Master Of Science Thesis/Project Proposal

THere is no course for your Proposal

Your proposal is completed PRIOR TO registering in AGNG 597 or AGNG 598. 


☛ Within the first semester of the program, we encourage you to decide on the general topic of your proposed thesis or project.
☛ By the end of your first year (preferably your first semester), you will have secured a project/thesis advisor and will begin the process of working with that person to determine your other 2 committee members.

How to find a faculty advisor?

We recommend you review the graduate handbook in order to identify relevant faculty, or visit the faculty page on our website. You will then need to approach faculty and have a conversation to determine if collaboration is possible. Often, your exact, hoped-for topic is not going to be your final work; please understand you may need to adjust your ideas for true collaboration and mentoring opportunities.


Prior to registration for AGNG 597 or 598

Students must submit their proposal and have it approved by their committee before they can enroll in AGNG 597/598. The application form, available at the Aging Studies Academic Program Office or at, should be signed by the faculty member supervising the work and by the Aging Studies Graduate Advisor. It must then be submitted to the Aging Studies Academic Program Office. Once the form has been approved, a permit to register for the course will be issued.


Most often students are ready to propose when there is a solid plan in place which is documented via strong, logical and well-researched responses to the content (in bold) below. Sometimes your advisor will require that the first 2 or 3 chapters of your thesis/project are also written. Discuss with your advisor what he or she expects prior to proposing and enrolling in 597/598 units.

Once you are ready to propose, work with your identified committee members to organize a meeting date so that you may present your thesis/project idea. You and your advisor will determine how involved your other 2 committee members need to be prior to your formal proposal. Be sure to give your committee enough time to review a copy of your proposal and timeline prior to your proposal meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to receive feedback on the writing, content, and timeline.

The proposal document NEEDS TO include the following information in APA format: 

  1. Cover page [Project Title, Your Name & Committee Members’ Names, University Name]
  2. A statement of the problem that motivates your project/thesis [1- 3 sentences]
  3. For thesis include your research questions [2-4 sentences]
  4. Your thesis hypothesis OR your project objectives/goals (e.g., how do you plan on answering your research questions or suggesting solutions for the problem)
  5. Review of the relevant literature [this will be several pages long]
  6. Theoretical framework for the project/thesis (i.e., the theories you are using to answer your research questions)
  7. For thesis include methodology for gathering data, testing the hypothesis, and answering the research questions.
    For project include procedures for producing intended product (i.e., develop curricula, website, etc.) and the intended audience.
  8. Timeline for the completion of your project [list expected deadlines to complete each portion of thesis/project, anticipate any potential problems and include your expected completion date]
  9. Reference List in APA format [include all references used in proposal]
  10. Optional: Your thesis/project advisor may require other items such as IRB approval or other relevant information for your specific goals. 


☐ When your advisor agrees you are ready to propose formally, email or call the gerontology office to reserve a room for your formal proposal presentation meeting ( or 657-278-7057).

☐ Obtain the form entitled “Application for Gerontology AGNG 597/ AGNG 598” (available under msgdocs). After your proposal meeting, and if the committee agrees you are ready to move forward, the committee will sign-off on this form. Return the completed and signed form to Karen Wong, Aging Studies Department Advisor, along with a complete copy of your proposal in H-424.

Note: The semester you enroll in AGNG 597/598 is not the semester you will necessarily complete
your project or thesis. Indeed, give yourself at least a year to complete your project or thesis.

Note: GS700 is not an option until the semester after you enroll in AGNG 597/598, assuming all other coursework is complete and you are making steady progress toward completion of the thesis/project.

Note: Graduation is contingent upon successful completion of the thesis/project, not enrollment
in AGNG 597/598.