I started an online MSN nurse educator program in 2011 and am set to complete in 2013. The school is an actual brick and mortar school but does both of its nursing graduate programs online. When I started, the curriculum required a research project/thesis...but last semester the students were informed that the curriculum had been revised, and the class for the research project has been removed from the curriculum beginning Fall 2013. My question is...will a doctoral program even look at an applicant that didn't complete a research project? I am very interested in going on to a doctorate program, and do not want the lack of a thesis to ruin my chances at acceptance. Up to this point I was satisfied with the education I was receiving.
Feb 11, '13
I'm no expert, but I would imagine it would affect your chances. You'll probably be asked on a doctoral application to discuss research experience and what your specific field of interest is. If you don't have a master's-level thesis, I'm not sure what you'd write about! Have you inquired if there's an option to still do the research, perhaps as an independent study? I think if you specify that you're planning to get your doctorate so need/want research experience, the school might be able to help?
Mar 18, '13
I just finished my MSN, we did not have a "thesis project"....I read an article that "thesis project" for various degrees are not the norm anymore. Anyways, even though I did not do a "thesis", I wrote many research papers each semester. The most required was 12-15 pages. Also, if our research was good enough, our faculty would recommend and assist us with getting it published. If you are concerned about how this my look, I would suggest to look up some doctorate program online and see what they require. You can even email them and ask if they would consider your application without a thesis project.
Mar 18, '13
As BunnyBunny said, Master's theses are not the norm any more. Relatively few MSN students graduate with them anymore. Most doctoral programs know that.
Even when MSN theses were more common, a lot of PhD programs had reasonable ways to compensate for not having one. When I got my MSN decades ago, I didn't do a thesis. When I applied for a PhD program in 1991, it was not considered a big issue. Most schools accepted an article I had published as a CNS about a clinical project I did in lieu of a thesis.
So ... it's nothing I'd get too worried about. But you might want to get involved in a project, publish an article, etc. before you apply to doctoral programs just to be on the safe side.
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