MA Thesis

Harper Memorial Library

The Digital Studies MA and BA/MA programs entail a thesis project advised by a University of Chicago faculty member, instructional professor, or lecturer. The thesis adviser may be in any field of the humanities or social sciences and may or may not be someone whose own research entails digital methods.

The thesis must have a software component as well as a written component in which the student explains the computational aspects of the project and reflects critically on the methods being used, with attention to current debates in digital humanities. The length of the written component of the thesis may vary, depending on the subject matter and the expectations of the thesis adviser, but it should be at least 25 pages and no more than 50 pages of text (double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman with one-inch margins), not counting illustrations and bibliographic references.

The Director and Associate Director of Digital Studies will work with each student to choose a feasible thesis topic and to find a suitable adviser. They will also coordinate the provision of technical guidance for student projects, as needed.

Thesis Timeline

Students must find a thesis adviser and gain written approval for their MA thesis topic from their adviser and from the Director of Digital Studies no later than the eighth week of the Winter Quarter. Students will establish a regular schedule of consultation with their thesis adviser and with other staff members who may be assigned to help them with the technical aspects of their project.

In order to receive the MA degree at the end of the Spring Quarter in mid-June, the thesis must be submitted to the thesis adviser and to the Director of Digital Studies by May 15. Many students will require more time to complete the thesis, so they have the option of submitting it by July 31, in time to receive the MA degree at the end of the Summer Quarter in late August. They do not need to register for any courses in the Summer Quarter and are not required to be in residence in the Chicago area while they complete the thesis.

Note that students who have not yet finished the thesis may still participate in the June Convocation, provided that they have fulfilled all other degree requirements except for the thesis. They will receive the MA degree later, after the thesis has been submitted and deemed acceptable.

Photo by Robert Kozloff