MA Program



Non-thesis Option Requirements

Directed research will culminate in the production of a 25 to 40-page essay appropriate for submission to an academic journal – see publications listing. This final paper may not be as long as a thesis, but it will have to be a high quality product that must be approved by the student’s major professor and at least one other Florida Studies faculty member.

Thesis Option Requirements

A thesis is strongly recommended for those who think they might ultimately pursue doctoral level study, or who might want to write a book in the future.

An acceptable master’s thesis is a significant study, generally between 75 and 120 pages, in which students work closely with a committee comprised of three faculty members. One of these committee members may be a professor from off-campus or even a working professional with an intimate knowledge of your research area. Your major professor must be a full-time faculty member at USF St. Petersburg.

Typically, a thesis should identify some gap in our knowledge; elucidate one or more research questions that you hope to answer or shed some light upon; survey the published literature related to the subject of your research; establish relevant theoretical and methodological concerns while explaining how you intend to investigate your research questions; review the evidence you assemble and explain what you have discovered; and summarize your conclusions and your contribution to our understanding of the research questions you posed.

Addition information about thesis and non-thesis options can be found in the Florida Studies Graduate Student Handbook.

Thesis submission processes are available at the Office of Graduate Studies.


Whether pursuing a thesis or non-thesis option, Florida Studies Program students should become acquainted with journals relevant to their fields of study. Non-thesis publications should be of the quality for consideration in one of the following journals, and thesis students may also wish to submit articles based on their work:

Because of the Florida Studies Program’s broad interdisciplinary nature and its goal to engage in public scholarship, students are encouraged to explore other avenues for sharing their work and discuss options with their advisor.