Non-Thesis Options

Important Note About Program Exit Options

At mid-course in the program (15 credits) the student must meet with the Program Director or Graduate Director who will determine whether the student is recommended for Option A: Thesis, Option B: Non-Thesis Master's Essay, or Option C: Non-Thesis Research Essay plus Self-Study. No exceptions.

Students who intend to complete Option B: Non-Thesis Master's Essay or Option C: Non-Thesis Research Essay plus Self-Study should keep in mind that planning needs to begin at least one semester before your anticipated graduation date. It is the student's responsibility to follow the requirements. Failure to do so will affect graduation. To set up an appointment for advising, please contact Asian Studies by phone at 305-348-1914 or by e-mail: asian@fiu.edu.

Important Deadlines

All material must be submitted to the Primary and Secondary Professor and must be approved by both within the set deadlines.

Failure to submit and get approval for the MA Essay by deadlines prescribed by the Asian Studies Program Graduate Faculty Committee will result in denial of graduation certification and lead to the recommendation that the student complete the essay in the following semester, which may require enrolling in additional credit(s).

Dates are established based on term of anticipated graduation. Also, these dates refer to when the necessary assignments or paperwork are due to the Asian Studies Program Director. Students are responsible for working with their Primary Professor to establish a schedule that will complement and not conflict with the above deadlines.

Deadlines for Thesis and non-Thesis Exit Options

Primary Professor

Options B and C are carried out under the direction and supervision of a Primary Professor (and if required a Secondary Professor). The student must take responsibility to find a professor. The Primary Professor should have expertise in the field of the student's research. He or she will supervise and provide constructive criticism in content, style, and form. The Professor must be chosen and approved by the Asian Studies Program Director/Graduate Director at least eight weeks before the semester in which the essay is being completed. Please note that Dr. Heine can serve as the primary professor.

Primary Professors must be selected from among the following:

  • Tom Breslin, International Relations Department
  • Steven Heine, Asian Studies
  • Li Ma, Modern Languages
  • Matthew Marr, Sociology/Anthropology Department
  • Amy Marshall, Asian Studies
  • Eric Messersmith, Asian Studies
  • Shenggao Wang, Asian Studies
  • Bin Xu, Sociology, Asian Studies
  • Lidu Yi, Asian Studies
  • Hitomi Yoshio, Asian Studies
  • Julie Zeng, International Relations Department

However, in the interdisciplinary field of Asian Studies, other professors may be approved of for Primary Professor. Please consult with Asian Studies.

Option B: Non-Thesis Master's Essay

Proposal

The formal proposal has several functions and benefits. It is part of the learning process and helps the students avoid oversights and possible mistakes. The proposal also helps the Primary professor to provide appropriate assistance to the student in his/her task. The proposal should explain the problem to be investigated and convince the Primary professor that the problem merits investigation. It should show that the student has read the relevant and recent literature on the subject and it should contain a list of materials consulted during the preliminary stages of research.

The formal proposal should not exceed two (2) double-spaced pages and should include:

  • Background information related to the research topic
  • Purpose of the research
  • Methodology
  • List of reading material

Included with the proposal should be:

A copy of the approved proposal and Agreement Form signed by the Primary professor and the Misconduct Agreement form signed by the student must be filed with the Asian Studies office at least four weeks before the semester in which the essay is being completed in begins. Please see table of deadlines at the end of this page for exact dates.

The Master's Essay

The formatting and grammatical issues of the Master's Essay are the responsibility of the student. The Primary Professor can provide some guidance, however, they are not responsible for overall grammatical and stylistic refinement. The MAAS Committee reserves the right to deny acceptance of any submission that does not adhere to the following stylistic and formatting guidelines. Rejection of a submission based on formatting issues will affect graduation.

Formatting:

  • 40 pages plus notes and appendices (where appropriate)
  • Standard size 8.5 x 11 inches, one-sided
  • Double-spaced (make sure it is true double-space)
  • Times New Roman, size 12
  • 1 inch margins
  • Page numbers must always be bottom-centered
  • Illustrations must be embedded in text unless instructed otherwise

The essay is arranged in the following sequence:

The Preliminary Pages:

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents

Sample of Preliminary Pages for Masters Essay NOTE: The preliminary pages are to be numbered with lower case Roman numerals.

The Text

  • The pages of the text are to be number with Arabic numbers.
  • The first page following the last preliminary page is the first page of the text and is numbered with Arabic number 1.
  • The body should be divided into chapters or sections.

The Reference Section

  • Bibliography or List of References
  • Appendices (where appropriate)

NOTE: The numbering for the reference section continues from the text.

Final Presentation Q&A

In addition to the written work which will be examined by a faculty advisor and the Asian Studies Program Director/Graduate Director, students will be required to make a presentation with a Question & Answer session. In addition to the two faculty members above, other faculty and students may be invited to attend this Q&A session. The Q&A session is to be scheduled during finals week of Fall and Spring semesters, and during the last week of classes of the Summer semester.

Option C: Non-Thesis Research Essay plus Self-Study

Proposals

The formal proposals have several functions and benefits. They are part of the learning process and help the students avoid oversights and possible mistakes. The proposals also help the Primary professor to provide appropriate assistance to the student in his/her task.

For the Research Essay, the proposal should explain the problem to be investigated and convince the Primary professor that the problem merits investigation. It should show that the student has read the relevant and recent literature on the subject and it should contain a list of materials consulted during the preliminary stages of research. For the Self-Study, the proposal should explain a personal experience of the student within the field of Asian Studies. The study can be based on teaching experience, grants, internships, etc. The formal proposals should not exceed one (1) page each and should include:

  • Background information related to the experience
  • Purpose of the study
  • Methodology
  • List of reading material

Included with the proposal should be:

A copy of the approved proposal and Agreement Form signed by the Primary professor and the Misconduct Agreement form signed by the student must be filed with the Asian Studies office at least four weeks before the semester in which the essay is being completed in begins. Please see table of deadlines at the end of this page for exact dates.

The Research Essay and Self-Study

The formatting and grammatical issues of Option C: Research Essay plus Self-Study are the responsibility of the student. The Primary Professor can provide some guidance, however, they are not responsible for overall grammatical and stylistic refinement. The MAAS Committee reserves the right to deny acceptance of any submission that does not adhere to the following stylistic and formatting guidelines. Rejection of a submission based on formatting issues will affect graduation.

Formatting:

  • 20 pages for the essay and self-study each plus notes and appendices (where appropriate)
  • Standard size 8.5 x 11 inches, one-sided
  • Double-spaced (make sure it is true double-space)
  • Times New Roman, size 12
  • 1 inch margins
  • Page numbers must always be bottom-centered
  • Illustrations must be embedded in text unless instructed otherwise

The essay and self-study should be arranged in the following sequence:

The Preliminary Pages:

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents

NOTE: The preliminary pages are to be numbered with lower case Roman numerals.

The Text

  • The pages of the text are to be number with Arabic numbers.
  • The first page following the last preliminary page is the first page of the text and is numbered with Arabic number 1.
  • The body should be divided into chapters or sections.

The Reference Section

  • Bibliography or List of References
  • Appendices (where appropriate)

NOTE: The numbering for the reference section continues from the text.

Final Presentation Q&A

In addition to the written work which will be examined by a faculty advisor and the Asian Studies Program Director/Graduate Director, students will be required to make a presentation with a Question & Answer session. In addition to the two faculty members above, other faculty and students may be invited to attend this Q&A session. The Q&A session is to be scheduled during finals week of Fall and Spring semesters, and during the last week of classes of the Summer semester.

(Updated September 2014)