Geography & Planning

Steps to Degree

The process for completing a Master's degree at West Chester University includes some of the following steps:

After completing 12-15 credits, the student applies online for formal degree candidacy.

If you should decide to complete a Research Report Project, the first step in gaining approval to register for research credits is to fill out the Independent Study/Individualized Instruction form.  This form should be signed by your advisor and the Department Chair.  It should then be returned to the Geography and Planning Department.

If you should decide to complete a thesis, the first step in gaining approval to register for thesis credits is to fill out the thesis examination committee form.  The form should be printed out, filled in and signed by your thesis faculty advisor and at least two additional thesis evaluation committee members.

Before you begin writing your thesis document, it would be worthwhile to read the Office of Graduate Studies Master's Thesis Guidelines. It might also be helpful to look at a recently-completed thesis and, as the Department receives a bound copy of all theses, ask the graduate coordinator or department secretary to locate one for you.  Dr. James Lewandowski has put together a thesis guideline which you may also find helpful to consult as you carry out your thesis.

After the thesis has been successfully defended and all changes have been made and approved by the thesis committee, thesis advisor, and Graduate Dean, students should submit 4 FINAL copies of the thesis printed on 8 1/2 X 11 inch white 22-24 pound bond paper containing 100% cotton (a watermark on each page will clearly reveal the cotton content when held up to light).  The 4 copies (or more if you wish) will be delivered to the library for binding.

If you should wish to present your research at a professional conference, the Graduate Student Association (GSA) offers support to present at and/or attend a professional conference.