bold, CAPS, Centered, 12 pt, Times New Roman)

Table of Contents - should include Chapter and Section titles. For formatting guidance, see Chicago Manual of Style, especially 1.37 and Figure 1.5.

(Bold, CAPS, Centered, 12 pt, Times New Roman)
Chapter 1 - Page Numbering begins at numeral 1. The following formatting is recommended, but students may choose to distinguish between Titles, Headings, and Sub-headings differently, but the formatting must be consistent throughout.

(Bold, CAPS, Centered, 12 pt, Times New Roman)

Section/Heading 1 (Bold, 12pt, Times New Roman)
Sub-Section/Sub-Heading 1 (Bold, Italic, 12 pt, Times New Roman)

Bibliography - All sources should be listed in proper Chicago Manual of Style format in alphabetical order. As appropriate, the student and advisor may decide to organize the works cited according to themes (e.g., by chapter, by type of source, etc.).

(Bold, CAPS, Centered, 12 pt, Times New Roman)

Appendices, Glossaries, Abbreviations - For formatting guidance see Chicago Manual of Style Appendix B, or 1.43, 1.6, and 2.22.

(Bold, CAPS, Centered, 12pt, Times New Roman)

About the Author (Optional)- 1-2 paragraphs including permanent contact information.


(Bold, CAPS, Centered, 12 pt, Times New Roman)